Adaptation and the Mirror

I have never been one to understand the division between work and life personas. When I was in the U.S. Navy, I had to live with the same people that I worked with each day. Often, individuals would display their complete lack of integrity and disregard for others during the work day. Then I would watch people I respect go out on liberty with them as soon as we pulled into port.

This has been a concept that I have struggled to understand because a person who is capable of treating people negatively in one environment is also capable of doing the same in another. Unless you have a mental illness, we do not have dual personalities.

Despite that point of view, I understand the purpose of context. Actions are never bad or good without evaluating the context. It does not even have to be negative or positive, however. I have struggled with the fact that acting a certain way in the work place is judged positively but those actions may conflict with the actions I would rather take or the person that I believe I am.

What I have come to realize is that the uncomfortable dissonance is born from feeling that I am one thing but I am presenting another.

It is important for us to change, grow, and adapt to our environment and the situations that we are in. But it is also important for us to be true to ourselves and be who we are. Who we are, however, should not be static. I believe that the solution to this problem is to minimize the false images that we present and instead maximize our ability and willingness to adapt.

When we have succeeded at adapting, we can be who we are and who we wanted to be at the same time.

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