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Free to Be Me

It takes commitment and courage to be yourself in the face of the coercion of  conformity. Not looking like everyone else or at least looking the same with minor alterations is fearful for many. As I walk through the halls of academia or the corridors of business it is weird to see how uniform we have all become. When I encounter someone who is showing an individuality it is so rare as to be noticed. Where are all the characters? They can’t have all moved to San Francisco.

Have we become so obedient to orthodoxy that we have stopped expressing ourselves as ourselves? If we can our costumes are all the same how can we have our own values, ideas, actions? The bandwagon towards a homogeneous mass seems to roll along picking up willing riders. The parade gets started and people jump in the queue  without really knowing where it is going. Once in the line, dissent becomes difficult or impossible. ( see what happens to people who challenge a speaking point at a Trump rally. or a Clinton rally, or any ideological institution).

Conformity has become madness with a pathology towards predictability and standardization. We hear a ” be a team player” but understand do like we are doing. The pressure is extreme. All the media outlets (especially TV) preach the right way to dance, sing, act, play, dress, by creating and recreating caricatures for us to emulate. Our friends lean with the mass and we feel alone. It takes commitment and courage to be yourself in the face of the coercion of  conformity. Are you courageous enough to commit not to conform, just one time, today?

unique

Make Today Remarkably Unconventional,

B

 

 

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Do You Love It?

Are you accurately representing who you are to the world around you? Is what you say and write true to your values? Do you love what you are saying?

There seems to be so much pressure to conform. Pressure to be something that you are not – not radically different (at first) but tilted slightly away from your core. Being, thinking or acting differently should be an advantage but in many arenas, individualism is becoming a disadvantage.

I blame (tongue firmly in cheek) American Idol etal. No matter how amazing an individual talent is, if it doesn’t fit the narrow band of judgement (read conformity) you don’t move on. Eventually, it all sounds like minor variations on the same theme.

Television has mastered conformity. Law and Order, NCIS, Chicago Any Emergency and the similarity between all the reality programs leads to echo thinking and deadens creativity. That is likely why the formula of ‘popular’ culture makes money is that it feeds on the pressure to be the same.

You have a remarkable, ingenious, amazing gift waiting to be set free but it is trapped behind the facade of agree-ability; how well can you be seen to agree with the norm. If you don’t love what you are saying, say something else. If you don’t love who you are seen  to be, be someone else. Let your gift shine for you and keep it shining in the face of any resistance (external or internal). By loving what you are saying, you get to love who you are becoming.

Make Today the Remarkable You Day,

B

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Persuasion

Robert Cialdini is world-renowned by his book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” (1984), which I continue to re-read. In this book, Cialdini exposes his 6 principles of persuasion or influence.

1. The Principe of Reciprocity – this borders on The Golden Rule where you get back what you lay down. Honesty begets honesty. Rudeness returns rudeness. Intimacy allows intimacy.

2. The Principle of Scarcity  – The heart wants what the heart wants especially if it shouldn’t/couldn’t wouldn’t have it. It explains “on sale, today only”, “by invitation only” “One hour left”

3. The Principle of Authority – in the west we associate knowledge with hierarchy.  Celebrities are big influencers when they talk about political ideas or products, even if they are not experts on the topics they talk about.

4. The Principle of Commitment and Consistency – We continue to do those things that we did before, even if we didn’t rally ruminate on the action in the first place. We agree with things that we have public ally supported. We are interested in those things that confirm our biases.

5. The Principle of Social Proof – for most people in Europe and North America, we tend to accept or embrace the majority position of our tribe. We are more like those around us than people who we disagree with.

6. The Principle of Liking – Our discernment is reduced when faced with a person, idea or business that is surrounded by the aura of someone who has characteristics that we already appreciate.(Think -Koolaid, Google, pretty endorsers)

Make Today Remarkable, by exercising some persuasion,

B