Dare to be Different: choosing one’s own path or direction, not following the crowd
Fortune sides with him who dares. Virgil
All progress occurs because people dare to be different. Harry Milner
Life is an adventure, dare it. Mother Teresa
Most of us have great need to “fit in”. We do not want to stand out, especially not in any kind of negative way. There is safety in numbers. The more we are like everyone else, the less we will be noticed, and as a result the less we are criticized, ridiculed or made fun of. Fitting in makes us less self-conscious and more secure. The cost for having this sense of security is giving up some of our independence and individuality. It may involve choosing complacency, underachievement, and settling for less than our best. We must dare to be different, to stand away from the crowd, and willing to take some risk if we are to be at our best.
If we want to live up to our potential, to dream and accomplish according to our abilities, it requires that we separate ourselves from the crowd or the norm. Normal is average and complacent. It means performing or achieving at around the same levels as most everyone else. It means levels of productivity or efficiency at rather low levels. If we want to be our best we cannot compare ourselves or set our standards based on what others do. Being like everyone else is likely to mean underperformance and underachievement. As sad as it sounds and as bad as it is, our society is geared toward mediocrity, complacency and status quo. How many of us have worked somewhere where others told us or warned us that we were working too fast or too hard. We were told we needed to slow down or we would make things harder on our co-workers. How many of us have tried to teach our children to set high standards. How many times have we told them that just because others do something does not make it right or acceptable? How many of us practice what we preach?
We can choose to be like most everyone else or we can take some risks, dare to be different and strive to live up to our potential. Those that choose to do this are those who tend to find some degree of success in their lives. They can be described as marching to the beat of a different drummer. Most tend to fall in behind the Pied Piper. Which one do we want to be? Do we want to march or do we want to follow?
Challenge: It is a good time to go to the mirror, face yourself, and deal with your insecurities. They entrap you and keep you down. They force you to accept the status quo and to make excuses for not doing things any differently. One of the keys to moving forward is to choose not to give these negative conditions their power over you. They have this power over you because you are empowering them.
The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. Isaiah 32:17
If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer. Matthew 21:22
We live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7
We have two major choices in life. One choice is to take the path of the worldly and secular and live life without God. The other choice is to seek God and follow the path that constantly leads us closer and closer to him. The path that does not involve God leads us in the wrong direction and down a path that we will someday regret. The path that leads us closer to God enables us and empowers us to be the person God created us to be.
Prayer: Help me to dare to be different by having the faith and confidence to listen to you and follow you.