“We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are”— Max Depree
Who we are can only get us but so far. I intend to be an introvert, I extend to be an extrovert. We must dethrone the comfort zone and shift to a different home, a temporary loan of interaction. Uncomfortable it will be, but how wonderful it will be—in the end when you spend your days working towards a bigger purpose, knowing that it was worth it and worth this—moment of ownership into higher rankings free of complacency. No such thing as adjacency when you look at me in comparison to my past ways. Stagnant was a fragment of my movements. I want more and in order to do this, I must become congruent to the main tasks.
As I reflect back on life and I think of the ‘missed’ opportunities that were presented before me—I blame it all on being an introvert; I didn’t want to leave my comfort and I paid the price. By not leaving my comfort, I remained stagnant. In 2015, I began freelancing for a county newspaper, mainly covering sports. Going to different events, interviewing so many people and having to be social when I honestly wanted to stay inside and write about something else, forced me out of my comfort zone; there were tasks that needed to be done but they wouldn’t get done without discomfort. Eventually, the discomfort eased up, but I’d still prefer time and space to myself.
For Kendrick Lamar, finding that perfect balance of introvert and extrovert system is key. Although it wasn’t highlighted as strongly on past body of works, I can hear Kendrick finding more balance of both traits on his album DAMN.
“And I’m gon’ shine like I’m supposed to, anti-social extrovert,” Kendrick Lamar rapped on his single “DNA.” He follows that with “And excellent means the extra work, and absentness what the fuck you heard.” Confliction of remaining to self and opening self to others; all for a greater purpose; prophet-like purpose.
“Introverted by thoughts” —Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick has a gift to paint a picture vivid enough for the masses to see and hear—bringing receptive grounding. However, that story cannot be heard to its full potential through an introvert-like presence; at least this is how it works for Kendrick. Also, striving for perfection, there’s a gap from when we receive Kendrick’s body’s of work; meticulous and perfection to the utmost of his ability. Nelson Mandela and Tupac Shakur are just two of the men that Kendrick look up to. Both men demonstrated the ability to step out of zones of comfort and get to the tasks at hand.
Kendrick was considered to be reclusive and to himself, but never shy. Quite frequently, there seems to be a misunderstanding of introvert people; they are not shy and they choose to not be social.
Although I still brawl with staying to myself, I’m a lot more outgoing now and receptive when there are multiple people around me and more situations occuring, especially when it’s goal oriented. To some degree, I’m an ambivert; thriving off social interactions but I also love my time to myself without dealing with people. There’s a balance that I needed to create in my life. With what I am now trying to do in life, I have to be social. Then there’s the other side of me that needs time to myself in order to put out my best work; I’m meticulous with my output and I need time to think. Ye’ said it best: “I just needed time alone with my own thoughts, got treasures in my mind but couldn’t open up my own vault.
Often times, I find myself in a conversation with three people at one time and there will physically only be one person in front of me. You see: there’s myself, the person who’s in front of me speaking and there’s the voice in my head—rapidly running through hundreds of ideas all at once. It’s quite the frustrated weight majority of the time. However, my introvert side lunges me to where I want to go, but my extrovert side will keep me there. It can either way, depending on the situation.
While both introvert and extrovert beings have an equal amount of dopamine (chemical that transmits signals to the brain and different cells in the human body), an extrovert tends to have a different level of activity when activating the dopamine; more “active” as Scott Barry Kaufman (Director of The Imagaination Institute) explains.
It comes down to your nervous system as Chrstine Fonseca explains in her book Quiet Kids: Help Your Introverted Child Succeed in an Extroverted World. Extroverts feed off of dopamine, while introverts are more likely to feed off of acetylcholine, which is also a part of the brain’s treasure system, just like dopamine. Acetylcholine is more of the calm reactions an introvert would feed off for their most productive energy. Reflection, deep thinking and intense focus is a result of this neurotransmitter—helping the focus of just one task for an extended duration.
There are advantages and there are disadvantages to being introverted. However, you may never see the disadvantages if your goals or lifestyle doesn’t call for any extroversion; variation comes into play.
As Kendrick Lamar has stepped out of his quiet zone and introversion, so have I, moving goals forward and refusing to remain stagnant. It’s a sacrifice—leaving behind the acetylycholine (the calm) for some time, in order to jet into the social stamina of dopamine (the social). It’s important for myself to find this balance, because I still need time away from external energies in order to keep creating and letting my thoughts flow out as I wish. However, there is the other part of me that knows I need to grow and in order for that to take place, the comfort zone must get left behind. So I’m going to shine, like I’m supposed to: antisocial-social-intro-extrovert.