Role Theory and Conflict
We are confused; life is confusing. We are doctors and fathers, mothers and bankers. Each of these different roles requires a different set of expectations. These expectations weigh on us and cause us to think more stuff, more promotions and recognition are the key to ironing out the internal dissension we have.
Humans mirror the behavior of others. When we are kids we learn to speak, move and walk by mimicking the movements of our parents. In adulthood we use mirroring just as much. Our survival depends on it. Picture this, it’s your first day in the office at a new law firm. How do you act? What’s appropriate? How should you speak and carry yourself? All of the answers to these questions and more are gleaned from picking up on the social movements and norms of those around you. Learning this unique “lingo” is a barrier to entry into your chosen profession.
Different professions or responsibilities have different lingo. The requirements of being a father conflict with the requirements of working 70 hours a week during tax season as an accountant. How do you balance the two? Which has greater pull? The conflicting behavioral requirements between opposing roles in life creates tension that leaves you confused about how you should live. How do we usually react? By ignoring it!
We pretend everything is okay, we buy a new house or maybe a new car, bury ourselves in distractions and push off any thought of resolving the internal dichotomy. We put a bandaid on a gunshot wound. When the wound reappears we reapply a fresh bandaid. We continue on this path until retirement, when our roles get less complicated and things start sorting themselves out naturally. In filling the identity confusions with distractions we don’t travel because it seems to add to the burden of confusions not take away from.
I can hear you already, "So what's the big deal?" Well, mirroring ingrains certain roles and behaviors into our lives. They may even cause us to live contrary to our true nature. Take the role of lawyer, for example. What do you think of when you hear the word? I envision someone who is professional, wears a suit, is well-spoken and quick thinking.
Can you be a lawyer if you don't wear a suit? You most certainty won't be taken seriously walking in to a courtroom in pajamas and a t-shirt. But, what happens if wearing a suit makes us uncomfortable? We are forced to either choose a different profession, one with less strict dress codes or we must live and act against what we feel is natural. Most do the latter. This is why we still dress in constricting suits and ties even though we build sky scrapers, send people to the moon and make thousands of tons of metal and people fly.
This is the idea of role conflict, or when one part of us is in disharmony with another. Take this other example, a woman who is both a mother and a career woman? The expectations for each of the different roles clashes, causing the individual to pick and choose between going to her son's little league game and staying for a few extra hours at work to finish a big assignment. Humans are contradictory creatures because the roles we live are contradictory.
Escaping through Travel
This web of expectations partnered with the roles we play in life, the "have to's" we think we need to do make our lives confusing. In short, we don't know what we stand for, who we are and what we believe in. First, we must remove all of the labels that define us. But, when we strip away the professions, titles, and degrees what do we have left?
Next we must discover ourselves through a carefully laid out plan, because otherwise the web of expectations will tangle us up in knots, leave us exhausted at the end of the day, unfulfilled and confused with how we spent out precious time and energy.
Regardless of if you are single and non-working, or married with three kids a mortgage and a career job this book lays out practical advice, case studies, and lessons for you to drastically and instantly alter your life for the better.
Leaving behind the demands of people helps you unlock your own talents and experience personal growth.You don't need to be a millionaire to do this. Nor do you need to be completely disconnected from any obligations. This formula will work for anyone who devotes him or herself to making a change.
What we discuss on BT Online is something that the most successful and influential people to have ever lived have done. Martin Luther, Jesus, Ghandi, Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, Abraham, John Locke and many more. The key to the success of these individuals lies in running, not running from but running to.
This is a traveler's journey, from travelers who have undergone this adventure, that will disconnect you from everything that has previously tied you down, get you in touch with the world and your self, and then reconnect you back to your previous life with new gifts and treasures to share with others. This is the art of the traveler's way, a transformational process of redefining your life. We need freedom from our identities and the routines of our lives, for in stepping out of our normal life roles and encountering the uncomfortable we grow.