Many great leaders were unpopular and considered social, technological or spiritual heretics for their views when they challenged the accepted thinking of their times.
There are times when going against the advice of those in places of authority is foolish and in poor judgement. It may be going against the obvious hard won experience of ‘elders’ who have trodden the path on which we wish to embark.
Then there are the times when unfair expectations are put upon us or others. This can be via a bias of thinking, convenience, or an economic system from which the architects and authorities of that system gain considerable advantage.
At other times, there is no advantage to others in maintaining the status quo but just unfair and shorthanded expectations spoken over someone, even with good intentions. Sometimes even those who only want the best for you must be left behind or kept at arms length while you discover your purpose.
A big lesson I learned in life is that the world is often changed for the good when a person refuses to accept the way things are. Each and every one of us is capable of changing our perceptions and breaking the limits.
There have been times in my life when I have had to be unreasonable about what I can achieve when hearing words spoken about me, and not even to me, about the limitations of my Tourette’s condition. The words have not crushed me, but somehow have given me fuel to push through and go higher in education than I even thought possible.
I found strength and comfort in a quote by George Bernard Shaw about exceeding expectations and honouring resilience.
“ The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” — George Bernard Shaw
While this quote is obviously of an era when women were not included much in positions of influence, there is still a great truth for all people in Shaw’s words.
In example, before Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile, doctors had stated that the human heart could not stand the stress of the effort and it was therefore humanly impossible to achieve it. Within six months of Bannister achieving the impossible, four students at a university also achieved the feat.
One of Australia’s richest men was once a supermarket worker, with a rusty car that leaked tons of oil, eating generic branded tuna out of the can and living in a condemned house on the edge of town. After a relationship breakdown he swore he would never be poor again and spent 3 hours a day in the local library reading about money. He changed his destiny in that time and remarks that everything he has learned, he got for free from those books. If we can harness a spirit of humility in ourselves so we can learn from others, we will become better and stronger in whatever endeavours we attempt.
In a world of ‘spoon fed convenience’ and ‘minimum effort for maximum advantage’ attitudes, it will be those who refuse to be reasonable and just accept the status quo that will push through to greatness in their lives.
In my life I have refused to accept some things as ‘written in stone’. Sometimes you just know that you know that something is possible. I trained myself to reflect my ‘best self’ in all the areas of communication, especially where I am not affected by TS. Remember that being different is your biggest asset and you don’t have to be like everyone else.
What parameters have you accepted in your life and career choices which limit your expectations on what is possible for you?
Remember that being different is your biggest asset and you don’t have to be like everyone else.
About the Author:
Dave is an Adult Educator, Speaker and Youth leader living in Western Sydney, Australia where he teaches the Electrical Trades at the Western Sydney Institute. He has Diplomas in Business and Training, a Bachelors Degree in Adult Education, Vocational and Workplace Training and a Masters of Education with a major in Career Development. He has lived with Tourette’s Syndrome, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Anxiety Disorders since an early age. He is married with 6 children. He is a passionate coach and mentor to young people especially in the vocational guidance and career development areas. Dave is a professional member of the Career Development Association of Australia and has authored a course on Living with Tourette’s which you can study and purchase online through his website – www.davebrebner.com.