Constructive Non-conformism; the Path of Difference

“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 drummer. And stubbornly refuse to fit in.” ― Mandy Hale

I was surprised when I read the words of Jack Graham that Status Quo in Latin means the mess we are in. That got me thinking and I can only but agree with that translation, the current state of affairs is truly messed up. I once asked a group of secondary school students if they would love to have a life similar to that of their parents and to my expectation, they all rejected.

Society demands conformity at the expense of individual liberty. Let us be for once a non-conformist to be fully alive. – Wayne Dyer

In my last post, I managed to open the ground for my argument on going against the grain, being the rebel. That is the basis for creativity, no one blazes a new path on a usual path. Making a difference requires that you are authentic, be true to yourself.

The Columbus Story

The part of this narrative of being a constructive non-conformist is the fact that the road can be pretty lonely. But be assured it is the path to making a lasting impact on the world. The way to Asia from Europe was once by road through the Silk Road. By 1453, the land passage became dangerous and difficult due to the fall of the Byzantine Empire of Constantinople.

It was suggested to the King Afonso V of Portugal that sailing west across the Atlantic could be a better way to reach Asia, but that suggestion was dismissed. By 1480, the Columbus brothers proposed reaching the Indies through the Atlantic Ocean.

It’s the non-conformist who gives color to history.

Dorothy Fuldheim

Not resting on the opening of the Southeastern passage which led to Asia around Africa. Columbus chose to think differently and seek a way to Asia across the Atlantic. After several lobbying, Columbus was able to gather enough sponsorship for a trip west on the ocean. During his first voyage in 1492, he discovered the American continent when he stepped foot on the Bahamas on the 12th of October.

It remained uncertain if he was able to make an entry into Asia, but he certainly opened up the west. Exploring Cuba, Hispaniola (Haiti), Trinidad, and more. His quest to open up a new path earned him a country named after him. Colombia is named after Columbus.

One of the great liabilities of history is that all too many people fail to remain awake through great periods of social change. Every society has its protectors of the status quo and its fraternities of the indifferent who are notorious for sleeping through revolutions. Today, our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant, and to face the challenge of change.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

How to Raise the Stakes

Challenging the status quo takes commitment, courage, imagination, and, above all, dedication to learning. –Marshall Ganz

There is enough talk already about people that have blazed new paths and challenged the boundaries in different works of life. But how can we achieve similar success in our age and time? How can we like Columbus to discover the New World?

Marshall Ganz said it takes commitment, courage, imagination, and dedication to learn to challenge the status quo. That is as simple as you will need it to be. Starting by challenging yourself, open up new channels in your thoughts. The first place to begin is to broaden your knowledge and gain as much insight as possible.

It must be clear to you already that you are going against the crowd and thus it will be a lonely ride at first. You need a lot of courage and commitment. It is the path of the brave to leave the hard beaten path and begin to clear the jungle for a new path. Columbus had to wait for about 12 years before he was able to go on his first voyage across the Atlantic.

No one can cause change like the one that has a far-reaching imagination. There is a reason for our mind’s ability to see beyond our physical eyes. Our imagination is what fuels our inner desires to attain great heights. Columbus saw beyond the Atlantic in his mind, and he resolved to see it with his physical eyes. You must engage the power of your imaginations to challenge the status quo.

Do you desire to know more about how to go against the grain? Follow my blog via email and watch out for more. Remember to Like, Share and Comment on this blog.

We live in a society that penalizes highly creative individuals for their non-conformist autonomy. This makes the teaching of problem-solving in design both discouraging and difficult. A…student (has) massive blocks against new ways of thinking, engendered by some 16 years of miseducation. – Victor Papanek

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