Dear Young People: Choose Your Culture Wisely

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Did you know a person’s culture is 95% percent attributable to whether a person achieves success or not?

According to the LiveScience website, culture is defined as, “the characteristics and knowledge of a particular group of people, encompassing language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music, and arts. … Thus, it can be seen as the growth of a group identity fostered by social patterns unique to the group”.

Now, for most of us, we may think of culture as the ways and customs of a certain group of people and that is an accurate definition.


I’d like to define culture as the appropriate customs and ways of conducting behavior in an environment.

Let’s imagine ourselves walking into one of the four major U.S Banking institutions to open a basic checking account. Typically, you will reserve your spot either by signing in digitally or on a clipboard paper sign-in sheet. As you wait to be served, perhaps the banker is assisting other clients or is wrapping up some back end paperwork for a person you just passed on the way in.

Finally, the banker approaches you, greets you, and asks you how may he serve you today? The final question is usually just as a way to get a grasp of a glimpse of your personality. Bankers have been in the business for years and they can generally sense and detect why a person is paying them a visit.

How might they do this? In most cases, the natural inclination of human beings is to observe and judge artificial, superficial, and exterior appearances of other humans.

For instance, if they observe you wearing a fine tailored suit with some nice dress slacks you are going lead them to the inclination that you may be seeking to do more than just open a basic checking account.

Perhaps, they may believe you are an executive or business person as the typical attire of a professional business person is to dress formally.

As so, a business executive may be tailored to or treated far differently than the average person dressed in a t-shirt and blue jeans coming in to file chapter seven bankruptcy.

The point being made here is this; There’s a culture to banking, A culture to neighborhoods, and culture to business. Every place, neighborhood, business, and/or establishment has a culture subscribed to it.

Think about the quietest neighborhood in town or how friendly and caring the team members are at the local Chick-Fil-A. Such occurrences are not accidental and I firmly believe these are all wonderful examples of how culture plays a huge part in our daily lives.

The interesting aspect of culture is that it does not change for an individual but is conformed to by the group.

Imagine trying to enter into Wells Fargo and demand they change their banking policies and business practices to suit your personal motives or agenda. I guarantee you will be politely affirmed otherwise.

Now, that’s not to say Wells Fargo, the banking institution will never change their corporate policies for x,y,z. However, those changes will be made by a larger group ie; CEO, board members, and shareholders. All of whom are influencers of the company’s culture.

In a broader scope, this same concept is fundamentally synonymous with everyday life and can be applied as such.

Just as Chick-Fil-a is responsible for harboring its own company culture. So do you as an individual get to choose and set your own individual culture. Anybody who comes into your life either has to subscribe to the culture you have set or be informed that unfortunately in your life you will only tolerate x,y,z.

Moreover, it’s important to choose a culture that is congruent with prosperity.

There are millions if not billions of cultures in the entire world. In fact, most of us are inherently linked to culture via the origins of our own ethnicity or environment we were raised in.

Still, just because we are inherently linked to a particular culture does not mean we have to continue to subscribe to its ways.

Perhaps you grew up in an environment that was prone to crime and abundant in poverty. In the said case, the culture that you may have adopted might’ve been one congruent with being financially irresponsible.

During my first year of college, I moved out of my parent's house and into an apartment close to downtown Houston. In this new environment, things were quite different from where I was raised and I felt an intrinsic desire to want to fit in with everyone else.

In this new environment, though I could contrast a number of aspects in regards to growing up in the suburbs and now living in an urban neighborhood. I will not digress.

Most importantly, I observed seeing people smoking cigarettes, drinking beers, and rolling up cigar joints although the day in my apartment complex.

As so, my behaviors began to be affected by the cultural surroundings and I began smoking shortly after moving in. Mind you, I had never smoked a day in my life previously.

These new changes in my environment indefinitely shaped my individual culture and consequently as I embraced this new culture of my environment. I also embraced a culture that did not value time, health, nor money.

As I’ve matriculated, I’ve grown wiser and my individual culture has shifted from being careless/frivolous about my finances, life, and health to now being conscious of the decisions I make in those regards.

I no longer hang out with individuals who smoke or drink. I am no longer addicted to nicotine and most importantly I am no longer wasting my life away.

Follow The Breadcrumbs

The key to choosing a culture in terms of prosperity is to follow what already works.

If you see a group of people doing well, are wealthy, and successful just mimic their culture. Observe how they conduct their lives throughout the day and contrast it against your own culture.

You will certainly find vast discrepancies in how a wealthy person spends their day versus a lesser fortunate person.

This is not to say other factors aren’t attributable to a person either being wealthy or impoverished. However, the culture you choose to adopt in your life can be a difference in being a productive member of society or a weight that society must try to hold up.

The scope of my existence is only to help young adults learn to live a purposeful and fulfilled life.