I was thinking today and a question came to mind: Why aren’t there more amazing and spectacular people? Before you get your feathers ruffled, I am not referring to being a great person but to accomplishing great, amazing things. Why are there not more Steve Jobs, Michael Jordans, Muhammad Alis, Thomas Edisons, Edwin C. Barnes, etc.?
I believe that every single human being has in them the potential for great and amazing things; a light, a spark. Bill Gates was once quoted as saying, “I don’t believe there is anything unique about human intelligence,” and I could not disagree more. I know as sure as anything I’ve ever experienced that human intelligence is what makes each of us so incredibly unique and special.
It allows us to experience the exact same world in 7.125 billion different ways. But, with that said why do so many of us sacrifice our uniqueness and allow “life” to squeeze us through a sieve and mold us into individuals that, all to often, fear being different? If you believe and understand that there are no two human beings that are the same, why do we teach to conform?
We should be teaching the individual to celebrate and announce his or her uniqueness from the mountain top!!!
But as we learn quickly in life, the norm will move swiftly to extinguish any hint of creativity or originality.
Take for example how teenagers learn (I’ll use my teen years as example). If you don’t wear a Members Only jacket or glacier glasses, you are out. If you don’t own a pair of Vans, you are out. If you don’t like Break Dancing, you are out. I realize I am dating myself, but if nothing else maybe it got a couple laughs.
From a very young age we are conditioned to go with the norm and to keep our uniqueness to a minimum. After all no one wants to be different lest they be branded the “weird kid.”
After college it is expected that you will get a good job, pay taxes, buy a car and that is the path to becoming a contributing member of society. Then get married, start a family, raise your family, retire and enjoy the fruits of your hard work. And I guess there’s nothing wrong with that, but what about living a life that is spectacular?
Is that not possible for us all? Are we supposed to believe that all there is to life is paying rent or mortgages, bills and hoping one day to have enough to retire? There has to be more. If not, I’m checking out.
I challenge each of you to try something new and different. Find something that is so outside of your “world” or comfort zone and participate. What is one thing you would be afraid to do? Sky dive, public speaking, hold a spider? How about something you’ve always wanted to do but have not? Guitar lessons, enter an open mic night, join a poetry club, start up a band!, take a class at the community college, join a theater group or VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME AT A LOCAL CHARITY!!
I want you to challenge yourself. Show yourself you are capable. This world is here for us to experience and it is time for more of us to do so! Get uncomfortable and reignite that spark that makes you, YOU! It is time to break the mold that life presses us into and spread those wings and fly!
There are times when taking a leap of faith is required: changing jobs, moving to a new city, opening a business, etc. “Have faith in what comes next…”
Do you remember the first time you played leap frog? I’m betting you were you a kid, still being measured more in terms of months and star stickers than in pounds and inches or tax brackets and degrees. I don’t actually remember my first time. But I know there must have been one.
I hope I was laughing for that first time. Hell knows I haven’t always laughed for all the other first times in my life. My first flat tire, my first “C”, my first cavity, my first tax return, my first delivery, my first gray hair, and so on.
You sure pile up a mess of firsts while living life. A whole mess of leaps that unlike playing leap frog out on the playground most likely don’t have a clear obstacle and definite landing spot. Those sorts of leaps have a dearth of laughter involved in them. This is…
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It is my opinion that the sky is green. Go!. This was the challenge given to me in a debate class in my first year of university at Charlotte. I had to defend the argument that the sky was green and I must say I defended my opinion with gusto! Doesn’t mean I was right, it only means I found a rational way to defend my stance.
The earth is flat. Go! (side note: the “Go!” is how the instructor would begin the debate. He would place the victim in front of the class, surprisingly announce your opinion to defend and then yell “Go!”)
I do more arguing via email with readers that are so quick to defend their opinions. Opinions that are not based in fact. This is not to say that I dismiss them, on the contrary, I allow them to vent. Then I ask questions. I ask questions until they can’t stand it any longer. Why? Because I can tell with most people that they are being opinionated, not informed. And by asking questions I am forcing them to use their intranet machine to find this new invention called Google and find the answers.
I studied religious history at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. I took Hebrew, Greek and German. I studied the Dead Sea Scrolls, Josephus, Tacitus, Origin, the Gnostic Gospels, etc. I have spent the last 25 years post university reading everything I can find on early Christian origins, and most of those books I have read multiple times. I have opinions on the history of the early Jesus movement; I am not opinionated.
On the topic of early Christian origins I can have a somewhat educated discussion. I cannot do the same as it relates to politics. Or space travel. Or gun control. Or healthcare. Or economics. Or homelessness. Or immigration. And for this reason you will rarely, if ever, hear words come from my mouth talking on these topics except to say we need to help people. This is not to say that I am not educated. I am very educated.
I have read Darwin’s On the Origins of Species, twice. I have read most of the classics. I have spent hours reading up on topics of which I have very little experience. I spent 3 1/2 years studying higher mathematics at one of the top math programs in the country. Dr. Wicnefsky (my Abstract and Linear Algebra professor) was the first to explain to me “Mr. Ray you have a mind for mathematics, but you are a very lazy student.” (in my best thick Polish accent.) I still laugh about that today!
And I am still lazy and ignorant on many, many topics.
My least favorite thing to hear someone say is “what we need to do is…” As if to say that some random person I know has figured out how to solve the immigration problem. Or medicare. Or social security. Or gun control. Or healthcare. You sound foolish, because you are not educated enough to spout, in any form, an educated opinion on the topic. You are being opinionated.
Descartes announced, following an epiphany, that he would no longer assume that what he had learned in life was truth. But, he would seek out and doubt all things until he found genuine truth. And, more importantly, he would shut his mouth on topics he had no particular knowledge and listen.
In today’s world people are quick to speak, quick to spout, quick to offer their opinionated stance. But how many are genuinely educated in their opinion? How many of us actually know what the hell we’re talking about.
I know the answer: very few.
You and I cannot begin to understand the complexities of the United States budget and market. You and I cannot begin to comprehend the intricate details of the Healthcare Reform Act. You and I do not have the information necessary to form an educated opinion on the details that make immigration such a problem.
Yet, some stand on their Facebook rooftop and vomit out their ignorant opinionated views as if they have it all figured out. When in fact they haven’t conducted enough research to help an immigrant understand which office they need to visit to get their I9 form.
I am so sick of people throwing up all over me with their ignorance and ill-formed thoughts. I have said this to several friends, “you are not informed enough to talk about what you are talking about. So zip it.”
Better to remain silent and be assumed the fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.
“True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing.” Socrates
If you really want to learn, ask questions. And then listen.
Starting today I will be uploading a video segment to my YouTube channel discussing my daily Dream Big Original post. Each morning I post a thought of the day and then back that thought up with other blog posts and article shares. In my video posts I will include an expanded view or discussion on the daily topic.
So, back to today’s topic and this article share…
The beginning of overcoming any obstacle is the belief that you are good enough or that you are capable. Often times doubt creeps into our mind causing us to ponder whether or not we can overcome a particular obstacle or difficulty. Believing in yourself is essential to climbing the mountain. Click below for a great article on TinyBuddha:
I enjoyed this pep talk this morning. Be brave, face the doubts and choose to fight!
When you feel like you’ve lost all else, strength is what you need to find. Every day, seek greater strength within yourself. Do not look for the things outside of yourself, but rather look within, because all you need is already inside of you. Your greatest enemy is not that situation that is tormenting you, or your kids throwing a tantrum, or your annoying co-worker who just seemed to have ruined your day. Your greatest enemy is the doubt within yourself. You can be up one day, and down the next. Don’t ever take anything for granted, because it will usually be taken away. Stay humble always. Life has a funny way of reminding you that you are not always in control, but that you must have an attitude of gratitude, a mind that adapts quickly, and a courageous heart.Life happens while you’re making other plans, and one day…
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I like this list and want you to pay attention to the first item on the list!!! Believing in yourself doesn’t always happen naturally or things happen in life to destroy our self belief. In these instances we must take measures to restore our confidence!!
This isn’t just another motivating post. There is one line that jumped out at me… “There are the moments when your eyes light up because your heart has connected to your passion…” When you find your passion and your eyes light up, you will find your self-belief!
Hey you, yes you! I want to remind you of something.
I want to remind you of your greatness.
It seems somewhere along the way you have forgotten but you need to recognise the big part you play in this world.
Despite the reservations and indifference you need to remember to let your light shine…brightly…why dim the frenzy spark by playing small? Stop it. Ignite it. Step into your spotlight. You have a standing ovation waiting from me and many others just for being you.
Illuminate the world with your heart and blind us with your greatness.
People will tell you that being ‘nice’ will get you nowhere…don’t buy into that. That is a fundamental flaw in society not you. Being nice is undervalued and underrated in this day and age, people have forgotten how to be around the simple niceness of life, perhaps the word has hardened them.
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