Brave Enough to be Different


I was listening to an interview yesterday with Art Linklater.

Yes, he’s still alive (for those of you who know who he is), and he’s going strong at 94. He’s involved in many businesses, writing, and still travels extensively to speak.

He loves to interview people (old and young), and capture their unique perspective. One thing that old people and very young children have in common, he says, is that they’re not afraid to say what they think.

I love listening to people when they really say what’s on their mind.
You may not like it, or agree with it, but it’s real, and has feeling behind it, and has power.

When you hear someone being real, it calls upon you to find your own authentic voice, and let it out.

Linklater once asked a woman who was 101 what she liked best about being that age.
Her reply?
“Very little peer pressure.”

Peer pressure isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes we get lost in our own selfish thoughts, and it takes the pressure of everyone around us to get us back on track.

Sometimes.

More often, peer pressure is an excuse for me to be comfortable and mediocre.
It’s an excuse to follow a path that won’t raise eyebrows, and won’t require me to stand out.
Excellence, and personal greatness is inescapably tied to standing out.

Why do we succumb so easily to peer pressure?
We want to be accepted by the important people in our life, and we want to be loved.

Too often parents, teachers, friends, and others have made their love conditional on us going along.

Life is a tough balancing act sometimes, wanting to be loved and accepted, and wanting to find and express our greatness. They don’t always go together.

We have to listen to people when they tell us what’s most important to them.
We have to listen when the important people in our life criticize us, and think carefully about they’ve told us.

Then we have to be willing to be unpopular, if we’re sure it’s the right thing to do.

The first step to being different is being yourself – clarifying what’s important to you and pursuing it. An excellent tool for this is a Video Vision Statement. The link is to my lens (page) on Squidoo about the subject.

Yesterday, James Brausch wrote a wonderful entry in his blog on finding your own way, Fear Not! Dare To Be Different!

Take a look.
[James Brausch has a great blog on Internet Business, and has some excellent products for those interested in operating an Internet Business. My wife and I have some of his products.]

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