So how do you emanate charisma?
By going straight ahead like a bulldozer, and being deaf to anyone who tries to alter your path. The world’s got plenty of people who let themselves be shaped by what they think they need or must possess, or how they believe they must appear in order to be loved. The charismatic person is a stubborn specimen, she follows her heart, takes the less travelled path and does what she feels necessary for herself without having to justify anything to anyone.
I made plenty of odd and unorthodox choices in my life, and never gave in to the countless remarks I got from the people around me.
I recently realized that people who seem to want the best for you (and often they really do), can be categorized into two types:
1) The first category of people want you to become who they themselves are. My friends who work as professors keep sending me lists of PhDs I could pursue and repeatedly tell me I should dive into a career in academia. My mother desperately wants me to find a man because if a woman isn’t owned by a man, then for the love of God, she’s in trouble. My friends who are politicians will often tell me to register to a political party and start a career in politics. My teacher friends tell me I ought to be a teacher. The export manager says: “Sell to international clients, do you know how much money you would make?”. The successful businessman friend says: “Do anything that will make you the money you deserve, and stop wasting all your leads”. The mother I always talk to outside my son’s school says: “Work in the factory near your home, that way you’ll have plenty of time to look after your son, and you’ll stop traveling overseas so much.”
2) The second kind of very common, well-intentioned person, is obsessed with feeling safe, and possessing money or material goods. As soon as they notice that I am good at doing something, they say I ought to stop looking further, and keep doing that one thing forever so that I can maximise the amount of money I earn doing it, and go on to spend it all on rubbish just like they do. “You’re the best BnB host, you should rent out a bunch of flats and then sublet them on Airbnb, you would make a killing.”, “You’re an incredible writer, leave everything behind and be a writer!”, “You’re the most adventurous traveller, you should get back on social media and be an influencer, people would love to know what you do”. “You read so much, why don’t you work for a publishing firm so they pay you to do it?”, “You’re so good with kids, have you ever thought of being a teacher? It’s a really stable job!”, “You cook so well, have you ever thought about opening a bakery or a restaurant?”, “ I love your paintings, why don’t you write comics and illustrate them?”,” You speak many languages, why don’t you use them for serious interpretation gigs, like for the European Parliament?”, “You are so good at establishing high-level relationships, you should just be a damn diplomat!”, “ You love animals, why don’t you buy some cheap land and start a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere?” You have a Bachelor and a Master’s degree, just pursue the career you were meant to in International Relations.”… you get the gist of it.
Once, when I was in Greenland, I won at a shooting competition with the Inuit people. Proud of myself, I sent a picture of my achievement to my father back in Italy, who bluntly replied: “Well done Evelyn, now do just that with your life: Pick a target and aim straight at it. Focus! Focus!”
If I had listened to even one of these voices I would have flattened my life into a dull, shallow existence. Heck, I’ve always done just what I wanted, and so did all the incredibly interesting people I know. And every time I did something, it was because I really cared about it. A person who dims their light because of other people’s expectations is not charismatic, they are replaceable. The charismatic person builds herself through autonomous discoveries, through the suffering, blood and sweat required in the arduous quest of remaining true to her often lonely, quiet path.
Society tells you to be recognizable, so they can select you and buy you at the supermarket. In return you will be compensated, often poorly, with money, a permanent contract at a stable job, likes & follows on social media, and prefabricated dreams.
Well, to hell with that.
I tell you that your earthly duty, if you are a worthy human being, is to always do whatever you want. You were not born into this complex miracle of existence to pursue your material and egoic needs. You are not here to live by the fear of not belonging or not being recognized. You are here to be true, to be real, and to forge your own piece of puzzle that will be included in the history of humankind.