Instead of waiting for the world to stop feeling nervous about your unconventional dreams and unorthodox desires, start having the guts to create the stuff you want to create regardless of how uncomfortable people get.
Do you really want to feel alive or are you willing to settle for just being the kind of person who never makes anyone uneasy? Do you just want to go down in history as the person who never spilled a glass of water, who never bombed a joke, who never asked a stupid question, who never mispronounced a word, who never said anything that went over somebody else’s head, who never got told “no,” who never did anything until everyone else said it was a cool thing to do?
We speak very romantically about things like “stepping out of your comfort zone” or “pushing yourself to get better” or “choosing to evolve” or “daring to make a difference,” but those things require choices that make it impossible for you to promise everyone that you’re going to be okay. And that’s the problem. Most of the people in your life want you to be okay. It helps them get to sleep at night when they know you’re going to be okay. It’s easier for them to explain your decisions to others when they know you’re going to be okay. It’s easier for them to plan their day, their weekend, their summer, their lives when they know you’re going to be okay. Your “okay-ness” is very important to people. But this is a luxury that has never belonged to great innovators and remarkable influencers.
If you want to be on the leading edge of creativity and progress, you have to get comfortable with making the world uncomfortable. You have to be okay with people not knowing how your life is going to turn out. And you have to be at ease with the fact that this might make them feel a little uneasy.
If your presence never challenges the people around you, then what does it even mean to be a distinct individual?
The process of creating your own map, as beautiful and praiseworthy as it is, means you don’t get to pull out a well-designed piece of paper and say “this is where we are, this is where I’m going, and I’ll arrive in approximately this much time.” Nope. You get to sound like a crazy person for a while. You get to sound delusional for a while. You get to sound arrogant and defiant for a while. You get to sound selfish and irresponsible for a while. You get to sound like a lot of things, but you don’t get to sound like a normal person when you choose to stop conforming to society’s idea of a normal person.
Jodie Foster once said “Normal is not something to aspire to, it’s something to get away from.” Are you holding yourself back because of an artificial need to be normal? Here’s today’s two cents:
Stop trying to make everyone comfortable. Stop trying to make it sound as if you don’t have an opinion when you do. Stop trying to make it look as if you could go either way, when you know that’s not true. Stop trying to appear as if you don’t have a preferred style or system when you do. Stop trying to act like nothing makes you angry or unhappy, when that’s not actually the case. Stop trying to obtain everyone’s permission before you do what you already know you want to do.
Stop making a god out of fitting in and start rising to the level of a life that’s truly irreplaceable.
By the way, here’s a fun Garth Brooks tune to go along with today’s post: