Breaking Free From the Mold...
It's been a while since I made reference to The Matrix, so let's rectify that! Without going into a long-winded story about the above picture, here's the deal: taking the red pill represents choosing awareness, mindfulness, knowledge, freedom, and adversity; where as taking the blue pill means choosing falsehood, security, blissful ignorance, and conditioning. We're figuratively presented with this choice every day, even if we don't necessarily realize it.
Movie references aside, it's so, so important to recognize that we have power over our conditioning. We may have grown up being taught a certain way of doing, believing, and acting as "best", but that may not be the case whatsoever. We learned from patterns -- legitimately and largely borne out of success -- that have been handed down through generations. They may be referred to as, tried and true, and certainly could have had tremendous success in the past. It's so important to realize, however, that that success may not last down the line, or could be surpassed by the possibility of even greater success with some subtle.... changes... to the formula.
What I'm alluding to is choosing to break out of the mold, and recognize that we've grown up and become conditioned in ways that may not suit us best. If we're throwing around colloquialisms all willy-nilly-style, then how about, if you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got? So often, we simply take for granted how we're "supposed" to do something, or what belief we're "supposed" to have about a certain subject because it's the way things have always been.
The world is in a constant state of change -- it's inevitable, in fact. Growth, however, is optional. We can maintain the status quo, keep our blinders on, and play out our lives based on the stories and script we've had written for us. Or, we can choose to grow and assess -- becoming actively mindful and aware of the beliefs, thoughts, and actions we have, and how well (or not) they are serving us. I'm by no means suggesting we take to the streets and riot in protest of conditioning; rather, more of an introspective riot challenging ourselves to break out of old patterns, and look to new beliefs and options that could hold so much potential moving forward (plus, I hear that introspective rioters clean up after themselves and leave much less destruction than a typical riot...).
Old ways, beliefs, and patterns are not to be discarded wantonly. There are reasons behind their continued success, and justify being passed down throughout society. There is also merit in challenging them along the way, however; when times change, so must we. Growth, adaptation, evolution -- all vital concepts we can consider when exploring the way we've "always done things", and how we may be able to redirect our own paths in new and even more beneficial ways. Searching for your own personal "best" is always going to win out over society's version.