Friday, 20 January 2012

Something To Prove

I have a small confession to make. I have come to believe that I might have a minor inferiority complex. Not the sad type of inferiority complex where I feel small and insignificant and that I will never amount to anything. In fact, it's quite the opposite. It's the type of inferiority complex where I constantly feel the need to prove something. Not necessarily to prove something to someone, just to prove something. It's that feeling where I just feel the need to accomplish something.

This complex is probably one of the driving forces behind the formation of my current personality. I will admit, for the longest time I've always been hounded by a constant nagging need. The need to be cool. I can't really remember where this need manifested from but I do know that I have had it for as long as I can remember.

I'll be perfectly honest with myself. I wouldn't consider myself a very normal person by societal standards. On more than one occasion, people's first impression of me is that I'm weird (occasionally the qualifier 'weird Malaysian' is added for nationalist emphasis) and I felt that this seriously hampered my chances of being the hip kind of cool person.

Since my chances of being that type of cool person were throw out of the window, I decided to approach being cool from a completely different perspective. I tried to approach coolness by being entertaining and as a result, my personality shifted to become the comedic, overly-dramatic person that I am now. The best way to describe my personality would be that of a cartoon character, over-the-top yet never ceasing to bring a smile to people's faces.

Of course, this need to be cool affected more than my personality. I believe that it also drove my passion for dance. At first, I picked up dancing out of jest but then I suddenly took it so seriously that it now has become an inseparable part of my life. I think the reason why this happened was because I found out how cool dance was but more importantly, I found out how cool it was to be a dancer.

You might have heard the dancer quote "dance to express, not to impress". Honestly, I never fully bought that quote. I believe that on a subconscious level, one of the reasons why I pursued dance so fervently is because I wanted people to find me cool and to stroke my ego. After a while, I succeeded in making people think I'm cool because I dance (as per feedback of most my friends). But then suddenly that was not good enough for me. Suddenly I wanted other dancers to find my dancing cool, dancers that I think are cool and godlike themselves. This eventually became a vicious cycle of pursuing greatness as when I finally earn the respect of good dancers, I have the urge to become cool in the eyes of dancers that are even more amazing. In the end, I became locked in a cycle of constantly trying to outdo myself as a dancer.

Now, my pursuit for coolness, despite being quite a large part of my inferiority complex, isn't the only thing I needed to achieve. To quote Steve Jobs, I have this need to put a dink in the universe. Ok, perhaps not on the same level and scale as Jobs but I certainly have a need to leave my mark on life. I have probably mentioned this somewhere before but this is the reason why I'm always taking up all kinds of responsibilities. Aside from simply challenging myself, I choose to take up all these responsibilities because that is my way of leaving my mark on as many lives as I can. Ever now and then, this need becomes my own undoing as I get crushed under the weight of the responsibilities but in the end I still regret nothing. In the end, I only do what I do because I want to do it and I choose to do it.

Steve Jobs once said at a Stanford commencement ceremony, "Stay hungry, stay foolish". I fully intend to do that just so that one day I can prove to myself that I have become cool enough to impress myself.

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