Are we mentally programmed?

Are we mentally programmed?

Programmed mind
Programmed mind

We live in a world where there are thousands and millions who think alike. Human brain is the most sophisticated brains of all the living beings that has set foot on mother earth. We are smarter and sharper than all other species but the question is, Are we programmed mentally?

We see what we are shown, we speak what we are told. We have been trained since our childhood days to perceive things the way they are for others, not according to oneself. Who knows that the Red colour I see is the same as your Red? It may look different to different eyes but all are programmed to call that particular instance of the vibrant colour as RED.

Our minds are so programmed by our education, experiences and even daily activities; we fail to realise that we stay with the crowd, think with the crowd, move with the crowd and also make decisions as the crowd. The most exceptional people do not fall into this trap and make a mark by observing things differently.


Let us see this very simple instance to prove the fact:

A professor went to a classroom full of the brightest minds who had recently cracked the Engineering exam that year. He wanted to check the thinking of these young people who would be the future of the country soon. To make them realise the fact: they all think alike and they all can be programmed easily, he conducted a small interactive experiment in the class.

“Good morning young aspiring engineers. Welcome to your first lecture. But before we start, I would like to know how quick you are at responding to questions. Can you tell me, what the 12 months of the year.”

The students were stunned, looking at the professor thinking they had paid the college fees to learn engineering, but the first ever class of the semester and they are being asked a stupid question that even a toddler could have answered.

“What happened? You guys don’t even know the months of the year? How come I didn’t have an answer will now?”

The students then out of courtesy, recited in chorus:

“January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December”

While the students started laughing as they felt the kindergarten experience of reciting a poem, the professor was smiling back at them.

“Why did we all start from January only and end at December?” asked the professor.

“I just asked the 12 months of the year. How come all of you said in the exact same way ?”

The students were confused to hear the crazy words from the professor’s mouth.

“I don’t like January. Lets start with let’s say June. Let me hear the months now starting with June”.

Still being in the confused state the students started reciting again but this time from June as the professor demanded:

“June, July, August, September, October, November, December, January, February, March, April, May”.

“Beautiful” said the professor. “I liked it. But again how come all of you could say the exact same way? All of you told the exact answer.”.

The professor started smiling while scratching his forehead.


“I just asked for the months of the year. And all of you gave the long answer in the exact same way like others. Wait a second. I don’t think I told you to give me the answer in a sequence of what month comes after the other. Why did you assume that you have to answer in the same format?”

The students started understand what the professor tried to put up on the board with this simple example.

“Our education always taught us to think and say the names of the months in the exact same order as you people did. Our mind has been programmed to do all the things in the same way. There is no uniqueness in an individual left then. How can we do wonders if all of us think the same thing and the same way. We definitely need to have a shared vision but the thinking should be slightly different from others. If in a team you have all the members who think the same way, you rather work alone.”

“It is so easy to program a human mind though it is the most brightest of all the species and you young fellows are the brightest among the human species. If you people have understood this simple fact and can change yourself then you can make wonders happen, else will wonder what happened!”

Everyone started laughing and understood what the professor portrayed with this simple example.

The professor then thinking to take this to a different level said, “Now that you have understood what I tried to explain out of this example, lets just quickly answer this question as well.”

“Tell me the numbers from 1 to 10.”

Being smart and having learnt the lesson, the students started shouting the answer in all random order and the classroom became a chaos.

“4, 7, 9, 2, 5…”

“2, 8, 6, 1, 9, 7, 3…”

“7, 6, 4, 9, 2, 1…”

A short pause came into the room after all completed saying their own sequence of the numbers and then everyone started laughing and feeling good that they could relate to the previous question, learnt the lesson on the fly and also implemented it so soon correctly.

But the professor this time again smile back at them and said in a clear loud voice, “All of you are wrong.”

A sudden setback came onto the students as they expected a ‘Congratulations’ or a ‘Well Done’ from the professor but instead were told being wrong.

“What’s wrong in this sir? We all gave the right answer just as you expected.”

shouted one of the students in the back benches.

“Did you?”, asked the professor. “I expected some other answer and you my friend were programmed by me a couple of minutes earlier and missed out the basic keyword in question.”

“I asked you to tell me the numbers From 1 to 10. But you being pre-programmed understood the question to be numbers Between 1 to 10.

Smiling back at the students and looking at them eagerly, he said, “The answer was a simple 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10”.

“Why? Why did you again all fall in the same trap?”.

“I programmed you just now, and without even realising, you fell into the trap and understood that things are not meant to be in sequence always. But my friend, understand the question first!”

The students then realised what was being taught to them.

“You engineers need to create softwares, architecture, design, create programs, not be programmed as just what happened today.”

Out minds are easily programmable without us knowing.

We need to counter that and keep our senses on. We have our own unique qualities that should not fade away with the daily repetitive habits we have as a part and parcel of life.

Go ahead, be different. Show what you can think and do not fall in the trap !

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