Think Differently

Do you ever feel like a round peg in a square hole? The crazy person who’s looking at the world upside down?

As entrepreneurs we might be surrounded by people who don’t quite “get” us.

They ask why, “Why don’t you just blend in and do what everyone else does?”

It’s ingrained in us from an early age that different isn’t good.

“When I was four years old they tried to test my IQ, they showed me this picture of three oranges and a pear.  They asked me which one is different and does not belong, they taught me different was wrong.”  ~Ani Difranco

Some of us consciously rebelled against that pressure to fit into the expected mold.  I spent years trying to fit everyone else’s expectations.  Until I realized…

Conformity is that jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.  ~John F. Kennedy

You’ll never feel free if you’re trying to be what others want.  You can’t grow.  And you can’t change the world (or your corner of it).

I finally gave up on fitting in.  I could never live up to what some people wanted, no matter what level of success I achieved in any particular area of life.  I also refuse to live down to what others want.

The world will break your spirit, break your originality, and break everything unique and valuable about you — if you let it.  So don’t!  Please!  We need your unique “you”ness and creativity in this world.

Why shouldn’t I be who I am and create what comes naturally to me?  Why shouldn’t you?  Where’s the fun, art, adventure, purpose, and value in crushing our souls to blend in?

Why try to solve problems when we could just live with the current solutions?  Why care about solving problems at all — isn’t that for someone else to worry about?  Good thing not everyone stops worrying about solving problems!

Never accept the proposition that just because a solution satisfies a problem, that it must be the only solution.  ~Raymond E. Feist

Why do we put so much energy and emotion into creating an unstable business when we could just get a job flipping burgers, answering phones in a cubicle, or as management with that corner office instead?

I know my answers.  Do you know yours?

Here are some thoughts to inspire you to keep that “upside down” point of view, regardless of what the world around you thinks.  Keep being you.  Keep thinking outside of the box.  Keep taking steps forward to create the world you want to see.

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. ~Friedrich Nietzsche

Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary. ~Albert Einstein

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21 Comments

  1. Great post. Very inspirational.
    Trine Feuerborn recently posted… How to get organizedMy Profile

    1. Thanks, Trine. I loved the video when I saw it. :)

  2. I’ve passed this on FB & Twit.
    I just have never fit in with “normal” society in many ways, and trying to conform & behave in a certain way only makes me ill and squashes my spirit. I so let go of that years ago, and I will use my favorite Einstein quote here:
    Great spirits have always encountered opposition from mediocre minds.

    I’m stealing the JFK quote. Hope that’s ok.

    1. I’m quite sure JFK won’t mind at all. :)

  3. The same thinking, the same way on the same problem leads to the same results.

    The Hanged Man of the Tarot is all about upside down thinking

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hanged_Man_(tarot_card)

    Print it out, leave it on your desk and watch your world turn upside down – but in a nice way :-)

    1. Yep, gotta get outside that (non-existent but still confining) “box” to solve our problems.

  4. I just posted the video and the Nietzsche quote on Facebook . . . perfect post. I love it. I didn’t read Stuart’s comment until now but I could just restate that :). Thanks for this, Michelle. It was well timed.
    Leanne Chesser recently posted… What to Do When Your Blogging Challenge EndsMy Profile

    1. Thanks, Leanne — we’ve got to keep encouraging those around us (makes it easier for ALL of us when we have good examples to lead the way and inspire us).

  5. Great info. Those of us who are different have always known that fact. Thankfully today being different is easier than it once was. Yet, taking your individual stand as you takes courage, . Feel the fear and do what you know is best for you and therefore for all. All-Is-One.

  6. I just read the article in the recent online issue of the Scientific American about what makes creative people seem eccentric so often. A subject of never-ending interest! If you’re interested, it’s here: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-unleashed-mind

  7. Great post,
    Both me and hubby have always been ‘outside’ of what’s considered ‘normal’ for lots of reasons. Our friends gave up years ago trying to figure us out – they just think we’re weird lol.
    What we’ve been trying to do is help our teenage daughter understand that it’s OK to be different. We’ve seen an enormous change in her in the past 18 months since she started senior school and suddenly became ‘aware’ of how different she was. She spent the first year trying to fit in and (I’m relieved to see) the second year allowing herself to stand out again. I’m very proud!!!
    Thanks Michelle for being you!
    Heather x
    Heather Bestel recently posted… WAHM Tips- Are you a Busy BeeMy Profile

  8. I’ve gotten used to being “strange.” Marching to the beat of a different drum. Making my own kind of music, singing my own special song :).

    I can do it, but it’s also cool to find the group of odd ones with which you fit in and belong!
    Jeanine Byers Hoag recently posted… Letting Go of What No Longer Serves You In Your ClosetMy Profile

  9. It’s a paradox Michelle. We like to be different, but at the same time like to associate and feel edified when we connect and agree with others. I guess it comes back to balance again. Good, thought provoking post.
    Marty recently posted… What is Your Emotional Response to ProfessionalismMy Profile

  10. We all should be what we want to be and follow our passion! Then, we will succeed! Great post Michelle.
    Rhonda Neely recently posted… Infinity Couples BraceletMy Profile

  11. Michelle,

    There is a need for inspiration in this world. Being one’s own person often requires a mindset that is strong, yet flexible. One thing will never change, however. The need to inspire others to strive for the best they have to give. Thanks for this post.
    Bruce W. Darby recently posted… What are your ‘basics’My Profile

  12. Very well written, good content and useful for just about anybody. I will be visiting again in the future.
    GBG recently posted… GBG Business Review – A Look Inside The GBG OpportunityMy Profile

  13. […] cut around 350 words from yesterday’s post about being original.  It was “me” centered content about rebelling against the mold, and it didn’t […]

  14. Hi Michelle, your topic is quite interesting and motivating for those who think differently.
    and one cant grow up if he/she doesnt want to do what he/she wants and always do what others want from him/her.
    waterpearls recently posted… Start Run & Grow Your Business PLUS ReviewMy Profile

  15. Michelle, I think you just wrote the very short version of my biography :-). I’ll tweet it.
    Shel Horowitz – Green/Ethical Marketing Expert recently posted… Re-examining the “Media Ecosystem”- Reflections on the National Conference on Media ReformMy Profile

  16. Right now I have a great fear – I have to go get a j.o.b. or I’m going to lose my house or not be able to feed my family – neither do I want to do. I am afraid that I will not be able to keep my online business going. I’ve got an offer to work 3rd shift. I worry about getting enough sleep to stay healthy, none the less keep my business at home rolling until it can support my family.

    I am going to get a job. I can look at it one of two ways. I can give up on my dreams and all the things I can do to help others through my online presence and conform, fit in, be like everyone else. Or I can work to make ends meet and set a goal to at least work on my business three days a week instead of 7. Optimistic, Pesimistic, negative, positive – I will not conform. I will not be like ‘everyone else’ who simply gets by. I have dreams and I will find a way to live them!

    Great post,
    Thank you,
    Tammy
    Tammy Matthews recently posted… Life’s Little Detours That Take You Where You Were Meant To BeMy Profile

  17. […] Think Differently […]

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