Opening Act: Scene 1
The day begins. There are numerous decisions to make, people to please, work with, persuade, negotiate with. There are many roles to play: mother/father, manager, peer, sub-ordinate, friend, son/daughter, partner, patient. There are also a multitude of goals to achieve: financial, social, spiritual, physical, professional, work, personal. It’s all in a day’s work and all pretty serious. Or is it? Let’s not forget that we’ll do it all again tomorrow.
The bigger Picture
Using our presence of mind, or some might say losing it, we may be able to lift ourselves out of the trees and get the bird’s eye view. What if we allowed ourselves a brief indulgence in make-believe and saw ourselves as actors playing this part according to a ficticious script? Then, we might see things differently. All the politics, promotions, possessions, social circles and so many other details that we had unconsciously slipped into identifying ourselves with may not be so important in the bigger scheme of things after all. It might even be quite an entertaining drama from the observer’s perspective.
What Really matters?
Numerous opportunities have been created for us to be who we choose to be during the course of each day, within the personality that we play in the drama of life. So when we’re grinding our teeth to a pulp trying to make things go our way, it might help to consider that this is just a play about who we are being as opposed to what the outcome is. Are we playing the victim or the criminal, the freedom-fighter or the oppressor, the sadist or the masochist, the pleaser or the pleasure-seeker, the labourer or the capitalist, the leader or the follower? At a deeper level, these antonyms are on the same piece of string – tackling opposite ends of the power theme of the play are the oppressor and the oppressed. You cannot have one without the other. Yin and Yang. You can have them at varying degrees of strength, though- some subtle, other more obvious. It’s pain that awakens us to change, unless we realize it sooner.
We can play many different roles in the great plethora of situations that are created for us each day – numerous sets and props and scripts to choose from. What will you choose in each instance? What drives you? What energises you into motion? What is your cue?
When life’s not working
If you don’t recognize your cue, if you’re feeling drained of energy instead, then ask yourself one key question: am I playing the role that is truly me? Am I being the person that I choose to be or am I too busy doing? What are the themes of the drama that is my life? If I am driven by leading others, where in my life can I change from being a follower to a leader? How can I better present these themes in the world so I may come alive in the experience of this drama? How can I make it an adventure for myself and for those with whom I interact?
Changing the script one minor influence at a time
So why not try to change the world using the only leverage we may have: who we wish to be each moment of every day, rubbing off on all we come into contact with. We have the power to change the world by changing our own attitudes. Like an artist, let’s paint the colours that we wish to experience in our lives. Let’s choose to live life vibrantly, settling for anything less is criminal for it means that we have suffocated that greatness that lies latent within us.
The final curtain
Having trouble figuring out who to be? Then follow this simple exercise:
Imagine your final stage in life. Who and what would you like to be surrounded by? How would you like to be known? What impression would you like to leave on this planet? Is that picture quite different to the one that you’re living now? If so, how can you re-design your life toward that final scene and start living it as soon as you wish?
By Rakhee Nathoo
Executive and Personal Coach