Most people live following patterns. Is that good or bad? Depends on each particular pattern.
There are a host of agencies, public and private, that study the patterns of people for both manipulation and for money. Are you being manipulated? Could be. But patterns are not always bad for you. Let's examine some things about patterns.
1. Reactive patterns. These are those things you follow because "the crowd follows them", or they are patterns "seen on television." If you follow them without examining them in light of the truth of what they are, and for what and how they can affect you, then those patterns can be poison to you, or good for you. Examine them carefully for the truth of how and what they contributefully use for a good life before making them part of your life.
2. Everybody does it. So what? The crowd can be wrong, and may be wrong too often. Sellers love the behavior of crowds. If the crowd consumes alcoholic beverages everyday then the sellers will be promoting those products often. If you then follow the crowd you could one day find yourself dealing with alcoholism. It pays to ascertain what crowd behaviors can do to you, as well as for you. And remember that anyone in the crowd or group that rejects you for being different has a problem, and not you. Make sure it is good for you, that it enhances your well being, that it is indeed a good practice before making it a part of your life.
3. But my job. Companies must have patterns that encourage development, manufacture, and sale of products which are the same quality. Companies have patterns for also maintaining team work. Those are good and needed. Yet you can follow them and be different by performing better, by improving what is being done to produce those products, by then being a sponsor beyond the daily grind. One can make their pattern of following better than average. And be sure that you will be rewarded.
4. Church. Churches have patterns for worship services, for example. Are they the best? For the Christian the best pattern is that found in the New Testament where Christianity began through the direction of Christ. In comparison the patterns set by men can be good or bad. Check them out using that original manual for Christianity and then setting your own behavior.
5. Family. Families too often gravitate into behavior patterns that fail one or more members of the family. Family behaviors need to be reviewed regularly and adjusted where needed. A general rule that is good to follow is: do not let anything separate or divide the family. That includes jobs, school, and social activities. Although individual family members may be separated for some task or activity at times, make sure the family learns what went on, and what could be better, through family discussions. Dining together can be a good time to review the day. Remember that the family is the one unit where loyalty, unity, support, and safety should be found. The family is also a comfortable place to find and make corrections in self. Making family patterns comfortable, contributing to each other, and supportive of each other, can be rewarding for the adults and for children now and when they are grown.
6.Social activities. Humans are social. Can that socializing get out of hand? Sure it can. They can become too often for it seems everyone has some social activity for one to indulge in. Each event can also be too long. Each event can also be too intense and in a narrow focus. Professionally societies are ordinarily constructive and instructive for ones career and it is desirable to attend their meetings. A danger with school activities for children is that they can become a burden for the child and the parents and may not give anything worth the time and effort. Social Clubs are just that, and may be good for people who are lonely, but for others they are a take it or leave it kind of affairs. And it is easy to succumb to theses events, a pattern develop that is hard to break, and until they take one's life up. Judicious choices should be made, sometimes guided by what real things to they offer you.
Patterns do govern our life daily, weekly and monthly. Many are good and should be kept up. But others are a waste of time, and may distort one's life with adverse effects. Thus one needs to evaluate each pattern, determine its worth, and then rid oneself of some, and possibly change others into something useful. Be aware and choose wisely, for it is your life.