May 16, 2022
Do you remember the very first time someone asked you what you wanted to be in life? What was your first initial answer? Do you think your choices have changed with time? Do you still want to be the same person you wanted to be?
I remember the first time my teacher asked me what I wanted to be in life. I was only 8 years old and had no knowledge about the world or the word I was about to say. I stood up and said “I want to be an IIT engineer”, not knowing that ‘IIT engineer’ is not exactly a profession. Why did I say this? My cousin sister studied from Indian Institution of Technology (IIT) Kanpur, India. I looked up to her for years. However, as an eight-year-old I had no knowledge of what it meant to be an engineer or a scientist or a doctor. Looking back at this now it makes me curious as to why did I think that social conformity is important as an eight-year-old.
Concept of conformity
First, what is social conformity? The concept of conformity means, when an individual alters their behavior, thoughts, beliefs, actions and perception to fit into a desired group or into society. In the year 1932, a psychologist names Jenness studied and conducted an experiment on conformity. He is the first psychologist to ever do so. For years the subject of conformity has interested psychologist.
Realization and Mantra
Now, here come the real questions. Do you think fitting into an “ideal” group or into “society” is going to lead to absolute acceptance from the society’s point of view? Will it ever stop people from judging you? Is fitting in going to make you happy? No! I don’t think that this is a heathy practice for any individual. Take it from a person who has tried to fit in all their life.
The day I realized that me trying to fit in was a destructive lifestyle choice I came up with this one little Mantra. And it is the ‘SNG Mantra’.
S stands for ‘Smile’.
N stands for ‘Nod’.
G stands for ‘Goodbye’.
Application of the Mantra
Follow the following steps and you shall be ‘conformity’ free!
Step 1: When someone in your life tries to tell you that your dreams are too big, of you need to look a certain way to please others, or you need to be bound by certain rules of the society, acknowledge the situation.
Step 2: Apply the first segment of the Mantra. ‘Smile’ at them.
Step 3: Apply the second segment of the Mantra. ‘Nod’ while you smile at them.
Step 4: Apply the third and final segment of the Mantra. Say ‘Goodbye’ and leave vicinity. (*Elvis has left the building)
Add humor to your life and you will lead a simple life with less complication. The SNG Mantra helped me achieve non-conformity in life. I no longer want to be bound by the idea that my dreams are too big for this life time. I life a simpler lifestyle now and I am happy.