I planned this last night all by myself.
The saying when you are being taken advantage of without you really knowing it is, ‘You’re being played.’ It means someone is manipulating you to achieve an end of their own. They make it seem like it is in your best interest, maybe even that it was your idea. But unbeknownst to you, the real goal doesn’t take you into consideration. You will be left behind when you are no longer needed. You might even be damaged or hurt. That’s being played.
If you don’t know what you want in life, if you don’t make some effort to go in that direction, you are going to find yourself being a chess piece in someone else’s plan for their own life.
An example: The daughter who is ‘forced’ by her parents to get a law degree when what she sort of liked was art. But she didn’t know herself very well, didn’t think her ideas of what she wanted to do were valid or useful (because her parents said so) and so she bowed to the pressure and got her law degree. She grew old resenting her brother for having the courage to withstand the parental pressure and become a salesman instead of the doctor they wanted him to be. She blamed her parents, her school, America, capitalism, and her gender. But she never realized the real reason was she didn’t know herself, didn’t trust herself enough to say, ‘this is who I am and this is what I want to be.’ She was afraid, and maybe lazy. She was afraid of not living luxuriously. She was worried about putting out so much effort to achieve her dream. She was tired just thinking about it. And so she ended up living the life her parents wanted her to live, for their reasons, not hers. She was a bitter and angry woman later in life, never knowing it was her decisions that made her like that, no one else.
Naked to the World
Why are the people in this drawing naked? Because others can see through us. They can see when we are being who we want to be, who we plan to be. And they can see us when we are hollow shells, waiting to be filled by someone else’s idea of a life. I would rather be courageous and say ‘This is my plan.” and be seen in all my planned glory than to be a coward and live someone else’s ideas and life and STILL be seen naked to the world. Because, if I am seen naked as me, then the criticisms and compliments are things I can actually listen to. I can evaluate them knowing they are at least based on something real.
If I am a lie, then criticisms and compliments aren’t ever about me. I am not connected to them, I can’t be helped or encouraged by them. It’s as if they are talking to or about someone else. And they are.
What is your plan for your life?
Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman
Quote is an American Proverb
Don’t forget, I am in need of votes at the 2014 SXSW PanelPicker site. I have a workshop proposal called ‘The Compelling Image in the Age of Social Media’ that I would love to present in Austin next March. Part of the decision making process (30%) is having SXSW members vote for the proposals they would like to attend. You do have to register, but it’s painless and if you are involved in Social Media and interactive online world in any capacity the conference would be worth finding more about.
Please vote here —–> SXSW PanelPicker and then amplify the proposal across your social media world if you are able!
Thank you very much, M