Why are we scared to be different

This new school was everything I wished a school should be like. A big campus, NO BOYS, holding a reputation of being one of the best schools in town, recommended by one of my dad’s most trusted friend. I felt there was nothing that could go awry, but there I was sitting beside a classmate, who could never comprehend the concept of personal space,looking helplessly at the evaluation for my previous day’s homework which was marked with a big red REDO, MEET ME!. So I make my way sheepishly to meet her ever-criticizing bespectacled stare and ask her politely what was it that was wrong about my work.

Her response was , “Oh nothing, dear. All the answers you gave were right, but we always use script writing in this class and your work was in cursive”.

I go home and I tell my mom this, and she gave me a strange look saying, “That’s why you got a REDO?? because you wrote in cursive??”

I was seven, and my old school trained us to write in cursive since the very start.

In fact in the current school’s criteria, the students would be asked to practice cursive writing in the same grade that I was in, it’s just that it would be a little later into the year.

That was the first fresh memory of me being criticized for doing/being something different than the rest of the group.

We are all designed to be a certain way throughout our life… we are told how to walk, how to talk,how to socialize, how to dress and how to greet, by people who have been taught the exact same thing by someone before them, and they are taught that by someone before and so on.

Great thing about being human is that we can choose to act or do things differently, it’s no rocket science, you either do it or you don’t.

Trying to be different can be so unsettling and confusing especially in a world that tries to enforce sameness.

You can’t really stay still in a bus that stops abruptly,….

You can’t really follow the same procedures in an environment that you know deep within is way outside your comfort zone.

There has been so many instances in school, college and social occasions where my desire to fit in was so intense, I laughed painfully at things that never entertained me, I dressed in neutral colours to stay invisible.

And after years of reflection, I have realized that by forcing these normalcies on myself, I was hurting myself and the environment I was in.

We do not want to go through the temporary discomforts:

You want a new career, you NEED to go through the discomfort of getting off your bed and inquiring about the field of work you want, prepare resumes, network, attend interviews, get rejected by the interviewer.. but if we know that these little discomforts at the start mean we get to live a full, content life, then why not just do it and be uncomfortable for just a little while?

I can relate to this, because this is how I have been feeling before I started Shatter This!. . I was giving too much attention to the discomfort involved in getting this site together, I rarely thought about the contentment, relaxation and happiness writing gave me.

Be promotion focused: 

Even when you go to big organizations, especially the ones that are going through major changes, you come through two kinds of people, the promotion focused and the prevention focused.

Promotion focused are delighted by the opportunity to learn and grow and prosper from all the new changes they are about to go through, they see every hardness and difficulty as a challenge, so change could go smoothly for them.

The prevention focused on the other hand are very textbook oriented, they focus on the things that they would not be able to do and the things that would be even more difficult if the change goes through.

Try your level best to be promotion focused in all activities and tasks that you do. It is normal for us humans to try to readjust things around us into something that is very familiar to us and we are pretty darn good at that if we just go the extra mile, the ones who don’t, reject the idea and go on with their “unchanged” life.

Build friendship with people who like the things that you do:

It is surprising how different our needs and interests are from our blood relatives.

They’d want you to study engineering, you want to be an interior designer. They want you to focus on your academics, you want to spend more time in the pool perfecting the breast stroke for that tournament next month.

It is not in our power to choose our blood relatives, but we all have the power to choose the people we surround ourselves with. It is also in our power to turn this newfound friendship into something everlasting. It can not only help you diversify your thought process, but great friends help in keeping you grounded as well, as these friends went through the exact same challenges for being a bit different as well.

Your mouth can be your saviour or the weapon of destruction.

Growing up, I could actually feel the filter attached to my usage of language slowly disintegrating. When people do not accept my views and  opinions, I get really defensive and end up showing my anger through the way I communicate with them. To my parents disappointment, I have earned a fair few remarks about my caustic methods of communication.

Do not assume that I am this evil looking being that spits venom everytime I open my mouth. I can be super nice and considerate when I set my mind to it. It is just that I choose not to do it when someone rolls their eyes if my views or practices are different from theirs. I have earned some enemies. We force everyone to accept us before we make the first step to accept ourselves.

If you feel indifferently about a person because of their remarks about your choices, you need to remember they are standing exactly where you are. They also feel very indifferently towards you because of your negative remarks about THEIR choices. Instead, invest a little bit of time to analyse the reasons why they are the way they are, while you do that give them the same opportunity to do the same for you.

You do not need to take them to a really lavish restaurant and buy them dinner. Just change the way you talk and your body language when you are around this person. Things will definitely change for the better.

Stop trying to SEARCH for your passion:

It is not something you just capture out of thin air!!

Your passion stems out of success,not the other way around.

If you do something with so much hard work and dedication, and you receive appreciation for that work, it becomes your passion.

You do not want to give up an opportunity to work on something that could potentially be your passion by saying “Nah this isn’t my passion, I’m going to keep searching for it!”

NO!

Whatever task you have been given, give it undivided attention, ..

People who have found their “passion” never actually went searching for it, they made a decision by chance along the way, it worked, so they worked harder at it, it worked even better, then they became so successful that they get paid to speak/teach about their passion.

Opportunities to discover this passion does not knock your door ONCE, in fact it comes in so many times, in so many packages, we just choose to ignore it because it feels “inconvenient” to go through