How Your Culture Shaped Your Mindset

Culture is for humans what soil is for plants: it sets the environment in which we grow. We don’t really exist outside of culture. Because we’re social being, we always exist and evolve in the context of a culture (even sometimes cultures and subcultures). It’s only when we visit another country (with a different culture) that we realize how much our minds have been shaped by our environment. We take a lot of things for granted, and being planted in another culture exposes some of our biases. Culture nurtures us, and often we’re not even aware of it.

As you grew up, you “consumed” your culture, and it shaped you. More specifically, it shaped your mind.

You simply have to think about going through the school system. Teachers taught various topics to you and, at the same time, communicated—sometimes unknowingly—certain values and beliefs commonly accepted in your culture. These have contributed to shaping your mindset.

Likewise, television, radio, newspapers, magazines, the web, and other forms of media as well as music, arts, literature, and other vehicles of culture have contributed to your conditioning. Culture explains—at least partially—why certain jokes provoke hysterical laughter in one part of the world and an absolute outrage in another part of the world.

This to say that your culture played an important role in shaping your mindsets.

Each culture adopts behaviors, beliefs, norms, values, forms of expression, customs, and traditions that make it somewhat unique. Individuals in your culture share certain strong beliefs that no one questions, lest they are ostracized from the group. Growing up, these beliefs were inculcated to you, and they influence the way you conduct your life today. This is subtle but real.

For instance, if you grow up in a country where corruption prevails (perhaps a poor country), you may be led to believe that the world is a harsh place where you must fight others to get what you want in life. Unless you consciously decide to change your way of thinking, this scarcity mindset can continue to rule your life for a very long time.

All cultures promote certain mindsets. Some cultures promote an entrepreneurial and industrious spirit; some, despite harsh conditions, promote a sense of worth and dignity; others push their people to strive for excellence. These mindsets inevitably seep into the fibers of the people. Because everyone is different, reacts to their culture in a different way. However, people from the same part of the world usually share commonalities (e.g. they share manners, mindsets, and understanding of the world).

As a side note, although certain beliefs and mindsets are more prevalent in some cultures than others, no culture is perfect. And in every culture, there are people who adopt disempowering mindsets and others who liberate themselves from them and rise up above the crowd.

Ultimately—and this is the point of this book—you can decide the mindsets you adopt and cultivate in your life. Understanding the role your culture played in shaping your mindsets will help you on this journey.

About The Author

Vladimir Elie

I help people learn and apply success principles and strategies so that they can get the results they want in life.