You don't see that you're not living your own life because it seems to be acceptable. It's how everyone else around you lives, after all. You don't notice you're being swept along by a tide until you look out and see you're further down the beach than you realized. Some of us never do. We may even think of ourselves as curious, independent thinkers. We choose new hobbies, consider new ideas, try new styles. But when we aggregate those interests on a pie chart, we are all probably circling around the same things at the same time. We wear the brands everyone else is wearing, the same scents. We adopt a similar lifestyle as the people in our city. We travel to the vacation destinations we see on our friend's Stories. Read the books that rise to the bestseller list. Even our political affiliation and belief system are influenced by where we live and who we're surrounded by. We believe these are our independent decisions. But if we traced their origins, we'd likely find they're a result of the stimulus around us.