Nov. 24, 2021

#3: Rock Your Role

In this episode, we explore life as a drama—a play of sorts—that provides you opportunities to “act”. We’ll see how sometimes the story that you are currently living is not necessarily the one that you want to be starring in—so what do you do?


In this episode, we explore life as a drama—a play of sorts—that provides you opportunities to “act”. We’ll see how sometimes the story that you are currently living is not necessarily the one that you want to be starring in—so what do you do?

We’ll look at how you can get aligned with scenarios that are far from ideal, and also how you can move toward creating the type of drama that genuinely suits you—that more easily aligns with your tigers.

There’s also a special surprise—an original song called Rock Your Role. The lyrics go along with the theme of the episode, and we’ll go through them over the course of the show. I thought it would be an interesting way to structure the content of the program.

Enjoy the episode (and don’t forget to feed your tigers!).

Best wishes,

Steven

EPISODE LINKS

  • Rock Your Role Song - on YouTube
    (You can find the lyrics  in the YouTube Video Description)

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ABOUT STEVEN RUDOLPH

Transcript

This is the Feed Your Tigers Podcast. I'm Alan Densmore. And in today's episode, our host, Steven Rudolph will be focusing on your life as a drama, the part you play and how well you play it. And he'll be covering this topic in a rather creative way - through the lyrics of a song written by a very special guest, who just happens to be here in the studio with us today. It gives me great pleasure to introduce Rudymon, reggae artist, some say philosopher, and tremendous optimist whose music not only touches the heart, but also the soul. Rudymon, welcome to our show. 

Happy to be here. 

In today's episode, we're going to be playing one of your songs that connects to the theme of the show.

Yeah, that's right. The name of the song is Rock Your Role.

Can you tell us something about it? 

Yeah, man. I made this song for all people, especially people who are suffering. People who are stuck in jobs, they hate people who are struggling financially, you know.

What is your main message with the song?

This is a song of hope. I want to encourage people not to let the system beat them down. That even when the situation looks hopeless, you have the power to create a solution. But you can't sit on the side of the road waiting for someone else to solve your problem. You have to act. You have to rock your role. You know?

Well, yes, Rudymon, I do know. And I also know that I can't wait to hear the song. With the way things are going in the world today. I believe we all need a bit of your optimism and an exceedingly large amount of inspiration. Thanks so much for being here with us today.

No problem, brother.

This has been Alan Densmore for Feed Your Tigers. And now let's get on with the show.

This is the Feed Your Tigers podcast, a place where we explore the wilds of your inner world. On this journey, you'll come face to face with the power of your innate potential and discover ways of aligning your energy so you thrive. I'm your host, Steven Rudolph. And I welcome you on this adventure as we endeavor to Feed Your Tigers before they eat you.

Hi, and welcome to Feed Your Tigers. Today's episode is entitled "Rock your role". And in our podcast today, we're going to be looking at your life and imagining it as a drama, a play or a film where you're the protagonist. In doing so, we'll be exploring how you're doing in your role in life. Are you rocking it or not? Or to degree with room for improvement. We'll look at the drama itself. And last we'll open the possibilities to create a life drama that meets your own desires, interests and vision. And as you heard in the opening introduction, there's an original song we'll explore called Rock your role that connects to our theme. There's a lot in store so let's rock it. 

But before we get started, I want to share with you highlights from an email I received from a dear friend and colleague whose name is Namarupa. He's someone I've known for over 30 years since my days of teaching English in Japan in the early 1990s. Namarupa listened to episode two of Feed Your Tigers, and he brought up some really important issues. And I'm hugely grateful to him for that. I wanted to share them with you, because I feel that they were a perfect tie in to today's episode. Now, in episode two, I talked about the five pillars, five aspects of life that when balanced, can bring about a life of harmony. Of these pillars, the first was alignment, the importance of working as per your nature. The second was finance, the importance of having enough financially, to have what you need to be comfortable, to be happy. In his email to me, Namarupa has shared some concerns about systemic problems in society that create challenges for the younger generation, especially. Challenges that inhibit their ability to earn enough, to afford financial security to them, enough to provide them with that comfort and happiness. 

Here's what he says. I have a concern about the younger generation. They're inundated with debt. They have fear of the future and of climate change. What they see on TV is celebrities who have actualize their talents and hawked them with apparent ease. to end up kibitzing with Jimmy Kimmel about their various projects and their multimillion-dollar homes and their beautiful kids. I wonder what effect that has on people flipping burgers at Mickey D's. The American Dream Machine has got to make people more depressed about their lives than not. He explains that the average wage in the US is not the $75,000 that Daniel Kahneman claims is necessary to be happy, but rather $55,000 a significantly lower amount. Nama adds, the reality of the workplace is that true talents are not exercised, even for a large swath of those with college degrees, which makes so many young people dulled and depressed to life itself. And no matter of knowing your talents, and hoping to apply them to a job seems to be of interest to employers at all. 

In my podcast today, I want to address these issues. I might not have the perfect answer. But I do think I have something worthwhile to say that even this disenfranchised group of people might find a value. With that as a backdrop, I now invite you to turn on, tune in and enjoy the show. 

At the start of my podcast, I began by saying that we're going to be exploring your life in a rather unique way, imagining it as a drama, a play, or a film, or a Netflix series. Have you ever done that before? In case you haven't, you're in for a treat. And if you have, I've got some things in store for you.  

This idea of your life as a drama has really deep roots in the ancient world. The Indian spiritual tradition holds that each one of us is born into a world into a particular drama. And the goal is that you have to perfect your role, your playing of your part. If you don't get it right, you take birth again and again, until you do. After which point you enter into what is called Lila or the "grand drama in the sky", if you will. And once you land apart there, you never have to return to this world. 

In the West, Shakespeare talks about the drama of life in his play "As you like it". In act two, scene seven, the character Jacques states, All the world's a stage and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances. He describes how one person plays a number of parts. The infant, the student, the teen, the young adult, the middle-aged, the senior, those who are in the final stages of life. His focus was not on the multi-life, as in the Eastern tradition, but rather the one life we live on Earth. 

 In more recent times, Joseph Campbell, the great 20th century, mythologist explored numerous cultures and distilled a universal archetype from their traditional tales called "The hero's journey". He demonstrated how the stories from each culture have a similar structure, starting with a hero who goes through different phases during the course of their life. And he explained how such stories were meant to be guides to every person who is the hero of their own life, on their own unique journey in their own personal life drama.  

So as you keep these perspectives in mind, I'll ask you to take a moment to think about your life as your own personal player drama, and to think about yourself as the protagonist in it. And the question, of course, is how well you're managing as that lead actor. Are you fully engaged? Are you delivering a stellar performance coming straight from your heart? Or do you feel as though you might be overreacting trying too hard, or under acting, not being engaged enough? Or maybe you feel miscast, placed into a story that offers you an absolutely wrong context and environment and a role that is completely out of sync with who you are. Or perhaps you feel like your story has potential, you've got a decent part, you're on the path. Sometimes you nail it. But other times you flub your lines or missing entrance, and maybe with some practice, guidance or support, you could get your performance at Tony or Oscar level.  

I personally love this analogy of life as a drama and my role is the lead actor. Perhaps it has something to do with my own background in theater. Growing up, I was really into drama and musical theater. From first grade through college. I performed in dozens of productions, landing lead roles and many of them, including Annie, Grease, Damn Yankees and others. Later on in life, when I learned about these theatrical analogies, they made so much sense to me. And I feel as though I've been able to put them to use these concepts to help me play my role better in the drama of my real life. And now, something about the structure for today's show.  

For today's episode, I thought I would go about the content in a slightly different way. I'm going to share a song for you that I wrote about this topic. And we're going to go through the lyrics, analyzing them. And I'll share the key lessons as I do that. The name of the song is rock your role. Here role isn't spelled R O L L, as in rock and roll. It's spelled R O L E. As in the part, you play a role you play, perhaps a role in a stage play or in this case, the role you play in your life. Rock your role. The basic idea is that you should rock the part you play, the role you have to play in your life's drama. Before I get to the lyrics, I'd like to give a little context and mentioned how one of the rules I played in my earlier days resulted in the creation of this song. 

When I was in college, I was really into reggae music, and I played in a reggae band called “The Naturalites” (our slogan was “the Naturalites, dem so slack dem tight”). And I got so deep into reggae and Jamaican culture that the Jamaican members of the band decided to give me a more fitting moniker for my role as guitarist and singer. So they transformed my last name, Rudolph, dubbing me Rudymon. So Rudymon has been my musical Alter Ego since then, who I transform into when I write and play music, predominantly reggae and ska, a style that was a predecessor to reggae. And as Rudymon, I wrote this song called Rock your role. 

Here's how we're going to go about the song and the episode, I'm going to go through the lyrics with you step by step. And along the way, I will analyze them, sharing the meaning and tying the concepts into our shows theme of rocking your role. Then when we're complete, I'll play the song for you. And I'm pretty sure you'll find it worth the wait. Of course, you could fast forward ahead to it, but I know you have more discipline than that. Well, at least I think you do. Well, even if you don't make sure you come back here to get the juice because what's coming up just might help you really rock your role in life.  

Okay, let's get to it. The lyrics to the song rock your roll start like this.  

"You'll never find success, singing someone else's tune, nor reach the stars by dancing in someone else's shoes."  

This first part deals with the concept of alignment, and how important it is to be living your life and not someone else's. You might recall that I talked about this point exclusively in episode one. And that we also covered it in episode two the five pillars of life. This is the first of the five pillars to be in alignment with who you are. In that episode, you may recall where I quoted the Bhagavad Gita, the Indian myth about the warrior Arjuna fighting for the rule of the Kingdom. In that story, Arjuna wanted to give up fighting and become a renunciant. Rather than have to fight a battle where he'd have to kill his family members on the opposing side. His charioteer, Krishna told him in the final verses of the story. It's better to do your own work to play your role imperfectly, than to do work that's not according to your nature, someone else's work perfectly.  

So you'll never find success, singing someone else's tune, nor reach the stars by dancing in someone else's shoes. The lyrics continue.  

"We all are players. So let us play upon the stage of life and watch the world unfold."

There you are Shakespeare's all the worlds of stage, just as a reminder that life is drama, and we're on this stage of sorts. And in that verse is a line of encouragement. So let us play. In our last episode, I talked extensively about how important it is to include play in your life. But here I'm referring to something more. This play means to get into your life role deeply. Because by doing so, the world will open up to you. I'll talk More about this in a moment. This thought gets emphasized in the chorus, which goes like this, you got to rock your roll, rock your roll, no matter what they say, You got to rock your roll, turn your troubles into play, you got to rock your role. So the role you have to play in life, you got a rocket, whether you're a data analyst, a real estate broker, a chiropractor, a stay-at-home parent, or a psychologist, whatever, you should give it your all.

One of the things I was taught by one of my acting instructors, was that acting is not pretending. For instance, when I had to express anger in a scene or sadness, I shouldn't pretend to be angry or sad. But rather, I should identify the genuine source or feeling of anger or sadness within me. And to bring that out, to summon those true feelings from within my psyche, and imbue them into the character I was playing, to bring my true self into this character. And by doing that, my performance would become authentic. It's the kind of thing you experience when you watch a character on screen, and you actually forget, they're an actor acting in that part. And you believe that they are the character themselves. When actors achieve this level of acting, it's at that point when you really become engaged with the character when you feel moved by them. Those are the points where you genuinely experience the emotions being conveyed. You feel angry, frustrated, you laugh out loud, or you cry. 

The easiest way for actors to achieve this is for them to choose characters who are actually like them in real life. The reason is that the behaviors and feelings they experience are so natural for them, that they don't have to make much of an effort to convey the character's moods or feelings. In the real world, this is an ideal to choose roles in life that match with your nature. It's an ideal because more often than not, we wind up with roles we have to play that are not actually like who we are, for instance, you might not be very providing naturally, but you're forced to take a job and customer service or customer support. Or maybe you're not very entrepreneurial by nature, and you wind up in a sales position, and selling doesn't come naturally to you. So what do you do in this case? One way is to do things with a half heart, you're on customer support, but you have your phone open to your Facebook page, or you're on Twitter, you can avoid working as much as possible, taking breaks, taking sick leaves. You can also micro dose to take the burden off. Why do we do this? Because when we have to act in roles that are not closely aligned with our natures, we experience a degree of pain. And we're looking for a way out of that pain. We try to resist and we wind up suffering as a result.  

And right there is an extremely interesting idea that's been shared by the meditation teacher Shinzen Young, he's put his thought into an equation that makes so much sense. Jung says that suffering equals pain times resistance. So we feel the pain of misalignment, and we resist that activity. You're providing nature is low, and you have to provide support to someone. It feels irritating, painful, so you resist. And the more you resist, the more you suffer. Well, then what's the alternative? 

One answer was a rather clever one. It would be like this. Hey, Steven, you said we should find work that's according to your nature. And this job isn't according to my nature, well, I'm just going to quit. Why should I take up that delivery job, I'll just wait it out until a job comes along that matches who I am. Well, although I do say that you should find work according to your nature. That's only part of the story. My take on this can be understood with the physics analogy, and the behavior of light. One of the first things that we are taught about light is that light travels in a straight line. But then, after some time, we also learned that light has another way of behaving. It travels in waves. Both of those statements are true at the same time. It just depends on how you look at it. Therefore, this idea of alignment has two perspectives. We should work according to our nature, but we should be ready to do any work to the best of our nature. Both of these are true. It just depends on how you look at it. what your situation is. 

Let's think about actors again. In the beginning of their careers, it's not like the roles that they get are necessarily similar to their personalities. For years, they have to take all sorts of roles. Then as they gain experience, eventually, they can more easily find roles ideally suited for them. In fact, sometimes script writers will even write parts, especially for a specific actor. 

I have a friend who's an actor, and he's faced a difficult time in the last few years landing roles. And here's an interesting story he shared with me. Not long back, a director passed him up for a part in a series, hiring less qualified actors, perhaps because of budget constraints. A few months into the production work, the director called my friend and asked him if he would help her by coaching the actors who were doing a rather lackluster job. My friend turned her down. Why should he do it, he thought, she passed him up for an acting role. And now she was calling him to help save her and not as an actor, but as a coach. So he said no. And she found a way to manage without him or with someone else. And shortly thereafter, the series was picked up by Netflix, and it became a hit. My friend realize the mistake he made by sitting out. And as he shared with me, had I put my ego aside and done the job, I would have gotten paid, and who knows what opportunities it might have led to.  

Now I'd like to say something about this phrase, no matter what they say, You got to rock your role, no matter what they say. Often, we're worried about what others think about us. So much, so that it drives us to do things that are far from who we really are. You might have heard the expression. Many people work in jobs, they hate to buy things they can't afford, just to impress people they don't even like. So this line, no matter what they say, is a plea for you not to be swayed wrongly, when you step out on your path, in your role in the drama you want to act in. Sometimes others don't know who you truly are. In their minds, they have typecast you. They have a place in their minds for you, who you are, what you look like, how you behave, what you're capable of doing, and so on. And when you step outside those parameters, it's hard for them to deal with it. Because now you don't fit into that neat little box they've created for you. And in order for them to accommodate the possibility of change for you. It's going to require an effort on their part. Therefore, it's just so much easier for them to make a little statement to keep you in your place. Really, oh, come on, why would you want to do that? That's not for you. Making a change like that would be difficult, what if you fail, and so on. So no matter what they say, You got to rock your role.  

The next tray says turn your troubles into play. Sometimes we become so deeply entrenched in our problems, that they overshadow all the beauty in our lives. We can lose sight of the many valuable things we have - family, friends, pets, freedoms, art, music, nature, and so on. And our egos have a tendency to get in the way of what's actually in our best interest. So much so that we can do things and take decisions that work against us. In the Eastern tradition, there's a way of being that emphasizes the fact that we're actually not this body. Yes, we're in the body, but it's a temporary arrangement. It's a role we're playing, and that it's important to be aware of this difference. Think about characters on the stage.  

Imagine there are two characters, let's say sisters, and in the scene they're acting. They're in a raging fight. The scene ends and they walk off the stage, but then they continue to fight even all the way back to the dressing room. You would think they were crazy that they were just acting in these roles, playing the parts. In the same way I'm playing the role of Steven sometimes Rudymon. You're playing a particular role to in the body you're in with the name you have and so on. 

And so again, the phrases turn your troubles into play. By making things playful by using humor, you're using one of the human beings greatest tools to face adversity. There's a tremendous amount of research that's focused on how humor and even laughter provide us with a powerful coping mechanism when we're overcome by stress. Finding the lighter side of situations creates a buffer between us in the situation which reduces the amount we suffer. Humor also releases the neurotransmitter serotonin in our brains, which is similar to how antidepressants work.  

Also, when you face threats or perceived threats, the brain releases cortisol, the fight or flight chemical. When cortisol is present for long periods in the body, it severely affects the cardiovascular and immune systems. So, by finding a way to play, to poke fun at your situation, you're keeping these chemicals at bay. And if you can muster up some laughs in the face of your greatest woes, you increase immune cells in infection-fighting antibodies, your guffaws at your gaffes caused the release of endorphins, your body's natural "feel good" chemicals. This promotes a sense of well-being and can even relieve pain temporarily.  

So it's important to remember that all of this is temporary. And keeping this in mind can help you to see the bigger picture. And by making an attempt to turn those troubles into play, you can find some relief when it seems like the role you're playing is getting steamrolled.  

That brings us to the next lines. How long can you go on hiding in the wings? Draw out your character, suspend your disbelief. So in acting, the term "wings" refers to the sides of the stage where the actors wait before coming out on stage. The question is, therefore, how long are you going to sit on the sidelines? That might mean not fully engaging in a role, or even sitting out completely and missing opportunities like my acting friend. This has everything to do with stage fright. Have you ever been in a play before?  

You might know that feeling just before you're about to go on stage, you're nervous as hell, your heart is racing, your palms are sweating, you're just praying that you won't mess things up. The same holds true for those times when we have to take up challenges. Leave a job that's not right for us, go against what a parent is trying to get us to do. Change a belief about a situation or ourselves, or to take on a new role that we feel inadequate to assume. It's so easy to hide out by not committing or by playing it easy, or by avoiding the situation altogether. So the question is, how long can you go on hiding in the wings.  

The next line, draw out your character, his encouragement to tap into your Tigers, into your personality traits, and bring those qualities out. So you can fully and genuinely play the current role that you've been given. Even if it doesn't suit you. And even if you don't love it, not forever, just for now, until you can craft a different more appealing situation and role for yourself. Suspend your disbelief is also a theatrical term. It's what we do as viewers when we purposely put out of our mind that we're watching actors who are portraying roles. For the time we're watching, we believe that what we're watching is real. Here the words have been flipped around to address you, the protagonist, to encourage you to suspend your disbelief, your disbelief that you can't do it. You can do it. But you need to stop resisting. Otherwise, you're just going to suffer and you won't be playing your part. And the other actors and the audience in your life drama will not be moved by your performance. If you're not into what you're doing, your impact is just going to be substandard. Here, this is a matter of will, it's all about attitude, the need to drop the ego to suck it up and to demonstrate some grit.  

My experience is that when I have to do things I really detest if I release the resistance, I find that I can do it. I don't force myself rather, I find the qualities or Tigers within myself, I summon them to bring out that providing tiger or that administrative Tiger. And I find when I do that, they expand and make themselves available to me. Draw out your character, suspend your disbelief.

The next lyrics go like this. We all are players. So let us play as kings and queens and fools and every part that's in between. So you should be prepared to play not only the lead role, but any part that's required of you. You don't always get to be in the spotlight. Sometimes other people in your life drama need for you to be a supporting actor, to play a minor role, or even to be an extra. What I want to know is if required, can you rock it as an extra? And by that, I don't mean drawing attention to yourself but blending in with the background if that's what it takes. 

And often doing so requires sacrifice, you're going to need to give something up. You shouldn't expect to have everything the way you want, otherwise, you're not going to play ball. In my case, for the years I lived in India, I was running numerous projects that meant so much to me personally. I founded a school for low-income children. And I gave whatever resources I had, which weren't much to that organization. But the downside was, we didn't have enough money to buy or rent school premises. So we decided to build a small house where we all lived, and in which we ran the school. 

During that time, I lived in a joint family, adults, children, grandparents, and so on. For years, with no generator, and no AC, in temperatures that sometimes reached 120 degrees. Eventually, we did get one AC. And often, we had to sleep all of us in that one room. And on top of that, there were 175 students in the house daily, six days a week. So I gave up a huge amount of privacy, but it was a sacrifice I was ready to make.  

Creating the life and drama that you want, is going to require you to make some sacrifices. For instance, living alone is a choice. Living at your current standard of living is also a choice. Maybe you need to move geographically, or to another country, or to live with parents, or friends, or without them. Or to live below a means that you're used to living. It also might require you to reduce the amount of time you normally spend on things like social media, or playing video games, or doing non-productive activities. My point is this. If you're not ready to make a sacrifice, then you're not in that much pain, or living a life that you create is really not that important. And in addition, it takes practice to have to get down with the roles that are not fully according to your nature. But if you can commit to the idea of being a player in all aspects of your life, in whatever role you need to play, doing whatever is necessary. Because if you start with this attitude, it gets better from there. What happens is that you can affect your life drama, the story you are living, and soon, the role or roles that come your way, will be more like who you are naturally. In fact, you will begin to create the roles for yourself to play.  

Let's get back to the lyrics. Just go with what you know, forget what you were taught. Listen to your inner beat, and improvise by heart. Here I'm encouraging you to take things to an entirely different level, to take whatever you've been taught by your parents, your family members, school society, by news agencies, and tap into your own genius, to trust yourself, to listen to what your own rhythms are telling you. And to move with those waves. Listen to your inner beat. One of the things I find ironic is that people who often guide us, despite their best interests are people who don't act in alignment with their own natures. People who don't have balanced lives themselves, who don't rock their roles. So while it's important to hear what others have to say, you need to trust your instincts even more. And I know how hard that is for many people, they doubt themselves.  

And they're so impacted by what others have to say about them. If you're going to rock your roll, it's essential for you to be in harmony with your own vibrations, and improvise by heart. With this line, we fully enter into this new realm. Usually, we say I memorized something by heart. Right? When you're asked typically in school to learn something by heart, it's something you commit to memory, the periodic chart, a famous speech, a set of declensions but I've flipped that around. I'm encouraging you to improvise by heart. What I'm talking about here is the path of constructing your own play your own life drama, in fact, your own world or mini-universe. 

There's a wonderful book written by Colombian American anthropologist Arturo Escobar, entitled "Designs for the pluriverse, radical interdependence, autonomy in the making of worlds: new ecologies for the 21st century." And in it, he explains that the commonly held perspective of the universe is that there is one universe one fixed reality and that each one of us plays a role, so to speak, in that single existence. In recent years, an alternative perspective has emerged that there's not one fixed reality or universe. Rather, there are numerous, possibly limitless realities that exist independently of each other, but which overlap. So this is not the universe, but the pluriverse. And I find this idea fits perfectly with what I've understood about the concept of life drama and alignment. In other words, your life is its own universe. It's one of many in the pluriverse, and you are the protagonist of that world. All of the people make their entrances and exits onto your stage, into your drama. And the thing that Escobar explains so beautifully, is the power that each one of us has in shaping our worlds. He calls it worlding or better reworlding. He also uses the term futuring, which is the process of envisioning and building new futures with new possibilities that are beneficial not only for us as individuals, but also for our communities and for all the living beings, even nonhumans, including not just animals, but also mountains, rivers, forests, and so on.  

What I like about this concept is the sense of optimism it brings, especially in the face of the doom and gloom we're currently experience with respect to climate change, technology that's getting the best of us, and the social unrest that's becoming increasingly prevalent. Escobar is encouraging us not to take life as it is, not to wait in the wings for something to change, or a better part or life to come along. Rather, he puts the responsibility in our hands to invent, to create, to construct the lives we would love to have. And again, this is not as easy as it seems, we have no manual to follow. There are no IKEA-like set of instructions for each person on how to assemble such worlds, we have to improvise, to take chances, to exercise our adventurous tigers.  

We have to move out of our comfort zones and stop viewing the world the way we've always been seeing it. There are so many valuable alternative perspectives that can help us reconfigure our lives. For me, I decided to travel to the east to expand my horizons. And that really shook me up. Because I discovered ways of being, belief systems, customs, and so on, that were so radically different from what I had known growing up in the suburbs of New Jersey. It challenged everything I knew.  

For instance, in India, I found a country that had a strong culture of recycling things. In America, we have a buy and throw culture, you buy something, if it stops working, you throw it out and get a new one. Or even if it's not broken, but you just want the latest model, you throw out the old one, or put it in storage and get a new one. But in India, most people tend to keep things and use them until there's nothing left of them. 

In fact, one time I had to iron a shirt as I had an important meeting, and the iron in our house was so old and in such bad shape. I kept requesting my Indian family members who are hosting me to get a new one. So I started to iron the shirt. And when I removed the iron, I saw a huge black mark across the shirt. The iron had gotten so overused that a black residue built up on the face of the iron and permanently imprinted itself across my brand new shirt. There I was shirtless, wearing only my pants absolutely furious that the family kept on using this old rundown iron and that now it spoiled my shirt and was making me late for my meeting. 

In total rage I walked outside shirtless shoeless in only my pants, and stormed over to a nearby garbage pit. With all of my might, I flung the iron into the abyss, so be irretrievable and the family would be forced to get a new one. And I was sure to make enough of a stink about what I just done, so everyone understood my point and a new Iron would be purchased. About a week later, when I needed to iron another shirt. I went to the cupboard where the iron was kept. And I opened it and found to my surprise, the same iron with a replaced cord and a clean face. Someone had gone into the pit, fished it out and got it repaired. And in that moment, I totally melted. I felt so stupid and humiliated. Well, first that I acted like a self entitled jerk. If I wanted a new Iron, I just should have gone out myself and bought a new one. But in a way, I'm glad I didn't. Otherwise, I never would have broken out of my buy and throw mentality. It was a pivotal moment for me in my life about living more sustainably.  

After that, I became obsessed with recycling and reusing things. In fact, once when renovating my apartment, I made a rule that I would try not to buy anything new, but would use almost exclusively handmade and recycled items. I used wood from a fallen tree and repurposed an old bookshelf. I may track lighting from bamboo and empty coconut husks, and created lamps from sticks, woven jute, and handmade paper. I had no idea what I was doing. But I learned through experience itself, and from a few amazing creative people who supported me with their hands and hearts. 

And it's here where the final lines of the song come in. We all are players. So let us play as wandering troubadours in perfect company. In the 16th and 17th centuries, it was a golden era of drama, the time when Shakespeare lived. And during this time, there were acting companies. These were groups of actors that perform different dramas, most of them traveled, bringing their plays from city to city, town to town because there were not so many established theaters. And it certainly wasn't easy to live in existence in this manner. There were so many hardships they had to face, financial, physical, and even political. But one thing was there. They were very prolific. They had to constantly collaborate, innovate, and support each other for their survival. When you're constructing your new drama of life, you might feel like those traveling actors, insecure, unsure of what comes next. And the remedy for that is community, your company so to speak, you'll remember I talked about the power of community in episode two, the five pillars. When renovating my apartment, the Association of supportive creative people with a similar vision to mine made it all possible. That experience was transformational for me, and their presence was essential to make that happen.

There's a point I'll mention briefly, though, I won't get into detail here. And that's the role of entrepreneurs, investors, leaders of industry, and government. You are the people who create contexts that affect individuals the most powerfully, I'd like to encourage you to keep your values and vision in check. If you're aiming to become a unicorn, and to do so by creating companies or contexts that are exploitative, you're heading down a slippery slope, one that could devastate everyone's worlds. Entrepreneurs have such a power in creating structures that support people. This is a two-way street. You want people to perform, you have to give them the basics and take care of them. People are most happy when they're acting, doing, performing. There'll be healthier, harder working, faithful, and committed. 

To this end, I've been really inspired by the work of Jed Emerson, he's written a book called "The purpose of capital". You can find that at www.purposeofcapital.org. And you can download it for free. It talks about entirely new ways of thinking about capital, business structures and investing that have deeply sustainable roots in them. If you're an entrepreneur or investor, I'd encourage you to read it. So a new vision for companies, a new vision for players, and players, I encourage you to find those companies or organizations, and most importantly, the people who have high level of consciousness, people who are looking to create new worlds, new universes. Look for values and innovative ideas, rather than just the role in organization provides end to paycheck, even if that requires you to make some sacrifices.  

There are so many people, economists, analysts, social commentators who concur that it is the end of the world as we know it, not necessarily the end of the world. So you're going to start having to make some drastic changes soon. If you haven't done so already since COVID turned everything upside down. There's no hope of going back to the past. So the only way forward is into a new unknown drama. What you create or co-create might not look anything like you've ever experienced, or even read about or seen before. In the beginning of our episode, I addressed the issues raised by my friend Namarupa, who pointed out that currently and in the near future, most people are not going to be earning what it takes to take care of the basics, at least the basics of the old world, the world the way we knew it. But that was that world, or those worlds of the past. And now, each of us has the opportunity to create new worlds. 

Look, I get it. I understand that thing. might not be ideal right now. And it can suck having to do things that just don't resonate with you. But if you have to do some things temporarily, that don't align with who you are, muster up the spirit to rock those roles, make the necessary sacrifices. Keep in mind that you don't have to do those things forever and that you can and should be angling to create a new life drama that maps to who you are. 

Remember that when water is still, like in a pond, algae collects in it, it becomes impure, undrinkable. However, when water is flowing, it automatically becomes purified. By engaging and putting your heart into whatever you're doing, you're eliminating those impurities. So my message, act, rock your role, who knows what drama you will create, what depths you'll reach, and how profoundly you'll impact the worlds around you. 

So let's have a quick summary of today's podcast. I introduced the concept of life as a drama as a way or context of looking at your life. I mentioned how you have the choice of how you want to act in your life. But the best way is to put yourself into whatever roles you have to play, drawing on all your abilities in finding alignment. I concluded by encouraging you to become the creator of your own life drama, that you don't need to merely accept the part or parts that have been handed to you. You have the ability to create a drama according to who you are. So your nature better aligns with what you do. I mentioned that you should look beyond your current context to find inspiration and even people who can support you and become co-creators in your new life script. In the process, I mentioned that you're going to need to make some sacrifices to reach this stage. But that doing so is utterly worthwhile.  

And now, finally, as I promised it's time for some music. Rudymon's song "Rock your role". Rudymon, take it away.

You’ll never find success
Singing someone else’s tune nor reach the stars by dancing in someone else’s shoes  
We all are players 
So let us play
Upon the stage of life
And watch the world unfold
How long can you go on
Hiding in the wings? 
Draw out your character
Suspend your disbelief 
We all are players
So let us play
As kings and queens and fools
And every part that’s in between 
You gotta rock your role
Rock your role
No matter what they say (turn your troubles into play, you gotta rock it every day)
You gotta rock your role 
Just go with what you know
Forget what you were taught
Listen to your inner beat
And improvise by heart 
We all are players 
So let us play
As wandering troubadours 
In perfect company  
You gotta rock your role 
Rock your role 
No matter what they say (turn your troubles into play, you gotta rock it every day) 
You gotta rock your role  
Rock-a-rock-a-rock-a-rock-a-rock

That brings us to the end of our episode - Rock Your Roll. Be sure to check out the show notes for this episode, which have links, references, and a transcript. There's also a link to the Rock Your Role song and lyrics in case you enjoyed it and would like to listen to it again. If you haven't done so yet, I encourage you to subscribe to the Feed Your Tigers podcast, so you don't miss any of the future episodes. You can do so by visiting my website at www.feedyourtigers.com or through your favorite podcast stations such as Spotify, Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, and others. Well, that's it for today. This is Steven Rudolph. And until the next episode, I'd like to remind you to Feed Your Tigers before they eat you.