|Do not accept the roles that society foists on you. Re-create yourself by forging a new identity, one that commands attention and never bores the audience. Be the master of your own image rather than letting others define it for you. Incorporate dramatic devices into your public gestures and actions—your power will be enhanced and your character will seem larger than life.|
I was reading the 48 Laws of Power and this law in particular took my attention. Re-Create Yourself is a path to power because turning into something that commands power only makes sense really. If me as a person is not one who is in control, then regardless of how I study the book, nothing can ultimately transpire.
What does this mean for me?
I have been documenting my fasting here for a while, and my eating habits as well. No real successes other than going past normal fasting times. But I have been doing a discreet personal project since January, where I declared 2017 to be the Year of the Stoic. The story behind this is, last year I got into stoicism when I was deep into a process that would eventually bring me overseas. Along the way, due to some problems in the country I would be moving to (and some other things here as well), my flight has been delayed again and again. As of today, I’m already 8 months delayed, and it’s really getting depressing. Because I am clinging to this opportunity, I have not been able to apply for part time jobs to support myself financially. So for nearly 20 months, I have been asking help from my parents which is really a terrible situation for a person at my age.
It’s hard looking at my friends who are already stable in their careers while I’m here thinking I wasted so much when I left teaching at the university to work abroad.
But since January, the project was: be stoic. I have been reading about this every now and then, and in my other blog, I talked about my process extensively. I did meet some other stoics (or at least would be stoics), and my engagement into the philosophy has just been growing ever since.
I will not be a victim of my circumstance
This was my mission statement when I began the year of the stoic, and I can’t say that I have been successful. If you have read my earlier post about me [LINK], then you know that I’m a neurotic mess. Anxiety is nothing new to me, and it has been haunting me for such a long time.
The year of the stoic was supposed to start the process of changing that, but the difficulty of changing yourself, to become someone else, is proving to be impossible when the triggers for the qualities of that persona keeps coming up again and again.
My girlfriend is out of the country, and I have very few support systems to help me through this, and panic attacks become extremely hard to manage when there are hardly anybody going to help you.
So how will the reinvention proceed?
“I am not a victim of my circumstance” I keep telling myself. But it seems just telling yourself that isn’t enough. Anthony Robbins talked about limiting beliefs that keep us from doing what we need to do to become, but how do you get rid of limiting beliefs? Do you just stop saying “this is the worst day” and just call each failure and “opportunity”?
Some say that is enough. Some don’t.
How would you proceed? In an episode of the Simpsons, Homer’s Ambition gets up and tells him to get dressed and act the part of a successful man. So is changing just pretending? Do you pretend to be another person until eventually you become that person?
Isn’t that a mental illness? Thomas Elliot became obsessed in becoming Bruce Wayne that he just sculpted out his face and surgically rebuilt Bruce Wayne’s face on his.
But maybe that’s just taking it too far. Actors do become the characters they play in order to act the part, and maybe successful transition into a healthy mental state does require some acting.
Law 25. Let me try this again.