A majority of us are predictable. In our speech, what we do, how we walk, talk and even how we think. Well, predictability can be a good attribute because it projects an image of stability. Yet being predictable can be counter productive.
Lend me your ears, fellow earthlings.
If you are predictable, it means that you will do the same things the same way and yet miraculously pray for a different result. When you are predictable, your life can be mundane, average and boring. There is no excitement. No adrenalin or a thrill.
Everything you do looks scripted.
Do not be afraid to be the odd one out. Because when you were born, you came out alone. Your identity is unique to only you. Your fingerprints are uniquely yours. People might mimic a few attributes that you have; the way you talk, walk or your body movement but they can’t mimic your thoughts unless you let them in.
You see, when God made you, he decided that you were going to be a manifestation of his glory and splendour. You represent the finest designer’s masterpiece. Have you ever seen how jewellery is jealously guarded? Have you seen premium brands being broadcasted in mass market segments? A Ferrari on citizen TV? Because they are limited edition. What it took the master to design them cannot be fully compensated for. What you pay for is the sentimental value. An identity. What separates you from the rest.
Yet if all these things are made by the imperfect hands of man, imagine how perfect you are now that you were moulded by the creator of the universe. You are limited edition, a highly sought after being, the world is missing a piece because you haven’t unleashed the giant within you. The lion in you has been drowned by habits that are retrogressive, voices that are inconsequential, education that is limiting, a culture that is not innovative among others.
Yet there is no one who is disabled. Not even those who are on wheelchairs, blind, mute or what the world considers disability. We only truly become disabled when we let circumstances to define how we live our lives. We become disabled when we become victims of our circumstances. We become truly normal and average when we choose to follow paths that have been created but without adding any value to them. The epitome of our averageness is shown when we refuse to be outliers, unique beings who can shape the world.
Elbert Eisenstein was not normal. He was not predictable. Elon Musk has defied many tragedies to be the global innovator we know him for. Abraham Lincoln wouldn’t have been the president of the USA if he didn’t choose the narrow path of educating himself, rising above the normal and expected careers of his time to be a lawyer. Then rising above tragedy and loss to vie and eventually abolishing slavery in the southern States.
Martin Luther King was not acting normal when he translated the Bible and challenged the dominant Catholic Church concerning some of the erroneous doctrines that they were teaching. His nemesis (Martin Luther King Jr) built a name for himself because he chose to go against the segregation of the time to advocate for black rights. He stood against the oppressors, inspired hope across generations and today we quote him, celebrate his day and even admire him.
You don’t become great by being normal. Greatness is a reserve of outliers. Men and women who will defy the norms to rise above pettiness. The likes of Rosa Parks, Wangari Maathai, Grace Ogot among others. The likes of Tom Mboya, Pio Gama Pinto, JM Kariuki, Mwai Kibaki, Raila Odinga, among others didn’t rise to be who they are by a mere coincidence.
They worked their behind off. They risked everything. They outworked and outsmarted everyone who was around them. Because unless you give your all. Unless you have faith in who you really are. Unless you listen to your inner voice and follow what it wants, you will always feel empty. There is not an amount of passion that can change you but the fuel of a belief in yourself.
Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers talks about the 10000-hour rule. From Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and all the greatest outliers we know, they put in the hours. They were willing to ignore and even risk being called outcasts so that they could follow their dreams. They even quit Ivy League universities to pursue their dreams. They were not cowards. They were not afraid. They weren’t deriving their identity from the groups they were walking with. They set the pace.
What about the explorers like Christopher Columbus, Alexander the great, David Livingstone, among others? Do you think that there were other men who lived during those times too? Why don’t we remember them? Because our world works on the law of the jungle; the weak perish, the strong lives on.
Do you ever imagine how much they were taunted as being mad? What about the risk of diseases, attacks, hunger, boats capsizing, wild animals or even being lost? How many people were alive then but were content living their lives within the imaginable cocoons? They were many but because they dared to venture beyond their borders. because they sailed beyond the seas, we can say that globalisation is finally with us. They were valiant men and women.
But unless you are willing to be called a lunatic. Unless you are willing to be ostracised and rejected. If you aren’t ready to embrace loneliness and temporary pain, then you aren’t ready for the crown. Forget it. Go back home and be a shepherd boy. Forget ever leaving behind a legacy. Yours will be an ordinary, adventure-starved life. The only thing you will be remembered for is being part of the statistics of the global population.
Rise up and be different. Follow your dream. Don’t whine. Don’t be negative. Focus on what really matters. But above all, don’t be scared of being different.