Culture is downstream of technology.
The objects you use in your daily life affect you profoundly. They do so in two big ways, which are often intertwined: perceptual and behavioral. Both program you to develop certain habits of thought and action.
If you’re surrounded by things which are scruffy, messy and shoddy, your thoughts and experiences begin to gravitate in a similar direction. When your room is disorganized, your thoughts and actions become disorganized. It’s a cliché, but one that should be remembered every day.
The most profound perceptual effect? Your physical environment shapes your self-image.
Your self-image is about the way you see yourself and about the things you attract in your life. The self-image is reflected in your self-talk and character traits you’re Aware of. But it also contains characteristics arising from the Shadow, which you often act out unconsciously and without question.
To shape your self-image deliberately, shape your environment deliberately. Choose your everyday objects with care.
This is a huge part of the Architecture of Character.
Everyday objects also affect you in how you interact with them. The more physical the interaction, the more profound the imprint. You know how many great pianists learnt to play the piano by reading books about it, right?
What you do repeatedly, you repeatedly do.
Objects you use every day position you to do things in a certain way, repeatedly and with less effort. The things that you own shape the habits that own you.
Use smaller plates for better potion control. Use pen and paper to commit things to memory. Use fewer things to have fewer distractions. The applications are endless.
To shape your character deliberately, to be the Architect of Yourself, you have to learn to See even further than those first-order effects. Develop an acute Awareness of how objects work outside of their intended purpose, beyond the label.
Well-tailored clothes don’t just reflect your self-respect – they make you acutely Aware of your physical shape, all the way to how you move as you walk down the street.
Clothes don’t just protect you from the elements and make you look good. They affect the way you shape your mind-body before it ever comes to leaving your underground shelter.
And then there are the social dynamics.