Freedom Isn’t Always Adorable

Whenever someone tells me how much they adore me because of some thing I said or did that they happen to agree with, I smile and think to myself “Enjoy it while it lasts” because I know I’m going to disappoint them or break their heart at some point in the future when I evolve or express myself along less agreeable lines.

One of the healthiest practices I’ve adopted is that of not being too attached to anyone’s image of me as a “cool guy” or a “good guy” or a “nice guy” or any of those seductive and soothing titles that an audience can strip from you at whim. Those kinds of compliments are flattering to the ego, but they are the death of self-autonomy and personal development for anyone who lets that kind of talk get to their head.

I’ve met many people who couldn’t make the tough or risky choices necessary to achieve new levels of understanding, mastery, or success simply because they didn’t want to lose the adoration that came from some individual or clique saying “Yay. We love him. He’s our guy. He represents us.”

Affirmation is a beautiful thing if you can appreciate it without becoming addicted to it. Otherwise, it’s nothing more than a slave chain woven with rhetoric. If you want to be free, stay free, and become even more free, I can find no better prescription than Alice Walker’s famous three words: “Be nobody’s darling.”

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TK Coleman is the Education Director for Praxis. He has coached dozens of young people and top performers from all stages of life. He’s the author of hundreds of articles and is a frequent speaker on education, entrepreneurship, freedom, personal growth, and creativity. TK is a relentless learner, has been involved in numerous startups, and has professional experience ranging from the entertainment to financial services industries and academia. Above all else, TK is on a mission to help people embrace their own power and expand their own possibilities.

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H. Rearden
H. Rearden
4 years ago

I agree with you on this subject but I’m sure there are things that I disagree with you about. I doubt that there are two people who agree with each other 100% on 100% of everything 100% of the time. Thus there is no reason to say that you don’t agree with someone on everything. I don’t know that you have ever said that and I am not saying that you have but I have heard people say that about someone and I have never assumed that anyone agrees with another person on everything. You have likely heard someone say… Read more »