Do we overestimate our importance? A difficult question and therefore is one many dare not ask. So, answer this question: do you think you are in the spotlight? When walking through the mall or in a country park, do you think people are watching your every move? If you sit on a park bench, do you suspect people are looking at you from the corner of their eye?
I’m not writing of paranoia. Paranoia is when the inner-belief is people are out to ruin life and undermine plans. It is easy to see paranoia in social media streams. Thousands of words are written about conspiracy theory, microchips and sinister vapour trails. Thinking the establishment is out to kill, maim and destroy without giving a reason for the holocaust is paranoia.
Thinking one is in a spotlight means one acts in a certain way. A compliant way: agreeing with people rather than agreeing with one’s convictions. It is the ‘I wonder what people will think of me’ statement. And probably the mindset comes from childhood when one is moulded by parental attitude. When asked about his success: the rapper Jay-Z commented:
‘We were kids without fathers, so we found our fathers on wax and the streets and in history, and in a way, that was a gift. We got to pick and choose the ancestors who would inspire the world we were going to make for ourselves.’
There is no spotlight on Jay-Z; he is the light of creativity and an amazing man. You choose to watch him: he has no concern about how others perceive his image. He is his own man. And this is magical, the act of success. And I do not write of material success. Because before wealth comes identity. Have a listen to his song: ‘It’s A Hard Knock Life’, and you enter into the fight for success and freedom. Like him or not, Jay-Z is not in the Spotlight; he is the Spotlight.
It’s a Hard Knock Life:
Yes, there is a need to conform to societies basic rules: it makes sense not to fight against the weight of law and order. But the savvy individual knows understanding the parameters is essential to survive. We have all watched people being subservient in the workplace following the demands of the dominant manager. And when the axe of redundancy is swung, the subservient is first to go: why? Because the subservient has nothing to offer, nothing to contribute. And why is the axe in use? Because the manager is useless, follow the failure, become the failure. The people who stay, the successful, do not need to be seen or are concerned about the Spotlight: all they do is work to their future. Wages earned are spent wisely; they negotiate with what they have in their domain. No concern for what strangers think or how others behave. By living a sensible lifestyle and keeping family and friends close, they are happy.
Those in the Spotlight have to conform beyond necessary parameters. The word ‘Yes’ really wants to be a ‘No’ to the expensive holidays agreed too when a week in a caravan would be preferable. Car finance and excessive mortgage results in living on credit, not happiness. Spotlight’s worry about doing the ‘right thing’, not ‘doing things right’.
Where is this leading?
Being out of the Spotlight does not mean one cannot be kind and generous. It does not mean being unpopular. Being out of the Spotlight means making a stand and making the statement once. Maybe twice. And this is a powerful way of influence. Those in the Spotlight keep on repeating the message: why? Many studies suggest repeated personal messages are signs of lack of confidence: self-questioning and concern about external perception.
Long forgotten friends reappear in two situations. Jackpot lotto wins and drama. ‘I’m only showing my support’ can be ‘I want to know what happened.’ Of course, there will be people who disagree: but the self-sufficient, real carers stay silent and are there if asked. Social media fools millions into thinking they are connected. In truth, you are in a cyber chatroom where every statement is monitored. Shout all you like about conspiracy, vaccine issues, government corruption. The fact is, the messages, pros and cons are read so often no one believes they have any influence. Which of course they do not: because at the last garrison, the weight of the most significant influence wins. Being in the Spotlight reveals all: Becoming a Jay-Z becomes survival and success.
Once the point is made: there is no more. Unless the point is made with vindictive pressure, then the fuse of a dangerous bomb is lit. We are watching, reading and listening to varying amounts of opinions forced home with vindictive pressure. Everyone using this method of communication is entering into a tribe and the tribe’s fight tribe. Eventually, when the tribes become too big or are without skilled, wise and knowledgeable elders, the group’s fragment. And memories are long and cannot be quickly dissolved. Words spoken or written today become people’s opinion tomorrow. One should be under no misconception when in the Spotlight. The individual conforms to the people s/he fears. And the fear is not to be within the tribe. Complex? You bet, and this is why people easily fall into the trap. By agreeing or accepting anything on a superficial level, mistakes are made, but this is the easy way: something known by influencers.
Each of us has worked with someone we do not like: but respect. ‘Someones’ work hard, demand loyalty and set high standards. No matter their personality, we are safe in their hands. Meetings are short and exchange views. Good ideas are listened too and taken on board; responsibility for mistakes rests firmly on the ‘Someones’ shoulders. They are not in the Spotlight; they are the light. Regardless of their personality, we know we are in a secure environment. That’s powerful and influential.
Are you in the Spotlight?