What is Rolefulness

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They all have their exits and entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts.

–W. Shakespeare, As You Like It, Act II, Scene 7.

As Shakespeare poetically expressed, we all have various roles we pursue in life. All of you have multiple roles.

Most have been assigned to you by fate, family and society. With each of your roles come expectations that you have no doubt strived to have met. Expectations that have been defined by and demanded from others.

You live your life, day in and day out trying to meet the expectations and demands of your roles yet, have you ever deeply reflected on the roles you pursue?

  • Are the roles you are currently pursuing the roles you want to pursue?
  • Are you pursuing your roles in a manner that reflects your values?
  • Can you express yourself freely in the roles you play?
  • Are you the person you want to be in your roles?

My guess is you haven't deeply reflected on such questions. My guess is that you have never taken the time to define each of your roles, certainly not in the same manner that you might have defined your life goals.

We spend time setting a budget for the things we want to buy, planning holidays we eventually take and setting goals we hope to achieve, but we don’t spend time defining our roles?

Why is that?

The closest we come to defining a role is when we look for a job or plan a career change. And in that situation we are offered a role, a role we would never take if we weren’t paid to perform it.

And there is another role that chews up your time making one man very rich.

Mark Zuckerberg, the world’s seemingly most awkward and poorly socially skilled man has had us connecting with strangers on various platforms for the past twenty years. Without us knowing he engineered us to have a role on facebook - to be manipulated and sold to. And it has made him billions.

Today, rather than spending time with the people that matter to us, we spend more time online trying to connect with strangers, with whom we share a constructed self. Superficial and shallow interactions have become our focus where we seek approval from others we don’t know.

Social media has given us a meaningless role. With the advancement of technology and the proliferation of social media we are becoming roleless.

So, what’s the solution?

The answer to all these problems is rolefulness. Rolefulness involves redefining your roles and embracing new ones. Rolefulness is the continuous sense of role satisfaction you experience in your day to day living.

There are two aspects to it -, “social rolefulness” and “internal rolefulness.”

Social rolefulness is a sense of role satisfaction based on social experiences and relationships you have with others, while internal rolefulness is the internalised feeling of role satisfaction. This internalised feeling becomes/is the foundation of your individuality and our confidence.

Increasing your rolefulness is very simple. It involves in-person interactions - engaging in ordinary activities such as greeting people, having conversations, and showing gratitude to others.