You live in a society, you live in a culture, and you live amongst other people. You have dreams, you have desires, you have abilities, you have potentials, you have a calling, but you think it will interfere with keeping the peace.
It’s important to keep the peace. At least sometimes. You don’t want to offend anyone, you don’t want to embarrass anyone. So you hold back and minimize yourself.
Is expressing yourself and doing what you must do in conflict with living in a society with other people? You have changed yourself, you have edited yourself to fit with other people’s expectations. You thought you knew their expectations, but the only thing you knew is their social script. The things people believe everyone else believes and thus conform to, but no one really cares for.
Let go of the myth of the lowest common denominator. Think about the highest common denominator. Doesn’t everyone seek something larger than themselves? Doesn’t everyone dream of more confidence, more fulfillment, more energy, more motivation, more cool stuff, and more euphoria? The lowest common denominator is food and toilet. But don't we share these with about every other animal? It’s where our higher drives go to sleep.
When you live in the esteem of others, you can’t live in your own. When you are defined by the context that is set for you, you can’t define yourself. When you can’t define yourself you are in disarray. And when you are in disarray, you are subordinating yourself and your quality of life to that of an imagined majority. A majority that doesn’t exist.
When you hold back, when you try to be civil, who are you trying to please? You are not pleasing yourself because you are not alive in superficial interactions. You are not pleasing those other people, because they would rather talk about what inspires them.
You like excitement. You love the jolt you experience when something new and amazing arises. You feel most alive when you are inspired. And it doesn’t matter by whom.
But holding back to ‘keep the peace’, minimizing yourself to be predictable, and dumbing down to find common ground is not elevating anyone. It’s not only ok to bend the rules for a higher purpose, it is required. Don’t keep the peace, surprise yourself. Don’t read from the script, go off script and let yourself emerge. Don’t connect on the lowest, but on the highest common denominator.
You shouldn’t even have to ask yourself these questions. Their answers should not only be on your mind but an embodied presence in every waking hour. The answers to those questions should be as obvious and natural as your breath. They are your values, and should be the yardstick by which all your interactions and decisions are measured. It will not only change your life, it will change you, radically.