Madonna is the Perfect Pragmatic Idealist
Madonna is one of the people I admire most. In my spare time, I don’t dedicate too much thought to her or anything around her, but rather, to reading, films and learning. I’ve always been interested in psychology, personality traits and neuroscience. Some time ago I realised that the apparent oxymoron that would be to be a pragmatic idealist isn’t so. I am one. Although not as perfect a Madonna. O’ course.
Heloooou! I’m not saying that we’re alike. I just happen to be a pragmatic idealist and I think she is one too. But I’m very different in many other aspects like I’m an introvert and she’s an extrovert. I start many things I don’t finish and I think she completes everything she starts. And so on…
On the surface, the concept pragmatic idealist might appear an oxymoron, but I’m not the first to think that it is possible to be both things at the same time and Madonna is a perfect example.
That’s right. Madonna seems to me the perfect pragmatic idealist, as rare as this might sound. And, believe me, I should know. I’m one too, although not an example as perfect as Madonna is, or I think her to be.
If you just recognise that being idealist requires some degree of pragmatism to be able to turn your ideals into objectives, then you realise that these two traits do not necessarily exclude each other.
So, what are idealists and pragmatics like? And is Madonna both?
Don’t confuse the philosophical Idealism and Pragmatism with the personal traits (being idealist or pragmatic).
What are idealists like. Is Madonna an idealist?
Of course, depending on the person, to have dreams and ideals may define either a stargazer, or someone who finds the reality in the ideal and sets out to make it happen.
There’s this common belief that idealists are daydreamers who fail to be down to earth most of the time. They’re always on cloud nine. Idealists are advocates of lost causes, unrealistic and quixotic. This is what most people think of them. But in many cases, they are wrong. Having dreams and ideals doesn’t necessarily mean filling up your brain with utopic illusions that will never realise.
What characterises idealists is not only or always the above, but much of the below.
If you´re a Madonna fan, try to analyse instinctively if Madonna has some of these personality traits as far as you know. Further on, I’ll try to do that more in depth.
Oh, and I swear that I haven’t made that list to accommodate Madonna’s personality or how I see her. No way. These traits come from a list of a psychologist’s post about the idealist personality and I’ve just shuffled them a little and expressed them with my own words.
Idealists, they’re truth seekers, they strive to be true to themselves, they’re not fond of rules but need order, they’re often altruistic, they tend to look at the big picture, they’re optimistic and their outlook on the future is always bright, they’re supportive and compassionate.
I could go on, but I think you get the picture.
Now, what are pragmatics like? Is Madonna a pragmatic?
Pragmatics are often regarded as cold, focussed, calculating people who have their minds only in achieving their own goals. It would appear that they’re diametrically opposed to idealists, right?
Not necessarily so.
Being an idealist doesn’t prevent me from identifying the realistic part of my dreams and trying to achieve them. And having a clear path to achieve my goals doesn’t make me a cold, calculating bitch either.
So, what are pragmatics like, apart from focused and efficient?
As you read, think if maybe Madonna has some of these personality traits:
Pragmatics, they’re practical of course! They tend to ignore unimportant details and get on with things. They’re organised and rarely procrastinate. They’re not fickle or volatile. They’re hard workers and disciplined. They always keep their main goal in mind. They will find the best, quickest and shortest way to get things done. They’re good and quick at making up their minds…
So, do you think Madonna has some idealist and pragmatic traits? Check it out.
Let’s start with the idealist personality traits first.
An idealist is a Truth seeker
Once a catholic, always a catholic. I’m one (I’ve been meaning to apostatise for years but I’m being lazy there, so there I am, still being officially part of the Roman Catholic Church, though agnostic). Madonna is a catholic too.
Catholicism is not known precisely for striving to find the Truth (about anything). On the contrary, Catholicism is all about dogmas or “absolute truths” (like most religions). You either accept them or accept them. And that’s the end of that.
Since she couldn’t find answers in Catholicism, Madonna endeavoured to look for them elsewhere. From Buddhism to Kabbalah. She’s been known to study or read many of the important books of various religions. Madonna is merely seeking the truth.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Does THE Truth about anything really exist?
Strives to be true to herself
Being honest with herself, being aware of what she values most, as well as her desires, being able to communicate and express herself wholeheartedly is, in my opinion, something that makes Madonna, Madonna. It’s not easy to be true to yourself and fully accept with love who you are. Some people go through their whole lives without even realising they’ve been just following with the rest of the crowd.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Do you ever feel as a mere spectator of your own life?
Is not fond of rules but need order
Madonna has always said that if there were no rules then there would be nothing to rebel against. In The Tonight Show (with Johnny Carson) in 1987 she said it in other words.
[There’s nothing wrong with old-fashion values because] I wouldn’t have turned out the way I was if I didn’t have all those old-fashioned values to rebel against.
Also, she wrote this for Harper’s Bazaar in 2013:
I’m not a big fan of rules. And yet we cannot live in a world without order. But for me, there is a difference between rules and order. Rules people follow without question. Order is what happens when words and actions bring people together, not tear them apart. Madonna’s back – Article written by Madonna for Harper’s Bazaar – Oct 4th, 2013
I rest my case. I think it is not necessary to give anymore examples or explain. It is widely known what Madonna feels and thinks about rules, she’s a Rebel Heart. So, next!
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Do you often question authority?
Is often altruistic, supportive and compassionate
This is one of the characteristics that make anyone a true idealist. The strong belief that you can make things better. When it was not popular to talk about AIDS, homosexuality or feminism, Madonna has always stuck her neck out and showed compassion and courage.
So, Madonna is a true idealist. She will go out of her way for whatever she considers a just cause. She’s done it, like, forever. AIDS, women, education, you name it. Madonna has raised her hand and said I’ll help.
You’ve probably heard of Raising Malawi, but did you know that Madonna collaborates also with other charities and non-profit organisations through her Ray of Light Foundation?
The Ray of Light Foundation supports organisations around the world working to promote peace, equal rights and education for all.
Madonna feels particularly close to organisations that help women and girls. Ray of Light supports, amongst others, The Afghan Institute of Learning, The Dream Foundation in Pakistan, and she also actively supports a project for her hometown Detroit.
I’m sad that the Ray of Light website doesn’t seem to get the attention it deserves, is poorly maintained and updated but I’m hopeful it will get better soon.
Needless to say, she has often performed at events such as Live Aid, Live 8, Live Earth etc.
Being altruistic is not only about big projects. Madonna also cares about the improvement and development of those around her, whether it’s family, piers, dancers, fellow musicians… Personal growth is extremely important to her and I’m sure she encourages everyone around her to make the most of their lives and to reach their full potential (this is one of the reasons why I think highly of her role as a mother as well as a mentor and artist). Example: Sofia Boutella, former Madonna dancer for 10 years, talked about Madonna encouraging her to pursue her acting career.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Are you trying to make this a better world?
Madonna tends to look at the big picture
Despite her keen eye for detail (which is what makes her also a perfectionist) Madonna has the ability to look at things from a global perspective too.
Coming up with new ideas, outlining what needs to be done without boring her with the details of the process makes her a global thinker AND strategist. Madonna wouldn’t have been able to go strong for over 30 years if it wasn’t for her stamina, resilience and hardworking attitude, yes. But those would have served her for nothing if they hadn’t been accompanied by lots of creativeness, and a strategic and visionary leadership.
If you think of a global thinker as someone who looks beyond, who is able to identify patterns easily, who discerns what is yet invisible to others, you’ll realise that Madonna does just that. She’s always been ahead of her time in most everything she touches.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Are you detail oriented or a global thinker?
Optimistic, Madonna’s outlook on the future is always bright
Idealists always look at the bright side of life. Otherwise there would be no point in having ideals, looking ahead or being altruistic. I don’t think it’s necessary for me to justify Madonna’s positive outlook on life and the future.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Do you usually see the glass half full or half empty?
What are the pros and cons of idealists?
Nicola Davies, the psychologist whose post I mentioned earlier, lists a few positives and negatives of this type of personality. See if you find a connection with Madonna:
Idealists will go out of their way to help people, and not just their friends.
They not only care for people’s physical needs, but also their development and fulfilling their potential.
They can intuitively and accurately sense what motivates people, and will support individuals in their endeavours.
Wherever they are, they bring compassion and understanding with them.
Helping and seeing others succeed brings them joy.
They can come across as trouble-makers because they will break the rules if they find it restricts their creativity.
Their tendency to seek the truth and express themselves metaphorically might make them seem as impractical intellectuals.
It can appear like Idealists live in a fantasy world where bad things rarely happen, making them seem unaffected by the harsher realities of life.
Sometimes they will do things to please others, such as dress up for an occasion when they don’t really want to or follow career paths to please parents. Ultimately, this makes them unhappy.
Their need for privacy may make them seem aloof and uncaring, but they find it helps them to better contemplate and stay in touch with their idealistic thoughts.
Well, that’s it regarding Madonna being an idealist. Now let’s see if she may be also a pragmatic person?
I think Madonna must be one of those people who gets bored easily if she’s not doing exactly what she wants or planned to do.
She admittedly has a short attention span, but it’s only because Madonna doesn’t bother paying attention for too long to things she’s not really into, there’s too much to do, too little time. That’s being practical. She wants to make the most of every minute of her life and get one with things.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Are you easily bored with certain things or people and would like to just run away?
Organised and rarely procrastinates
I can’t imagine Madonna being unorganised, much less procrastinating. I’m sure she’s got a mental (or written, who knows) list of priorities in each facet of her life. Do you think Madonna would have achieved what she has if she weren’t super organised and focussed?
I don’t think, however, that Madonna is as much of a control freak as she says. Control freaks have authoritarian behaviour and must do everything themselves because they think nobody will do the job properly. I think Madonna likes to collaborate and delegate and welcomes other people’s input and opinion, so no. Madonna isn’t a control freak as such imo.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: What do you tend to do first: urgent things or important things?
Not fickle or volatile
Madonna takes carefully thought decisions and this is why she’s not fickle: she doesn’t change her mind half way through. She might switch priorities if something really important comes up, what that’s what pragmatics do. (For example, The Drowned World Tour was planned to take place in 1999 however it was postponed till 2001 because she gave birth, married Ritchie etc.).
Can you imagine Madonna planning something and then changing her mind 399 times? I can’t. Perhaps an outfit or a pair of shoes, but that’s so superficial. Anyway, who knows, I might be wrong because I really can’t think of an exemplary episode or quote or… something right now.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Do you normally stick to your decisions once you make up your mind?
Hard worker and disciplined
I mean… do I have to justify this? No, ¿verdad? Ok. Next.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Do you believe some people are lazy? (I don’t. They just haven’t found their passion).
Always keeps goal in mind
What Madonna wants, Madonna gets. And I’m not referring to material things. Madonna always has a goal in mind and doesn’t stop until she achieves it. I mean, god! She went after that role for Evita for five years! And what happened? She landed it in the end. She said she wanted to direct and she did. The list could go on forever. You get my point.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Do you have a clear goal in each aspect of your life?
Will find the best, quickest and shortest way to get things done
Hahaha. Me too. I thought this was because I was kind of lazy but as it turns out, it’s because I’m pragmatic.
This ties back to what I was saying before about not being bothered with unimportant details and also with the short span of attention. I get the feeling that Madonna is impatient (but not impulsive) so she won’t linger around or be distracted by minor details that don’t require her attention. Madonna envisages the goal or what needs to be done, draws a straight line to follow and focus. I think it comes naturally to her, it’s easy.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Do you execute your plans as they come or do you really plan?
Good and quick at making up her mind
I really don’t know if Madonna takes decisions quickly but I should think she does because she’s a very intuitive person. I don’t see Madonna hesitating or taking ages to make up her mind.
What I do know, as well as everyone else in the planet, is that Madonna is GOOD at making decisions. If she wasn’t, she wouldn’t be who she is today. I’m sure she hasn’t always made the most appropriate decisions, who does? But I’m convinced that she has learned from the outcome as any good pragmatic idealist would. “Absolutely no regrets”.
We’ve come to the end of this post. This is what I think and I might be absolutely wrong but… I don’t think so! Hahaha.