Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Who are You?

It occurred to me that there's a lot you can say about a person and her quality of life based on whether she considers herself the fill in the blanks  of her life wherein the fill in the blanks  could be any of the below 'designations' or perhaps even a combination of one or more of these. Most of these are metaphors from the world of cinema but if it is true that all the world is a stage, it is highly likely that most of these metaphors are relevant and will ring a bell when one thinks about life in general. 

a) CEO or
b) Director or
c) Playwright/Lyricist/Composer or
d) Lead Actor/Artist or
e) Supporting Actor/Singer or
f) Producer or
g) Spectator or 
h) Critic or
i) Mentor/Guide

Let me try and elaborate on what I mean by each of these. These are partly stereotypical but partly my personal interpretations of the 'designation'. It's not about whether these are 'true' or not but this is simply an individual's metaphorical perspective in terms of how each of us approach life - if at all we have a method amidst the madness. The idea is to introspect on how we go about life (what 'designation' we normally seem to adopt) and whether we are overdoing it as a - for example - Playwright or Producer and need to learn to switch to other 'designations' during various situations etc. I am conscious that I am, yet again, tending towards categorization or bucketing but it does help as long as one isn't totally ruled by it and allows it to only aid the initial understanding and, er, awakening. 

A CEO (imagine someone in a commercial/business scenario) is bound to exude confidence, pay a lot of attention to the big picture and is likely to think long-term. She is likely to be dominant and lead everything she engages herself in. She is likely to pursue success, fame, money, achievement but may not spend a lot of time understanding the intricacies and details. She'd rather delegate things and 'make use' of the others to get things done. She is a great decision-maker. She may understand people and human behavior really well but may not necessarily be people oriented or friendly. This person may also be considered the Director of Casting when it comes to dealing with people. Would you enjoy such an approach towards life?

In my perception, there is a thin line of difference between a CEO and a Director (imagine a movie director or a project director) even though they, at first, seem like similar, powerful, positions. A director is perhaps more project focused, more people oriented and skill oriented. He may come across as a creative and sensitive person. He may move on from one thing to another wherein the jumps are quite radical or at least 'unsimilar'. Arguably, a Director may either flow with the changing context and be quite flexible or extremely rigid and insist on having exactly what he started out with. He is independent and knows how to pull various threads of his life together into one frame (pun unintended). So...are you the Director (rather than the CEO) of your life?

A Playwright/Lyricist/Composer's approach to life may be utterly creative, observant, sensitive and focused on a particular situation. She may be the emotional types and very passionate (not unlike a CEO or a Director in terms of passion). She may be more 'theoretical' than practical in her approach and methods. She is also likely to be intellectual and thoughtful rather than action-oriented. She may be idealistic, lost in her own perception of the world and be 'detached' from reality and what's happening around her. If you are a 'Playwright' in life, you may have no doubts recognizing such an approach in yourself. 

A Lead Actor/Artist may be extremely talented/capable but may need to be nurtured and directed in order to exhibit and utilize his talent. He may be popular amongst his friends and family and generally enjoy a luxurious life as long as he has found the right mentor and a good support system. A lead actor may sometimes be capable enough of stepping into a 'Director's' shoes and think/act like her. He is likely to pay a lot of attention to the aesthetics of life and prefer a glamorous and flamboyant approach to it. A lead actor may have delusions of being a super human and being capable of everything in life. So, do you lead your life like a hero?  

A Supporting Actor/Singer as in life may be talented but is not concerned about aspects like dominance and being in the limelight. She may be content with little wins, accomplishments and learnings and be happy to support someone perceived to be 'bigger'. She may be very busy and hungry for work and yet quiet subdued when in public. She may, arguably, be comfortable 'performing' in a niche area rather than getting involved in the bigger picture (pun unintended) or aspects outside of her 'responsibility' or 'interest'.    

Are you the Producer of your life more than anything else? I hope not, because my interpretation of such an approach to life is arguably meaningless except for activities revolving around cash flow. :-) I think such a person knows nothing much about life other than it being a means to make and spend money. Everything the person does is likely to revolve around money (costs, revenues, savings, cash-flow, return on investment, rate of interest, inflation and what not). Such a person is not bound to pay attention to relationships, people, purpose, society etc. He'd only, for example, focus on the financial value of doing something. This may be a harsh analysis but the assumption is that we are talking about people who , largely, have a 'Producer' approach to life. A Producer may indirectly facilitate employment, a dynamic economy and utilization of financial resources but may not contribute much beyond that. 

A Spectator of life is, well, perhaps someone who leads a 'neutral' life. A very strong believer of pre-determined destiny might fall under this category. She is likely to have a stoic approach to life and believe that it presents no particular joy or sorrow. Such a person may be the least materialistic of all, have no goals or desires and may be content 'watching' his own life pass by as if she were simply a witness rather than the one who is responsible - directly or indirectly - for the events of her life. Spectators, may be exceedingly calm and composed under all circumstances and, ironically, may have either atheistic tendencies or be a complete surrenderer to the perceived universal power.

Critics are those with either a largely self-critical approach to life (the self-sabotagers etc) or those critical about life per se and everything around them (Tch tch. Sheesh). He is a spectator but not a happy or neutral spectator. I hope none of us lead our lives like a critic. Personally, I think this could perhaps be the most pathetic approach towards life. He is always complaining, finding fault, criticizing, worrying etc. At the other extreme, he is someone with a lack of confidence, self-doubt, lack of action, a procrastinator & negative thinker, etc. 

Mentor/Guide is a person who believes she is wise and extremely familiar with life. She thinks she is a master of her life and beyond CEOs and Directors. She believes she knows life so well that she is well-equipped to teach others how to live. She is generally found giving unsolicited advice (eeks) and telling people what to do and how to do it. The ultimate nosy-parker. Or perhaps even the spiritual leader.

So, how do you generally approach life? Do you have a dominant tendency or does it happen to be a combination of many attitudes? Are you able to balance your approach according to what the situation demands? Have you learned to appreciate the differences between such approaches and, well, tolerate them? :-) 

I look forward to feedback. Maybe I have hit upon some kinda truth, uh?


Nitin said...

ur prev posts are good but i can not understand this one

Prasanna Rayaprolu said...

Awesome Blog and we can really feel when when one writes with passion towards writing and the subject.
Prasanna Rayaprolu

Nimmy said...

Nitin, Thanks....and apologies for the ambiguity in this post. Well, all I am trying to do is understand the dominant approaches each of us might have towards life in general. I decided to do that using metaphors and most of the metaphors I have used are from the world of cinema. So, what that means is we may have characteristics and attributes that are typically found or expected in a director/leading actor etc. Hope this sort of clears the fog? :-)

Nimmy said...


Very very kind of you! Honoured and hope to keep blogging with the same passion! :-) Hope to see you here often! Thanks again!