The Transformational Conversation: Consumerism as Religious Conformity

Transformation Change The Transformational Conversation: Consumerism as Religious Conformity

What is Religious Conformity?  Religious conformity is a term that describes the decisions to do what is religiously expected in one’s culture, to accept beliefs that your parents and your culture have taught you to believe from the very beginning.

A high school student who follows the religion of his childhood might be presumed by an outsider to simply be conforming.   And it would be understandable when others react with concern and suspicion when one of their own do not accept their same behavioral norms or gasp; begin to convert to another religion!

Religious Awakening and Conversion

What causes someone to have a moment of clarity where they wake up one day and their belief system has been fundamentally altered?

In religious conversion, people convert to a different religion for various reasons such as converting to appease a spouse or life partner or the conversion could be by free choice due to dramatic events that shake your belief system to their very core. This is what happened to me!

Being “Born Again”

Many Christians believe you can’t truly be saved unless you become born again.  In a way, through the financial hardships and difficulty my family and I endured, was born a clarity that would provide me peace of mind and through a journey towards financial liberation.

There was, and is, no technique behind this transformation; rather an inside-out understanding and realization of what I wanted my life to be.

The Psychology of Change

In order to succeed in effecting change in your life, you need to tap into the power of the mind and experiences – both good and bad. And much of that power resides in understanding and connecting with your feelings, emotions, and cognitive biases.

A cognitive bias is a genuine deficiency or limitation in our thinking — a flaw in judgment that arises from lack of knowledge, social attribution, and miscalculations or bad decision making… and we all suffer from it!

Blogging For Change

It’s been a little over a year since I started this blog and through that journey of arriving to the point where I started to make the financial pivot, I realized that every person in the world should be engaged in the transformative conversation of how the Psychology of Consumerism affects our every waking moment.

How by having that transformative conversation can lead you to understand there is an art to frugal and worry free living.  That by constantly asking yourself this little question; “what’s the purpose?” you can begin the process of living your plan! (Do you even have one?)

The Liberated Consumer

Changing your behavior from an Amateur Consumer and transforming yourself into a Liberated Consumer informs your mental and physical well-being and allows you to live a more balanced and sustainable life.

I’m talking about a paradigm shift in your very foundation; turning every cognitive behavior we were taught by our parents, teachers, and society on its head!

Just Like You

Look; I’m not a psychologist, a personal life development coach, or some life guru.  I’m just a father of 2 beautiful children, a life partner to their mother, and someone who wants to share his transformation of previously living my life from the outside in… to living it from the inside out!

It took dramatic events in my life to help me reach that state of clarity and now I’m sharing that journey, just as I have over the past year with this blog, in hopes that it can help you do the same!

Changing Religions

Many people think that when someone changes they’re religion, somehow that person was brain-washed, right?  Especially if we disagree with what they have converted to!

Well transforming into a Liberated Consumer from an Amateur Consumer is the same and I’m speaking from actual experience.

Don’t believe me?

Next time someone compliments you on something you’re wearing, tell them like I do “Thanks, I bought it for $2 dollars at Goodwill” and watch their expression (happens to me all the time).  Hell, you might be judging me right now by just reading the words!

Apparently it’s OK to get a so called “good deal” at Macy’s, but not at the thrift shop?  Why is that?  I refer to this as the “stigmatizm of change”.

Transformational Conversation

I’m talking about having a transformational conversation that converts the very nature of the human experience.  Traveling a new path, one that doesn’t conform to the norm of society, is full of judgment from others because you’re no longer the person others think you to be.

Others will view you judgmentally in comparison with themselves; it’s human nature.  It’s also why there’s such a term as “keeping up with the Joneses.

Cognitive Dissonance

The “system”, as I refer to it, wants you to exist in a state of “consumerism conformity”.  But like changing religions, you need to be “born again”.  This term implies a decision to align yourself with a new or different behavioral lifestyle; a cognitive dissonance.

You see, as humans, people tend to seek consistency in their beliefs and perceptions. So what happens when one of our beliefs conflicts with another previously held belief? Cognitive dissonance!

This is the feeling of discomfort that results from holding two conflicting beliefs. And when these conflicting beliefs and behaviors collide, something must change in order to eliminate or reduce that dissonance.

This is the journey I have been on for the last several years!

Reducing The Dissonance

Making sure the mindset is right from the outset is the key to building a happy and sustainable life to avoid having beliefs and behaviors collide.  This is why I believe teaching kids only Financial Literacy as teens or young adults is failing miserably!

One of the greatest things I did this last school year was go into my daughter’s second grade class and teach them about the Psychology of Consumerism and Critical Decision Making Skills.

I started this transformative conversation by using Nancy Phillips’ Financial Literacy Products for Children “The Zela Wela Kids Learn About Needs and Wants” and creating a lesson plan for it. If you think second graders are too young to teach this, watch this 5 minute clip of the lesson plan I used and how I defined Financial Life Building Skills:

Living My Life From The Inside Out  

I’ve been feeling this way about how I am currently living my life since I’ve been blogging and it wasn’t until I heard golfer Gary Player mention the term  ‘living life from the inside-out’ in a recent interview on ESPN that it clicked for me.

As always, when reading or hearing something that resonates with me, I researched it and to my surprise, found the book “The Inside Out Revolution” written by Michael Neill and knew I had to read it.

I’m less than halfway through the book but felt compelled to write this post and share what I have learned thus far.

Are you ready for the Transformative Conversation?  Please share your thoughts below and as always, please don’t keep this post a secret by sharing it with your friends using the social share buttons above icon smile The Transformational Conversation: Consumerism as Religious Conformity



Comments

  1. Nancy says:

    Agreed Lou, living from the inside out is so important. When you ask a person what they want, what their goals are, most will answer with external, material items. But when you keep asking why they want it, and go down three or four levels, the true desire ultimately comes out. Usually it’s something along the lines of personal and family happiness, love, the feeling of peace and contentment, and having a meaningful life. This is what allows us to choose to be happy in each moment, instead of “I’ll be happy when I have…” That list can be endless, life is not.

    • As always; an excellent and in-depth comment and without a doubt, life is not endless which is why it’s so important to begin the “Transformational Conversation” with our kids from the moment they can say “I want”!

      Thank you for your comment, all you do to advance that conversation with our kids through your Zela Wela Kids Series, and I look forward to seeing what new and innovative products and services you have coming out in the near future!

      Keep up the fantastic work! :)

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