Have the Courage to Be Yourself

“If you can’t win, change the rules. If you can’t change the rules, ignore them.” – P. Diamandis

When I was in 5th grade I wasn’t the most studious person and rarely did my homework. But when I took a test I would usually get a 100% on them and was top of my class with a transfer student from New Zealand. It didn’t make my teacher all that happy that I was scoring so well without doing all of her assignments. She was so offended that she tried to hold me back in the 5th grade. The school administrator disagreed and was able to start the 6th grade. I think it was the first time I learned it wasn’t ok to subvert the system and “shine” above other students who had to work harder.

It had the effect of trying not to be noticed so I wouldn’t “offend” anyone. As time went by I just had an increasing aptitude for science and computers. I had such an insatiable appetite for computer programming that I would spend hours in front of my computer. It made me aware that one of the worst things you can do is suppress yourself. I needed to honor who I really was and help others in the process, even if it was in an unorthodox manner.

I never felt like the formal education system was doing a great job and it really felt like it was holding me back. I learned so much more from self-exploration and scratching my programming itches. As I entered the world of technology I learned pretty quickly that being self-taught was going to come in really handy. The technology world moves so fast that a four-year degree would become quickly outdated in a manner of months. I guess I’d have to credit Bill Gates for being the first college dropout to pursue his vision of technology.

Most of this mad world is behind the curve and trying to fit into a mold that was crafted in the 20th century to turn out factory workers and white collar jobs. In the 21st century, it pays to be yourself and not whittle yourself away to just fit in. Use an original way to think about your life and career. Have the courage to be yourself. Stand up and be original!