Every point we make in this chapter should be interpreted and qualified by every point we have made in the chapters that preceded it, especially the chapter on the design of your life. To become an effective decision-maker requires that you gain insight into your life as a whole, for the most basic patterns of thought and behavior in your life represent the most basic decisions you have made. They have continual implications for the quality of your life. You need to reflect on those patterns, analyze and assess them, if you are to make the most important decisions in your life. For example, if you assume that the most basic patterns of your life are not in need of assessment, then any mistakes implicit in those lived patterns continue to generate negative implications and consequences.
Here is a key global question. "To what extent have I questioned, or failed to question, my social conditioning?"
This question includes the sub-questions, "To what extent have I simply accepted the religion I was raised to believe, the politics I was raised to believe, the philosophy I was raised to believe, the values I was raised to believe, and the lifestyle I was raised to believe?" Of course, it is important to recognize that questioning how we have been influenced does not entail that we uncritically reject those influences. It simply means that we cease to assume that they are universally positive or necessarily represent the best choices we could make.