Being different takes courage. Intentionally being different takes even more courage.
Nicole and I were bantering back and forth yesterday on our car ride home from Charlotte. One of the things we talked about is this topic exactly. It truly takes courage to be yourself and to challenge the conventional thought process of those around you. Whether you are challenging your friends, your coworkers, your family, or a group of people you have never met, the task is never easy.
Why? Because you open yourself up to criticism. Being your best self, creating new ways of doing things, pushing yourself beyond what is easy… all of these things take effort. And they often make others feel uncomfortable for a period of time. I think a perfect example is looking back on my high school career. All my friends wanted to do was party and play video games. All I wanted to do was fit in. But what I really should have been doing is either challenging them to get more out of life or looking for a new group of friends.
What do you love? What kind of life do you want to live? How to you want to be remembered?
Passion will not find you. Your life will not automatically become what you want it to be. And people will not just happen to remember you as you wish when you reach the end of your days on this planet. These things take courage. You have to challenge yourself and in the process you will end up challenging others. It is natural.
You might make someone uncomfortable along the way. You might receive criticism as a result. But the courage to stand out; the courage to lead; the courage to live the life you have imagined… That is irreplaceable. And at the end of time I believe everyone who truly cares about you will no doubt forgive you for accepting nothing less than the best. For not succumbing to conventional wisdom and the easy way out. And for being true to yourself no matter what everyone else is doing.
This is important. It is important because world leaders and entrepreneurs and game-changers and movers-and-shakers are not cut from the same mold as everyone else. And neither are you.