John Negro
6 min readJul 21, 2020


Did You Sell Out?

What does it mean to sell out? I can vividly remember a scene in the Fox TV series "Empire" where Bryshere Y. Gray going by the show moniker "Hakeem" in a drunken fit urinated on the floor in a bar and told the white people present that those of them who voted for Obama in a hypocritical self-righteous attempt of not wanting to seem racist should know that Obama was a sellout implying that their votes didn't really count in the proper sense of a moral obligation to a democratic electoral system because the person they voted for in the bid to a conscientious redemption from the obnoxious cultural label of white supremacy they inherited from "intolerant" African-Americans was an "infidel", a person who doesn't live up to the ethical standards and foundational virtues they preach and project in personality to the public. Was Obama a sellout? i wouldn't know about that for sure but in the real sense what does it mean to sell out? And who exactly is a sell out?

The Advanced Learners English Dictionary defines "Sell out" as someone who doesn't live up to their promises and does not deserve the reputation they enjoy. This is in the context of the pronoun. In the action sense, sell out means an act of betrayal. In light of this understanding if we re-envisage the Empire Tv series scene where Hakeem (Bryshere Gray) made the Obama sellout statement, We can deduce that he labels Obama a sellout probably because Obama did not live up to the expectation of the average black man as regards social reforms, racial equality, black male incarceration and other supposed elitist vices that subjugate and plague the black man in modern day America whereas that was not the impression he created while he was campaigning for the office of the president of the United States, or more so his countenance while in a bid to canvass votes from the black community sympathized with their plight. Of course Hakeem’s perspective is biased since there are obvious intricacies, middle grounds, fragility and diplomacies to affairs of state but thanks to this analogy we were afforded a clear literal grasp of who a sellout is and what it means to sell out. Now we can approach the context of this article from a perspective leveraged with clarity and strength. Did you sellout?

Did you sell out? Yes, did you sell out? did you compromise on the values, virtues and ethics you held dear to your heart in your early life just so you could eke out a living and survival or conform to a programmed existence you time to time find discomforting and threatening to your peace but cannot seem to do anything about since social conditioning paints it to you as fighting a battle up hill. Did you let go of a life that promised bliss and color because it seemed a little far off in the distance and was requisite of faith and diligence for a life of "anything goes" and " if you cannot beat the crowd join them". In a bid to streamline context, the aspect of selling out we would focus on would not be about personality or social interactivity as we all know there is a complicated variability in the constancy of principles that govern human interaction, instead we would center on that which applies to us all and is devoid of argumentative perspectives and far contrasting extremes, We would beam our spotlight of inquisition on career. While making our transit into maturity and adulthood we all savored the amusement and bliss at the bus stop of our teenage years, the liberty and inescapable lackadaisical of the bloom of youth, at least most of us if not all. The inelasticity of our minds knew no bounds since there is usually less expectation and responsibility accrued to that phase except for good grades and personal hygiene, our thoughts were unsynchronized and not indoctrinated with the 3-dimensional innards and workings of the real world, we were lofty with ambitions, rigid in our opinions and color with which we envisaged how our careers would pan out, a vainly imagined script of events following a detailed pattern and order, but as usual, fate has an uncanny way of reminding us of how quite powerless we humans are in the wielding of our emotional will and influence on determining futuristic outcomes, years pass by and in many but not all cases the venomous pangs of reality sinks into the artery of our dreams and ambitions, Some of us stray, others fall by the way side and the rest ply an alternate route to find balance and fortify in a bid to be strong and firmly rooted when attempting to re-align with their initial but true passion. As inconsistent as it may seem or sound, the sell-out phenomenon is not really blame worthy on the part of the individual involved since no one can definitely say that they have a magic wand with which they prime reality to their will and doing or a holistic grip on the circumstances and vicissitude of life that the antecedents of fate shove in their face every day. As far as obvious reality is concerned, economic flux, social conditioning, aesthetic and environmental influence, mental and emotional health, interactions and relationships comprises a large chunk of stake in the determinant spectrum of a person's life, with all these factors that govern the day to day flux of existence in play, This clearly posits that little is left to the individual in ascertaining the degree of control and power they possess in determining their circumstances and predicaments. So if one did sell out career wise, it would not really be a bad thing after all insofar the reason preceding the decision seems 'logically" justifiable factoring the wildcards of fate as earlier pointed out. But there is good news, one which says that inasmuch the cognitive dissonance or day-to-day stress you face as a result of being in an employment or career path that does not align with your true strength of self you can still live a life of ease, balance and bliss by making time to do that which you find joy and mental stability doing. All it takes is a determination and a strong willed resolution to align with heart, similar to the biblical heartfelt repentance to God, commensurate mental energy should be channeled to this effect since rationally drifting to our state of inner heartfelt peace is cosmic priority. We can achieve this quite remarkable feat of self-truth and alignment by these three keys: Acceptance, Confidence and Originality.

Acceptance: A deep down genuine resolution in line with the notion that stress which we accumulate from being who we are not, employed outside our generic skill set and partaking in activities that are not in sync or flux with our true identity. We must learn to accept that we cannot function any better than coming to terms with who we are and exhibiting our true passion skills that we can exhibit almost effortlessly in our state of mental rest

Confidence: A mindset powered by the understanding that if we could make a name and eke out a means of income while being in our previous cognitive dissonant employment or an endeavor which we weren’t cosmically aligned with, then, how much more reputation and finance we can leverage on while toeing that career path or activity that resonates with our base personality, inner peace and mental rest

Originality: A diligence in adhering to the sole virtue of effortless self-expression, One which is borne of the realization that in actualizing our true strength of endeavor and exhibiting our passion skills the only bar we need to set and beat is the standard by which we function at a given time and this leaves no room for striving to be like someone else as regards skill level in this field but attain mastery at our own pace and of our own essence.

Armed with these three keys you are sure on your way to becoming the next Picasso or Einstein in the career that synchronizes with your true person strength and skill thereby routing you to a sense of purpose and direction in life. In the meantime, have fun and enjoy doing your work.