“She sees them walking in a straight line

That’s not really her style

And they all got the same heartbeat

But hers is falling behind

Nothing in this world could ever bring them down

Yeah, they’re invincible

And she’s just in the background

And she says

I wish that I could be like the cool kids

‘Cause all the cool kids, they seem to fit in

I wish that I could be like the cool kids

Like the cool kids”

Have you ever questioned your beingness?

There may have been a time when one has looked upon themselves and deeply reflected on whether they are who they say they are.

Imagine standing in front of a mirror and just looking deep into your eyes, wondering, “Is this really me?”

The song ‘Cool Kids’ by Echosmith is an all-time favorite that talks about a girl and a boy who want to be one of the cool kids. The lead singer, Sydney Sierota says that the song refers to the desire to fit in. However, the concluding message is to accept yourself because that’s all it takes to be cool.

“He sees them talking with a big smile

But they haven’t got a clue

Yeah, they’re living the good life

Can’t see what he is going through

They’re driving fast cars

But they don’t know where they’re going

In the fast lane, living life without knowing

And he says

I wish that I could be like the cool kids

‘Cause all the cool kids, they seem to fit in

I wish that I could be like the cool kids

Like the cool kids”

Embracing your true self does not take much effort because it is who you already are. But the world has long indulged in a rat race that forces us to run through an unending cycle of falseness. The world has somehow conditioned most people to believe that what or who they are will never be enough. So, in the process, everyone is put to tireless work, to achieve “something great”, and become “something greater”.

If you’ve ever been to finishing school, you’ll know the emphasis laid on the etiquette of appearance and mannerisms. It’s a training program that will refine you for life and is highly rewarding.

The Oxford Dictionary defines etiquette as the customary code of polite behavior in society or among members of a particular profession or group. It refers to conducting oneself in a socially answerable way. No doubt, such a training program helps an individual become more refined, making a great impression on others.

A finishing school is a great place to enhance one’s overall personality. If you look at it closely, it’s also a way to acquire certain habits that make you more acceptable to society. Who wouldn’t want that? However, when it comes to doing something unwillingly for all the wrong reasons, you turn into someone you are not.

“Be Yourself; Everyone Else Is Taken.”

~Oscar Wilde

One may want to become something because it might help them get a promotion. Furthermore, it might help create room for being validated by the world. But does it bring any happiness?

A student may opt for a career path only because it’s trending or leads to a high pay package. But does that career path align with the student’s specific talents and interests?

Most people want to become something they’re not

Headmaster of the Butler Academy: “Venus.”

Michelle Khare (Butler Intern): “Certainly Sir.” Stands up by the dining table, looks at everyone, and says, “My Lord, Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m very excited to tell you today a little bit about our solar system, specifically Venus.”

Michelle Khare is best known for her YouTube show called Challenge Accepted. She currently makes videos that demonstrate her journeying through an entirely different occupation, learning the ropes from professions not entirely aligned with her strengths. This time, she is at the Butler Academy where she is about to give her speech on a strange topic given to her by the headmaster. Michelle pauses the video and gives us a cautionary warning, “Hold up! What you’re about to witness is excruciatingly embarrassing and most other people would never let this see the light of day so before we watch this incredibly embarrassing moment in my life, please hit subscribe, thank you.”

She shifts the scene back to her speech; here goes.

Michelle Khare: “… Now you may be aware that Venus is one of our planets. Previously, there were nine and Pluto is no longer one of them, unfortunately. We’ve heard the phrase Men are from Venus, Women are from Mars. Actually, I think it’s the inverse…”

Well, you get what I mean… Michelle messed up her speech but kudos to her for standing up in front of several elite guests and still completing her speech which made little to no sense. But she still did it!

In the past, Michelle has recorded similar shows on various occupations, including Santa Academy, joining a traveling circus, surviving 72 hours at sea, trying the CSI Academy, delivering a baby, and so on. She has, for each period of these shows, explored different experiences that not all people can experience in the same lifetime. Her shows are massively entertaining and it’s always intriguing to find out what it’s like to pursue an occupation never tried before.

While going back into the kitchen as a butler intern, she speaks to a fellow intern.

Michelle: “So intimidating. I think it was pretty bad. It’s not the speaking part. It’s the making things up part. Do you just not feel like what’s the point and you’re behaving like someone you’re not? All the other things, I just felt like I was not being me. It was just very weird.”

That’s an accurate observation by Michelle where she had to force herself into becoming someone she’s not. That was naturally not her nature to randomly talk about topics given to her. Apart from the fact that ‘Challenge Accepted’ is an amazing show, I am using this context to talk about becoming versus being.

Becoming is something you have to do, it’s a verb. On the other hand, being is what you are, it’s a noun. To simplify it, you don’t have to become something that you already are, but if you are trying to become something, it forces you to invest your time, energy, and effort into something that is not part of your natural strengths.

Removing the Mask and Simply Being

Michelle Khare very much felt like she had to wear a mask. It was as she said that she was behaving like someone else. Indeed, someone else was not her, which meant she was wearing a mask to please others. Well, isn’t that the job of a butler?

The intern butler: “At the end of the day as butlers, I would say that what they’re teaching is you have to transform and adapt yourself to the principle… the whole point about being a butler is that it’s not about us, it’s about pleasing him, and if he wants to talk about Venus and whatever, we have to deliver that speech in a way he likes.”

The job of a butler is tough. Those who want to experience perfection at its highest can try it once. However, if it’s not your cup of tea, and you still take it up, you are most likely trying to become something you are not.

If you look closely, becoming is a verb, something you have to do; it is the road often traveled but that which leads nowhere.

Whereas, being is a noun like the identity of who you are; a road less taken but that which is highly rewarding.

“Your Time is Limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”

~Steve Jobs

I would add that your time, energy, and efforts are limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. It’s like wearing a mask that is bound to experience cracks and indentations because it cannot stay on for long.

However, people still want to wear a mask because it makes them feel more acceptable to the world and themselves. If I become a medical surgeon, everyone will respect me and think highly of me. But if I take up environmental science, no one will truly appreciate what I do.

Similarly, if I become a professional YouTuber, everyone will know how cool I am. If it doesn’t work out for me in a year, I will choose another career.

Is that what it all boils down to? Are you experimenting with the limited time, energy, and effort you have on your hands? This road might fill you with the regret of not finding anything at all. It may never satisfy you. Becoming something without finding your true purpose is not becoming anything at all. However, being the real you is where the treasure lies dormant, one that only you can bring to the surface.

You can either find your true beingness through action and then realization or through realization directly. How is this done? At Krescon, we’ve helped so many leaders switch from the road of becoming to the road of simply being. They’ve managed to dissolve their masks borne by the standards of worldly-conformed norms.

Therefore, becoming is like the mask we wear, much like this poem by Paul Lawrence Dunbar

We Wear the Mask

We wear the mask that grins and lies,

It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,

This debt we pay to human guile;

With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,

And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be over-wise,

In counting all our tears and sighs?

Nay, let them only see us, while

We wear the mask.

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries

To thee from tortured souls arise.

We sing, but oh the clay is vile

Beneath our feet, and long the mile;

But let the world dream otherwise,

We wear the mask!

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