Rocking the Cruise Ship

Do you ever feel like you’re not like everyone else? That you see the world differently? That others don’t really understand you? I taught for years prior to moving into administration, and I asked those questions at the beginning of each year to the classes I taught. And each time most of my students nodded yes. But could they all be so different? In my experience, that’s not the case. There’s a substantial degree of predictability in the way we act based on those “original” thoughts. We follow others, or lead even, in ways that don’t particularly distinguish us from the multitude. Even those that rebel, rebel in a predictable way.

So how do we get out of this rut, break away from the herd, and be original? I think it involves taking risks. Not foolhardy, uncalculated risks but an approach to uncertainty with forethought and determination. It’s easy to go with the flow because most of our lives are surrounded by conveniences that seduce us into complacency. It’s easier not to rock the boat because we live on a cruise ship with a 24-hour buffet and pretty good service.

You don’t have to take risks on your own to explore new ideas, but you certainly can if that’s how you’d like to begin an adventure. Just beware, or be aware of the ruts on the roads ahead. And remember, there are plenty of others around (remember all those nodding heads) that might be willing to take up the challenge with you if they just knew you were different and resilient enough to stay the course.

Are you?

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