Manage Your Rebellion Intelligently

  • Be sure to approach this logically.  In the past, I typically approached this with passion, zeal, emotion, and spontaneity–all ingredients that made it exciting, but ineffective and unproductive.  Take the lessons from Life Education‘s Self Improvement section: plan ahead, and make good decisions.  If you’re going to screw the system, be smart about it.  If you aren’t, you hurt yourself more than the system.  Often times in the end, you are weaker, while the system is stronger than ever. This is foolish.  Know when to rebel and when to conform: there is a time and place for effectiveness and impact.  Like in a video game, you don’t attack when the enemy’s armor is up, and you don’t use your weaknesses against the enemy’s strengths.
    • I hate the application process, interview process, evaluation process.
      • Rather than learn to deal with the constraints, I rebel in a way that hurts me more than anything else.
        • I believe it’s about being fake and mis-representing yourself (why I don’t like it), so I over do it, coming off as disingenuous, which they don’t like, and resulting in failure.
        • If they fail to see my talent or potential, I think it’s their stupidity or proof of the stupidity of the whole system, so I
          • Do a horrible job on purpose (spend no time on the application, go to the interview with no preparation)
          • Fail tests on purpose so that on record, my scores are lower than they could be, creating a dichotomy between my actual intelligence and my rated intelligence as a way to prove the inaccuracy of the system: a refusal to participate.
      • What’s actually happening is that I’m putting my worst foot forward, then blaming them for not seeing my best foot.  I’m not making it any easier for them–worsening the problem rather than fixing it.
    • I hate how superficial people are, so I forcefully diminish every superficial aspect of myself
      • I sell myself as unintelligent, unattractive, uninteresting, unsuccessful, and undistinguished.  This way I can judge people’s true colors: you are who you are when you’re dealing with someone who means nothing to you.
    • I hate the disadvantages I suffered as a result of life circumstance
      • I embrace the traits that make me who I am to the detriment of my future success.  Example: I voluntarily chose to not treat my acne because it is the mark of a poor person unable to afford medical care and cosmetics.  I didn’t want wealth to erase my past (same reason Katniss from The Hunger Games refused surgical enhancements).
  • The problem with all the above rebellion methods is that I forgot the number 1 rule of protesting: tell everyone, get publicity, and make a lot of noise.  Silent rebellion is stupid rebellion (unless it’s a secret rebellion, which is an exception).  All I did was suffer in silence for nothing: ineffective and unproductive.
  • One should also reconsider the fundamental principles upon which he or she is rebelling
    • Are you right? – I used to disrespect teachers because they didn’t agree with me, and I thought I must be right.  However, looking at my writing from just a year ago: I now think it sucks.  Yet at the time of writing, I thought it was publishable.  This experience has taught me how wrong my personal view of myself can be: even if I am completely convinced it’s good, it can still be bad.  My ability to recognize or objectively judge myself is nearly impossible: you can only judge yourself subjectively. So I need to learn to pick the right teacher’s opinions to trust, instead of just ignoring all criticisms and only listening to myself.
    • Is this the right place? – I used to believe all humans deserved to be treated with respect.  Therefore, I could wear whatever I want, and if you treated me badly, you must be a bad person.  However, what I learned from Ballroom Dance is that it was I who was being disrespectful.  When I’m competing, I was told “you want to look presentable, like someone you’d want to invite to a dinner party. You don’t want to give the judges anything that will make them think ‘whoa, what’s that’ because then it’s hard to come back from that. Remember that this is their life, ballroom, so you need to RESPECT their culture.”  Not dressing properly is actually disrespectful to the host! This taught me that I need to pick the right time and place to stage my protests, or else I would just be treating others badly and being the bad person I was judging others to be.


This post is part of AttemptedLiving’s Life Education Curriculum, a collection of core knowledge everyone should have.  Look under “Self Improvement”

To find out when those posts, and other life education writing, are released, subscribe on the side! Follow on Twitter, on Facebook, on Google+, on Tumblr.