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We all have dreams! But people around us ( in our environment) often tell us to “be more realistic” When they give this advice, what they usually mean is that we should buy into the same assumptions and prejudices about the world that they  and people they know have absorbed, without sufficient reason. They want us to accept life as they believe it to be and do more to “fit in.” They think that those of us who dream and hope and believe in the rich abundance of new possibilities are deluded and disconnected from reality. But it just may be that an atrophy of their own sensibilities has limited their thinking to a shrunken view of reality. Their world may be the emotional size of a postage stamp, but yours need not be at all- David J Rendall-  The Freak Factor

As I started reading this book The Freak Factor, I began to realize that most of what the author speaks on in terms of our authentic self is actually biblical. There is only one me, completely unique and God did design me with purpose that includes natural abilities, talents, and personality. My characteristics are one of a kind even though someone else may also display bits and pieces of those unique characteristics.

We enter into this world clean, untainted, and full of great possibilities and wonders. But then we start hearing from parents, teachers, coaches, bosses that we do not measure up in more ways than one. We try harder but still can’t seem to conquer that so called weakness that makes us feel less than. We even hear such questions during interviews like “Tell me 3 of your weaknesses. We have performance evaluations, grade point averages, SAT’s, that beckon ” I am not measuring up!’

Being properly realistic is important in our lives but there is also those innate instincts that if we listen to, we can tap into and slowly our perspective goes from weaknesses to strengths. What we once thought as a weakness we now start to embrace as a strength. For example, you may consider yourself creative and innovative where someone else may consider you chaotic and disorganized. See, our culture has decided what works and what doesn’t based on years of different beliefs, experiences, statistics, and research. Now, I am not saying that we shouldn’t be studying and measuring “success” but what I am saying is that everyone’s “box” is different. The reason that I use the word box is because how many times has someone tried to put you in a box.. Oh, she is……. Oh, he is …… Or even God is……

I know as a mother when I focus more on children’s uniqueness and actually try and embrace… they literally light up in every possible way..  Self-esteem, security, acceptance. My son loves numbers, he can talk about them all day… “Mom, ask me what 15 x 7 is?” “Mom, let me count the money!” “Mom, do you know what 100 divided by 5 is?”  I am not great with math, numbers, or finances. I am great with words and storytelling so if I was spent my time trying to conform my son to my natural likes and abilities and not help develop the way God designed him, then overtime he would feel less than. I don’t look at our differences as strengths and weaknesses. We have counselors, self- help books, programs, schools to help us improve and grow- that is a good thing. However, if we focus too much on what we need to improve on and not enough on what we are already great at, then we slowly start losing who we really are. Who God created us to be.

Self-improvement can turn into self-destruction if we are not careful. I love to read books and it helps to improve my own writing- this in fact helps me grow because it is something I truly relate to. However, if I began reading an accounting book to improve in the area of numbers, I might become more frustrated and confused and that could end up leading to a pity party of what I can’t master no matter how hard I try. I believe there is a balance in all things. Ask yourself what makes me come alive? Then master those abilities and talents. Don’t continue to allow others including yourself to beat you down for what may just not be apart of your makeup no matter how much effort you put forth.

There is a lot of lip service around the actual value of being different. When other’s notice you are different, they still try and make you fit in… Robert Quin argues that deviance will always generate external pressures to conform… It you perform beyond the norms, the systems will adjust and try and make you normal.” Einstein puts it more strongly when he said…”Great spirits have always experienced violent opposition from mediocre minds.”

We are all different no matter how much we try and fit into a particular mold, group or circle. We were made to be different. We are seeing it more and more with companies trying to change the culture of the workplace. We are seeing more people go after their dreams. We are seeing millennials change the way people do business through embracing those unique qualities that make them, them.  Some of the greatest minds, recognized what they can’t do and hired someone who could

David J. Rendall says, I am not arguing that starting a business, having a college degree or earning money is not important in this life. My point is that you probably don’t want what most people have, you probably actual only want what a select few have. So if you do what most people do, you probably won’t have the life you really want. 

 

 

 

 

 

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