Understand your World for a Meaningful Life
Understanding the world in which you engage is essential for a meaningful life.
Select the arenas you play in with care. Understand the context of your world
and your audience to become the lead role on your own stage.
My stages, my roles, my world
So, how many parts do you play, and on how many stages? Shakespeare wrote that
‘All the world’s a stage
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts‘
He saw only seven parts, the seven ages of man which is one way to look at your world.
Broadening this concept is helpful in making sense of this complex world. In your adult life you are probably an actor on a number of different stages. On some stages you are a lead player with an important role. On others you may be just a walk on part.
You are an actor on your family stage and you will take a leading role. You may have a prominent role on a work stage, or various roles in different work theatres. And you may have bit parts on other stages, such as your local community or a cause you support.
The critics in my audience
Every stage has its audience. As a player on your stage, you will have an impact, large or small, on the audience watching you. And because your world is made up of interactive stages with heavy audience participation your impact will often be up close and personal, influencing the way the members of your audience act on their own stages.
So the audience is as important as the stage itself. You will probably find many people watching you, all with different motives and intentions. Most want you to succeed, but some want you to fail. The critics with their sharp pens and cynical readers are unjustifiably the most prominent. They need to satisfy their readers by reporting your slip ups or forgotten lines. At least, though, they are happy to put their names to their criticisms, unlike the gossips and muckrakers. These people occupy the cheap seats on the side and revel in hurling mean and anonymous comments behind your back. They avoiding getting their hands dirty on the stage. After staying to watch your performance for a few minutes they head for the bar to defend their own weaknesses over a glass or two by highlighting your mistakes.
Your supporters and coaches
You’ve got an entire backstage audience watching you. There’s the theatre owner, the playwright, the producer, the director, the set designer and many more. They are important because they have created the blueprint that you work to and you are bound morally, physically, financially to act by their rules and boundaries. You walk a bit of a tightrope with these people, complying with their rules because you want to stay on the stage on the one hand whilst attempting to insert your own views and opinions as to how it should be done.
Because you are part of their audience the backstage lot will treat you in different ways. Sometimes they befriend you, coach you and support you. Others treat you as just a means to their own end or are openly critical (which could of course include being constructively critical). Its often best just to watch and listen to this part of your audience until you get the measure of them. When you find out what they want from you, you can ask for their comments in constructive conversation.
And finally, don’t forget the most important part of your audience. These are your fans and supporters who are there willing you on, praying for and working for your success. Sadly they are often not as prominent as the critics and the anonymous people on the sidelines. They are there, though, even if they only come out of the woodwork when you fall down.
Your changing world
And if learning your part and dealing with your audiences is not enough, you have to deal with the never ending transformation of the stage. You will find it buffeted by criticisms, changes in technologies, fashions, the need to ride the newest trends, power struggles and your own and others mistakes.
Its as though you have learnt your lines and your part. However, every night when you arrive to perform the stage has changed and the blueprint and the scripts are different. You have to improvise for the whole performance and become more reliant on the prompter than the script. If this sounds painful, it probably is; however, its also the route to growth and personal development.
The Living Money Blog
You already know your world is a complex place. You don’t need this post to tell you that. However, we hope that in this section of the Living Money Blog we can provide you with a more structured way deal with your world.
The posts in this section, covering your stages, your audience and change and trends, will help you to see the world with greater clarity and, hopefully, to make more sense of it.
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