The other day I had dinner with my brother, and we became engrossed in a conversation about life and the universe. I always enjoy a deep and meaningful discussion with people who think bigger than just here and now. During the conversation my big bro introduced me to the concept of a protagonist. I had heard and perhaps even used this word before without too much thought however in the context of our conversation it was quite eye-opening. This followed into a conversation about the impact of being around people who are protagonists and what that means in our lives and in the world in general and something struck me after having that conversation.Before I move onto explain my revelation it might be useful to clarify what a Protagonist is. A Protagonist is someone who is the leading character or one of the major characters in a play, film, novel. In this blog I will be bending the term to be the leading character of their own lives.
Superficially this would appear very benign and perhaps even normal, however when we break it down a bit further it’s when those around us are wrapped up in ONLY their lives and sometimes to the detriment of the relationships around them. When people will be more interested in themselves than anyone around them. I am sure everyone at some point in their lives been in contact with someone who always seems to turn the conversation around and back onto themselves.
What I have found over my time walking this earth is that this leads to individuals being more disconnected than connected. Let me be clear it does not make someone a bad person because at that point they are all about themselves, it does however mean that they are not slowing down enough to be reflective about their behaviour and its impact on those around them.
Autopilot is a dangerous place to live our life, especially if we want to grow and create the life we want. The issue being is when we are on autopilot we are simply not able to be aware, and will continue to do what we have always done without another thought. If you are completely happy with every single part of your life then this would not be an issue, and bravo if that’s the case, however the majority of the population is striving to be, do and have more. We will often tolerate a protagonist Die to our primal drive to be part of the collective rather than alone, but only for a period of time, then we will seek others out who are more like us, or stimulate us. Being around others who stimulate us and challenge our beliefs, concepts and actions is incredibly useful if we want to create a life worth living.
If you have ever followed me or seen any of my online programs and workshops, I talked about the concept a Brain Trust, which is a concept that was introduced to me when I was doing a program. The idea or concept of a Brain Trust is that we have one or two people in our world that we feel safe with and value their opinion who we can have these bigger conversations with. I am talking about those conversations that go deeper where we start to really question the status quo and get really curious about, the ‘whys’ of the world. The ‘what is life all about’ and ‘why are we here conversations’, ‘why you do that and believe this and not that?’. I can hear what you are saying ‘wow I would hate to be a member of Natalie’s family!'.
However it's these conversations that actually create new neural pathways, they actually change the brain because of the way we have to think while we're having those conversations. I think all of us should have a couple of people that are part of our Brain Trust, where we can safely bounce ideas, get more information, challenge old information and spark new exciting thoughts. This helps us grow as humans and be more tolerant and not so judgemental, it will make us less fused to a certain belief or way of being. This will replace the need to be a protagonist in our own life, because let’s be honest we are just one of the many people in this world and we all need each other to make the world work well.
Food for thought.