Each human being is different. We are individuals, with own beliefs, own philosophy, and own personality. The diversity goes to billions (seven, actually, nowadays). However, as we grow up, we learn to hide our real feelings, save our opinion to ourselves. We learn that our own personality may not be the most attractive to show in certain circumstances. We learn to compromise to succeed.
Typically, if you join a large corporation, you will be expected to conform to certain behavior, rules and expectations. You will be watched and your attitude, posture, conduct and opinion will be evaluated. Your success will depend on not only your results but also how you are able to show your adherence to corporate expectations.
You build up and wear your mask, every day. You never take that shield off at the workplace. You are a different person. You cannot afford to show your weaknesses, you cannot afford to make bad jokes. You have your goals to achieve and you need to behave according to those objectives.
How does your corporate mask look like? Are you able to wear the mask all the time or you have to take it off sometimes and breathe freely (at least when you are alone and hope that nobody sees you)? Is your mask a bit transparent? Should you not strengthen the material so nobody sees through? Leave just the two holes for the eyes and the one for the mouth, even this can be dangerous sometimes.
Once my family friends told me they could not believe that I was leading a large organization. They knew me only in private, never in the working environment. They considered me an easygoing, merry chap with a good sense of humor, who would never kill a fly. They could not imagine me being a strong, charismatic manager with sharp view and crisp opinion concluding disputes, who fights and negotiates against strong and clever opponents and who is successful in what he is doing.
You must design your mask well to fit your face so that you do not feel itchy behind it every minute. It shows another person to the outside but it has to fit in the inside so that you can wear it every day, for years. It gives you the potential to be successful at your job but you have to be reasonably comfortable wearing it.
And in the evening, when you go home and meet your partner, when you embrace your children, when you have a drink with your friends, I hope you have your mask off. Enjoy the moment your good mask enables you to enjoy.