Be your own weird self
I have no desire to be the best designer in the world, neither do I want to be really rich. Knowing what I truly want in my life has made it easier for me to make important life decisions.
So what do I want in my life? Ultimately, I would like to be in a position whereby I am able to make a difference to how conventional society perceive. If that’s too much to ask for, then I’ll want to make a difference to how unconventional people perceive themselves.
Of course, there are some blessed with innate self confidence and they wear their unconventional selves proudly on their sleeves, but there are tons, especially the young, who hide in the closet and pretend to be conventional, because that’s what the society expects out of them.
People are afraid to be their true selves, because they don’t want to be negatively judged for it. For example, when people ask me what music I like, I used to feel very uncomfortable answering that question because I didn’t want people to think I was boring or worse, tasteless. I’m a professional designer after all and I need to keep my cool front. ;p
I read “Quiet: The Power of Introverts” some time ago, and I was grateful for someone like Susan Cain who made it her mission to change society’s perception that extroverts are “better value” or “more successful”. For what society perceives as desirable traits, people tend to try and mould themselves in a way to project themselves as desirable. I get caught in the same loop too.
But, I believe everyone has their innate natural gifts and we all should maximize our own gifts, not try to emulate other people. You may not be a good salesman and you can learn how to be one, but perhaps your time is better maximized doing what you do best. I mean, can you imagine scientists all try to be good salesmen?
I think people are so uncomfortable with being themselves because we all need validation and we all want to fit in, thus we end up being a repressed society chasing the wrong values. Worse still, we allow people to take power over us because we don’t trust ourselves. And we grow old and bitter. Once in a while, somebody somewhere breaks down and either destroy themselves or destroy other people.
Obviously this is a simplified way of looking at the issue but again am not trying to be politically correct writing my own thoughts. This is how I look at things now and one day I hope to be able to help in my own weird ways.
So that is why I don’t want to be a designer blogging about design. I want to be a designer who advocates change through technology + authenticity. That is why I’ve made a lot of decisions people cannot seem to understand, but deep in my heart I know what I’m doing now aligns with what I want to do in future.
I struggle a lot, because being in such a path could mean feeling lonely or un-appreciated by the mainstream or even my industry peers. However, I think this is a trade off I am willing to accept, if it means one day I’ll be able to make a difference in the way I specifically want to. My own, weird way.
A post like this will never get more than a thousand pageviews, but what matters is the metrics I hold dear in my heart – touching the ones that matter and would find value in these words.