Confessions of a researchaholic

June 4, 2010

Being myself

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:57 am
Tags: ,

If you were an unusual and eccentric kid growing up in a culture that encourages harmony and conformity, you might have been taught, either implicitly or explicitly through the family and school education, that you should hide your peculiarities and try to appear as a normal person.

Please do not heed such advices. Always try to be yourself as much as possible, up to your personal threshold of withstanding societal pressures that try to “hammer down every nail that sticks up” (a Japanese proverb).

In retrospect, this is a major source of unhappiness in my early life. And I did not fully realize it until very recently. I guess one has to grow to be extremely confident to be able to identify this issue and choose to disobey such social norms. (It also helps that I have been living under a more individualist culture later on.) Without being fully myself, I simply cannot wield my full power. I remember I did not get the job for one of the first interviews upon graduation. I was trying very hard to behave like a normal job candidate. Later on, that very same hiring manager saw a more true-to-myself performance in a conference, and told me that he would have hired me if I had performed that way.

So from now on I will be true to myself and do what I am destined to do. Get in my way at your own peril. Life is too short otherwise.

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