Reinventing You

Getting over the notion of conformity

Human hand turning word impossible into possible

Lately, because of my wife, I have been paying more attention to Ted Talks videos.  I came across a talk given by Ellis Watson, CEO of the media company DC Thompson.  In the talk, he calls on people to challenge societal expectations to conform and, instead, take risks to reach their potential.

He did another thing, he spoke about people losing the ability to wonder and, in essence, letting routines take over.

Let’s face it — it’s easy and safe to conform.  For example, I make sure that my clothes match.  I even choose very tame, monochrome socks.  In contrast, my 13-year-old son goes out of his way to not match.  In fact, he changes an item of clothing if he does match.  I used to try to get him to work on his “look” but, I pretty much gave up.  Now, I am actually thinking that he’s not the one who needs to adjust hist thought process.  He has a “look”. It just doesn’t conform to what I think it should be.

Maybe those of us stuck in our rigid thinking need to do something to shake things up.  Learn a language, go fly kites, build a robot or do something crazy like getting rid of all your monochrome socks and buy brightly-colored ones.  Stop marching to the same beat, in line with everyone else.  If there’s not a path, make your own.

As Mr. Watson points out in the video, we don’t know if we have years or moments left in our lives.  You might as well make it one well-lived, regardless of how much time is left.

Written by JP Smith

A self-proclaimed "technologist...with attitude", I'm a forty-something husband, father and IT professional/enthusiast. I believe that learning and growth are lifelong endeavors.