The Way of Adventure
An Unconventional Online Course for Young People


As you saw in the last video, when you mindlessly accept a belief given to you by your parents, friends, or society, that belief is called an introject. The process is called “introjecting.”

Here’s a longer explanation:

While everyone learns from the external world and takes on elements of other people’s beliefs and ideas, introjection occurs with minimal thought. A woman who adopts her friends’ views, after they have been carefully explained and considered, is not introjecting, but a child who reflexively adopts a parent’s views without thought can be said to be introjecting.

Introjections involve attitudes, behaviors, emotions, and perceptions that are usually obtained from influential or authoritative people in one’s life. They are neither digested nor analyzed; they are simply adopted as a part of one’s personality as concepts that one considers should be believed or behaviors that one thinks ought to be followed.

I don’t mean to bombard you with psychology terminology here, but it’s for a good cause: If you never examine your introjects, you’ll never lead a life of adventure.

Why? Because the default path in life is to pursue safety and comfort and approval. To obtain the degree, the job, the car, the house, the spouse. Not to put yourself in uncomfortable situations that lead to growth (and oftentimes, criticism). Not to actively design your life, but to accept the one that you’re given.

Unless you were raised by completely radical parents in a magically freethinking community shut off from society at large, you have been conditioned toward the default path.

Even if your parents were highly countercultural, the ideas that they shared with you were introjects in themselves. Maybe you do genuinely want to get rich (and help the world through philanthropy or modeling ethical business practices) but your parents taught you that money is evil and you should live like Gandhi.

None of us is immune. We all have introjects. So let’s put them on the table.

In this Google Form, share three introjects that have shaped your life: one that you got from from your family, one from your friends/community, and one from society.

Here are everyone else’s responses.