One of the things Dad always said to me whilst growing up was “be different”.
In our teenage years, we tried to fit in, tried to be like others - we compared ourselves to those around us. We were trying to make sense of the world. What was right or wrong, cool or uncool, what we should or shouldn’t do were based around what other people were doing. We based out judgement on societal norm.
Every time I backed my argument or request by claiming that it’s something the majority of people did, Dad would say this back to me.
Yes, but are most people successful? Are the majority successful? No. Then why would you want to be like others? If you act, think, and do things like the majority of people, then you’ll end up being like the majority of people".
Dad always encouraged me to challenge the status quo, to challenge the norm, to be different, to think about the impossible, the non-existence, and create things, do things, pave a new path for ourselves, and go on the road less traveled.
Time and time again, you get influenced by the environment you’re in, by the people around you, by the human nature that we want to fit in. We forget that we don’t need to go on the road everyone is going on. The traffic is bad where most people are, you know. Build a new road. It’s going to take a while to pave a new path. But when the road is done and you can travel on it, others can follow you too. You help others avoid traffic. You’ve built the world a new road.
Will you plant more trees and seed more roses along the side of that new road? Will you leave it behind with junk? Will you build a new community where people can build shops and houses?
That’s totally up to you.