Acknowledge your inner rebel…. express your individuality.

By Mike Aux-Tinee

I admit, I have an inner rebel and I am not afraid to let it out and give it time in the sunshine.

Like most things that are penned up for too long, it will break out. Then its off to the races like a delirious zoo animal for the fence line and freedom. But no worries, I have an expertly trained staff that will recapture and return it before it gets too far and does too much damage, (I hope)!

I believe my inner rebel has provided the best advice I have ever received:  always be yourself, no matter what.

It is a remarkable little piece of advice, that if misapplied could cause a person a lot of problems. (I know a lot about misapplication of this).  When correctly applied, it can provide for an exciting and … hey, how about you let yours out and you fill in the adjectives!

What is confounding to me is, how creative, dynamic and just down right positively cool we humans are. But then we are forced to box up our individuality and put it away. That is a tragedy that the Greeks should create a play about.  I know, there are societal pressures that compel us to keep a lid on it. But really now.

We have been conditioned from a very early age to conform or face ridicule and possible exclusion from the group. To a child, to be excluded is the end of the world. We grow up, wanting to belong and feel accepted to whatever group we are a part of, even when we really should turn on back and head for the exits.

I can always tell when someone is not under ‘the influence’ of their inner rebel. There are three readily observable signs to detect when someone is repressing their inner rebel and not expressing their individuality:

The first thing I notice about a person who does not let their inner rebel out, are the words they use when they talk. Do you know how many words there are in the English language? Try this one on for size, according to there are between 750,000 to one million words in our language. With so many words to choose from, why do people insist on limiting their word choices AND using words someone else has come up with?

I am by no means perfect and have been known to over use certain words, one of my favorites is dude. One day a friend of mine bantered, “Mike, you really do use that word a lot and asked if I could run with something else for a while, just to give him a break”. Well, feeling defensive, I gave him a history lesson on the word and I was just making sure it did not die off.”  He was rather shocked and bewildered at my diatribe.

Do you notice people using the same words in their daily conversations? Even to a point of misusing them just to sound like everyone else? Most of the worst offenders reside in corporate America, this is the place where buzz words are thrown around like  baseballs at spring training.

Really? Who sits down and comes up with words like, bandwidth and attempts apply it to anything other than radio? I did look it up and here is what I discovered: the resources needed to complete a task or project.  Why couldn’t have someone just said.. well that? Or hey this is what we need to finish the job or project?

When I hear words like this coming out of someones mouth, my respect for them just drops off the meter. Then, I classify them as a (F-based action word) moron.

The second thing I notice about a person who is repressing their inner rebel  is what they wear. I am sure, I could write an entire post about this one, but I will keep it as brief as possible.

Try this little exercise, take someone’s yearbook and show it to them after they graduate. Watch them grimace, wince and cringe as they flip through the pages.

Does anyone remember parachute pants, girls dressing like Madonna or the disco suits of the 1970’s? I know, those of you who jumped in feet first are shaking your heads and the embarras-o-meter has just been pegged.

I read an article recently that surveyed women in their 20’s and 30’s about their opinions on men’s clothing. They said, (not verbatim) those t-shirts with the crazy prints… are just not it. In fact, the lovely ladies do not take you seriously and toss you out of contention. If something like that is going to eliminate me, time to put the brakes on and move in the other direction. I do need the head start.

The third thing I notice about the repressed inner rebel; are the activities they participate in, just because.  It is  common for them to participate in the same activities as friends, coworkers or the boss. While getting time in front of the boss can be beneficial for your career, spending too much time can blur the lines of the employee-boss relationship.

I love to play sports, but just not the same ones as my friends. Why? Because we all  have different skills and abilities. If one or the other really cannot measure up, then bring on the teasing. Its just like an elephant’s memory, it never goes away and the stories get longer and more exaggerated as time goes on.

It is time, to turn out who you really are and start expressing your individuality. Do not fear what other people may or may not think about you. Hey, someone once thought climbing Mt.Everest was a dumb idea. How cool would that be to get that merit badge! Not to mention the cool stories you could tell the ladies while you are wearing your three piece English tailored suit, sipping Jim Beam and Coke! (HINT: women love a sharp dressed man)!

Once you know what to look for, you will walk around in complete amazement. But two pieces of advice, do not stare, it makes you look creepy and walk slower, you will be prone crash into things, making you look clumsy.

Peace Dudes!

Oh yea… about the photos… I left them out on purpose! Just letting out my rebel yell!


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