Everyone loves to say “just be yourself, life is easier that way!” Or “Stay true to you. Don’t change for anyone!”. While those are fantastic notions for plays and poetry, they’re words for mere entertainment.
The truth is, there are certain principles that govern reality and our society. There is a strong correlation between success and how much you’re accepted by a given society. It’s consistent in societies around the world. To put it in extreme terms, imagine going back in time and deciding to practice witchcraft. How would your image effect your life in early America? Well, you better hope you practice enough witchcraft to put out the flames when they attempt to burn you at the stake.
This is obviously an extreme case, but it’s important to understand that not everyone accepts or understands certain behavior. Flaunting or putting it in people’s faces and telling them they’re wrong for not accepting it isn’t effective behavior. If you’re gay and you go around announcing it and someone beats you up, it’s easy to say that they’re savages, but at the same time, being gay, you know there are a lot of ignorant, savage people out there. In order to protect yourself, be careful where you open up about certain ideals or values.
Dressing a certain way, tattoo’s, etc all give people the tools they need to draw different conclusions about you. Going to a job interview with a Mohawk and being mad that you didn’t get the job is pretty embarrassing considering that now you are subject to a lot of interpretation by them.
Being Effective beats being who you want to be
Basketball, baseball and football all have very similar tools for success. In football, there is an established way to throw a spiral effectively. There may have been different theories in the past, but over time, the most effective technique triumphed.
Football players will learn to throw spirals using variations of this method or technique (depending on individual hand size). No one comes to play football and decides to throw the football however they want. Technically they can, but in reality, there is an effective method out there already and if they want to be the best at what they do, they’ll have to adopt that method.
A real world example is when people think they shouldn’t be judged for being overweight and that they’re proud of it. That’s fantastic that they’re fat and proud, but it doesn’t change the effects of being fat. The world will still treat them accordingly. You can protest and complain for your rights, but the real answer is just adapting and losing weight.
A lot of people fail to adapt because they don’t know how or don’t think they should. Asking ourselves honest questions and reflecting on our problems is the best place to start. If you ask yourself “what can I do to address this? What am I doing wrong? What can I change?” Always start with yourself. It’s easy to point fingers, but we can’t change others. We can only change ourselves.
The moral of this story is that people need to learn how to play the game the way it was meant to most effectively be played, not the way they feel like playing it. Agin, my disclaimer is that they can, but they won’t get the best results.