I’ve never been much of a planner.
Which isn’t a right or wrong way to live life. It’s just my personality type, psychological disposition and decision making style.
But the upside is, not planning has enabled my success as an entrepreneur for over seventeen years.
Turns out, having a penchant for doing, not talking about doing, takes you far in the world.
Of course, what you’re good at, you’re also bad at. It’s the great paradox of human talent.
And so, here’s the problem that comes with my personality type. When you don’t have plan, and you come across someone who does, and they’re extremely passionate about it, it’s very easy to get sucked in to their way of life.
Because you’re deeply vulnerable and, therefore, highly susceptible.
Over the years, I’ve lost count of the number of cult members who tried to recruit me, religious zealots who tried to convert me, pyramid schemers who tried to enlist me and fanatics who tried to force me in to their faction.
And regrettably, I even bought into a few of them. For significant periods of time.
But I don’t prosecute myself for crimes past. I don’t beat myself up for mistakes I made when I was seventeen.
After all, consider the conditions.
I longed for structure, ritual and routine. I was spiritually and metaphysically inclined. I felt deeply dissatisfied with my identity. I was idealistic and disillusioned with the society of which I was a part. I was frustrated and inhibited by the norms of society. I felt alienated and lacked any center of belonging. And I had recently undergone a major transition both geographically and socially.
Talk about a perfect storm of susceptibility.
I wasn’t just ripe, I was dripping.
There’s a great article from the late seventies, published by a renowned sociology professor. Bouwman explained that when it comes to susceptibility, there is no single point of failure. Society itself is a risk producing circumstance. But the more we as persons can grow in awareness and respect for ourselves and others, the more the risks can be diminished.
And so, if you’re concerned that you or somebody you love might become sucked into somebody else’s way of life, start there. Awareness and respect.
And accept that there is no right path, only the one we choose.
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.
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