He likes cricket.
There will be excitement in her eyes when she sees this chocolate.
He favors feminism.
Play a Punjabi rap song, and you will see scorn on her face.
He is fond of biryani.
No matter what, he will never smoke.
If it’s food, he is never behind.
Think of your friends, family, colleagues, or someone you know…
And you would say, “this is him.”
What are these responses?
How can you relate to them, and how do they define the people you know?
Can you say it’s what their personality is?
If yes, why do those people always think in certain frames?
For instance, why are you sure your friend Gull will love biryani?
Is it his personality or something else?
Doesn’t this mean we all have certain frames through which we see things and respond to them?
Of course, it is.
Those are the specific yet different frames that people have.
And after spending some time with them, we become aware of them.
Based upon those specific frames attached to certain people…
We say “he is a lover of English thrill movies,” “she never forgets to wear anklet,” or “regardless of the weather you will find him exercising.”
You can call them “personalities” or “thinking patterns.”
But the question is, what shaped those patterns?
Why is someone like the way they are?
What made them what they are?
How do those specific thinking patterns and personalities develop?
There can be many factors involved.
For instance, the heredity, family background, nature of people with whom we interact, or culture.
All these shape our thinking patterns.
And combined with our cognitive biases, they give rise to what we call the “Personality.”
Hence, anyone’s perception in our mind is…
The product of their biases and thinking patterns shaped by external factors.
Now the question is, “How much of you are actually and “you” and not your biases or thinking patterns?”
Well, there isn’t a specific scale to measure it, but we can have an idea.
The less mindful you are of your thoughts, the less you are actually “you.”
This means if you are not mindful…
You will be only your biases and nothing beyond.
If a thought hits you, “I am not good enough”…
And you don’t realize that it’s only a thought and nothing more…
Then you will be under its influence and hence really feel that you are not good enough.
But if you are somewhat mindful of yourself…
And if you can see your thoughts from a distance, then it’s somehow “you” and not your mind.
In that case, you hit a thought, “I’m not good enough.”
You will try to see it from a distance and feel, “I am having this thought.”
And at the end, you will say, “Ok, I get it.”
You call it consciousness, self-awareness, or mindfulness…
This is what sets you apart from the animalistic biases and makes you more of “you” and less of your “mind”
Knowing this can help…
- If someone is angry and saying bad words to you…knowing this will enable you to see him from a distance and say “He is just under the influence of his biases, emotions or mind. He will be Ok after a while”. This way, it will be easier for you to endure his anger or bad behavior.
- When you are mindful of your thoughts, you will have more control of yourself and your actions.
- You won’t easily be influenced by your emotions and will be able to see things rationally.
So Ask yourself…
Is it you or your biases? And find where you stand. Then act.