The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion. Albert Camus
The world system has preached, enacted and supported the course of conformity. We have been lectured on the sheep and goat nature and encouraged to be like the sheep. The sheep can simply be termed gullible, conforming and gentle. I am not preaching the goat nature nor condemning the sheep nature, stay with me to get my point.
Strict rules and conducts are the pillars upon which educational institutions are built. Growing up, we have become so accustomed to guidelines and status quos that we normally will avoid them rather than go against them. But if you look closely, you will notice that creativity has always deviated from the norm.
Don’t be swayed by the choice of word, I am not talking about kicking against the border lines of ethics and morals. This is more about learning to see beyond the briers and thorns that we have been taught to avoid. I am talking about taking the risks they have taught us not to take.
Rebelling to Create
Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man’s original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion. – Oscar Wilde
In its essence, creativity is creating something new and that does not sound like following the grain. Orville and Wilbur (The Wright brothers) saw beyond the norm to pioneer the aviation industry. In fact, both brothers never finished High School; so it is not necessarily about education. Robert and Kim Kiyosaki suffered the shame and initial lack of not taking a regular salary job to pursue business and they are a testament to the result.
Rebelling against the norm is the way to cause change. Rajneesh said that creativity is the greatest rebellion in existence. Every invention and creations of the world are products of a different thought pattern. There is no chance of blazing a path when you keep following the laid down route.
Living by the safety books will only result in an average level of success if at all. Life is responsive to the daring, nothing comes to you until you reach out to take hold of it. Phil Knight in his popular memoir “Shoe Dog” narrated how he went against the grain by choosing to sell cheap Japanese shoes in America instead of pursuing a career as an accountant. He ignored the earlier resentments from his dad and remained a shoe rebel. Little wonder he went on to co-found the great Nike.
Rebels and non-conformists are often the pioneers and designers of change. –Indira Gandhi
Albert Camus said that a rebel is the man who says no. The question is, say no to what? There is a danger of living within the lines of expectations. Common expectations are to go to school, study hard, then get a good paying job. But does that feel right with you? Would you rather pitch your tent and start selling a product or rendering a service? Or do you have a talent you desire to explore and commercialize?
Psychologist Solomon Asch in the 1950s in his famous Conformity Experiment concluded that about 75% of people will do something even when wrong in order to fit in. With that statistics, you can imagine how it feels normal to do something that is judged okay by the general standard. There is nothing wrong with studying hard and securing a job with a decent income. But that may not necessarily be your way.
Our perception of what is acceptable by our family or society can limit us from going all the way to realize our hidden potential. You need to be true to yourself by embracing constructive nonconformism.
“You’ll learn, as you get older, that rules are made to be broken. Be bold enough to live life on your terms, and never, ever apologize for it. Go against the grain, refuse to conform, take the road less traveled instead of the well-beaten path. Laugh in the face of adversity, and leap before you look. Dance as though EVERYBODY is watching. March to the beat of your own drummer. And stubbornly refuse to fit in.” ― Mandy Hale
Meet me at my next blog stop with the caption: Constructive Noncomformism. Remember to Follow, Like, Comment and Share this blog. Thanks