A Focus On Living by Calvin

What Roles Do You Play?

 

by photographer Damien Blottière

by photographer Damien Blottière

Single. Married. Husband. Father. Son. Friend. Student. Colleague (or boss). Have you ever thought about what it takes to succeed in the roles you play in life. 

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With pen and pad, you may want to list and count them. I did, and here are some of mine: Man. Brother. Business Entrepreneur. Client. Conscious Observer. Friend. Instructor. Neighbor. Teacher. Speaker. Writer.

I invite you to think about it for a few second—jot a few notes if you can regarding the many roles you play?

Now ask yourself,  with so many roles, have you been successful in your roles? Especially if you find yourself banging your head against the wall while  continually facing failures in some of those roles. 

Each of our roles require certain qualities to be successful, or effective. To be an effective student for instance takes certain things that we have to do; A self-discipline in attending class, doing assigned task, as well as learning through our own best methods. Conflict resolution with a particular teacher/ other student  through enacting diplomacy to bring about succees.

That definition of success or effectiveness will be entirely up to you;

If you define success as being happy in a certain role, then consider what are the attributes needed  for you to maintain  the place where you yourself  are happy? . We all come  wired with certain sets of qualities and abilities, other roles, we can develop by being trained or taught. Regardless of our unique strengths and weaknesses, our job then is to play out our roles, how well we do that is up to us based on the goals we have in mind. 

The Roles We’re Born Into vs Chosen Roles.

Self-Portraits by Alex Stoddard

Self-Portraits by Alex Stoddard

We have roles we’re born into  such as: homosapien, man, woman, son, daughter, brother, sister, etc. Then there are the roles we choose or resonate with such as: being a friend, a lover, a partner, a spouse, a parent, a student, an employee, a manager, a boss, an entrepreneur, etc.  These roles can also include defining ourself as having a particular occupation or mission such as: an actor, artist, blogger, a chef, a craftsman, an advocate, an activist or practicing a form of spirituality or religion.

Then there are Roles labels that we might take on, things we identify with such as Fighter, Nudist, Survivor. Conservationist, Green activist, Political party supporter, Sports fan, Ecologist.

In life, our personalities reflect abilities to be effective and successful in various Roles - through, integration, combing  and or overlapping of the various roles we can be -  

  • As a good Partner, qualities to cultivate: Caring, communication, empathy, boundaries, kindness,  being supportive, open,  patient, self-aware.

  • A good Manager or Boss -  skills to have or acquire: Being a good listener. Having visionary goals. Having a Strategy that is aware of  the bottom line as well as for care and support of  your employees.

  • As a Survivor, from disease or situation(abuse, etc.), attribute such as: Resilience, determination, faith and grit are needed.

  • Activist: Commitment to and for raising awareness, speaking about, writing about and participation in activities and fundraisers that actively promotes or eradicates something.

by Eduardo Mata Icaza

by Eduardo Mata Icaza

But what happens when the qualities that help us become successful in one area aren’t the same qualities needed to be effective in another?

If you aren’t sure, check yourself, ask:  “In all my situations am I playing, that is applying only the qualities of one role to everything I am doing? such as a Survivor to all my other roles?” Certainly grit is needed to make it through any ordeal, but a survivalist role suggest some type of constant struggle against something to survive,  and would you need or want struggle in every area of life? That would be an exhausting way to live.

 

Understanding the right role for the right situation and using qualities that are appropriate is a challenge. We have all seen examples of someone incredibly successful in business but can’t seem to get their personal life under control. Then again that person who is highly spiritual and wants to change the world but can’t get their business off the ground.  We have examples all the time where someone is successful in one role and essentially not in another. Perhaps it has happened to you?

I suggest questioning: what roles do you want to take on, and what attributes, qualities, or values, are needed for you to be successful and effective in each of those roles?  Check out your mental tool box, and if you don’t have those attributes, can you find a way to develop them?

 

Many of the people I’ve coached struggled in roles and relationships because they were unclear on what their healthy relationships would operate on, or what they needed from themselves to make it work.

Go over your list and check to see if the values and  qualities you are working with are in sync and required for each role you play in your life. Now if you find there are places that you are lacking, and that you’re willing to admit to lacking? Then comes the Big question, would you willing to seek out and get coaching, training or support you need in how to be more successful at the roles you’ve chosen to play? Then you are laying a path to success.

 

Infuse your life with action. Don't wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen... yourself, right now, right down here on Earth. - Bradley Whitford