MODERN-DAY SCAMS: AN OPINION ESSAY
The trap of toxic-positivity
There are people and organisations taking advantage of young people by promising ultimate success, wealth, or fame to them by glorifying failures as mandatory steps towards success. Such chronic positivity would trick the vulnerable into the vicious circle of pursuing unrealistically ambitious dreams forever. What is it, if it is not a scam?
We must stop injecting chronic positivity into everyone we meet in the name of mentoring them. Because it is simply toxic for the majority of the people beyond what we can fathom.
This has been in my mind for a while, and the recent episode of Simone Biles withdrawing herself from the Tokyo Olympics citing mental health concerns triggered me to write this.
There has been a mass migration of people from other fields to design which is absolutely great for the design community. In fact, many of them have seen incredible success but at the same time, a lot more are stuck in a difficult spot. Some are not even aware of it- is the tragedy of this choric-positivity diet supplied as a ready-made explanation for what they are going through.
Influencers and institutions must stop over-glorifying the failures by igniting these young and vulnerable with inflated dreams without preparing them for handling the trauma and despair in the journey forward. You may be telling a true story, but such audaciously ambitious exceptions cannot be set on generic examples if it is only for your lucrative benefits.
Because not everyone is equally equipped to overcome the hurdles in a race. Not everyone wants to dream big. Not everyone wants to be a leader in their respective fields- and that should be treated as normal. Because, not everyone can become Steve Jobs, Hussain Bolt or Lionel Messi; they happen as one among millions, with the right support system at the right time on their way to becoming GOATs. Not to discount their incredible will, perseverance and hard work.
I am not against helping others or positivity. I myself ended up where I am today (a better place) only as a result of someone ignited the fire in me. I was not really equipped. Once gotten in it was difficult to get out, But I consider myself very lucky for finding great mentors along the way who helped me pivot my journey at key places by reimagining the immediate missions to the larger vision. At the same time, I have also witnessed exponentially more people cashing out or getting stuck in this race so badly. Even calling it ‘badly’ would be an understatement with many real-life stories I know.
Yes, there is certainly a narrow chance of some people truly finding their calling after getting ignited with such sparks of fire-talks. Whether you admit it or not, there is also a dark side to it as well. Think about the rest of the 98% (highly optimistic here), who throw themselves into the fire believing they too will be rising like a phoenix from the ashes. No one takes accountability for them! We to conveniently brush away those stories under the carpet, of those who end up losing their wealth, health, relationships and mental wellbeing.
The next time when you indulge in spreading such chronic positivity, please ask yourself if you are in it for selfish reasons? Be it for your own career growth or fame.
It’s high time we speak up for ending this toxic positivity for it has spoiled countless lives and dreams of people, who would have been better of without this toxic positivity with capitalistic intentions.