We’ve all heard it before: Think outside of the box. But sometimes it’s good to see a visual cue in our environment that reminds us to do this more frequently. That’s why I created this piece (and Maxims 4 Mavericks).
We can’t outgrow and overcome the limitations we have imposed on ourselves without first recognizing those limitations (Tweet this quote). Too many time the greatest challenge we face is not our circumstances, but rather, how we’ve grown accustomed to seeing them.
By definition a ‘norm’ is common. Thus, being ‘normal’ means being common (Tweet this quote). It means thinking and doing in the same way as the majority. Yet, being ‘normal’ is still encouraged by society.
Innovation and progress requires testing the rules and assumptions that most people believe are inescapable and unchangeable. And in the process, new perspectives often present new approaches that change the way the rules effect our lives.
For instance, we all know gravity is a very real thing. But while many people thought this meant it would be impossible for humans to fly, there were some Mavericks who decided to challenge that ‘rule.’
To protect ourselves from possible embarrassment, ridicule, or judgement, we often live life with a psychological lampshade. We hide our most audacious, crazy (and often most important) ideas from the world. But ideas can’t materialize when held captive in our minds. In fact, ideas multiply in value when they are freed, shared, talked about, and tested.
We should be optimistic in viewing our setbacks as preparation for future circumstances and opportunities that we cannot yet foresee.
In doing so, failure becomes cross training.
One’s dream life may not look the same to you, me, or society. And that’s okay – as long as the greater good benefits in some way too. I look at it this way: True balance is found when one’s lifestyle is both fulfilling and sustainable.
Sometimes it seems society’s goal is to produce conforming, non-inquisitive, and apathetic grown-ups. This, of course, is an excellent way to shun both fun and success from life.
The opposite of such a stoic existence is to embody the curiosity, liveliness, playfulness, and spontaneity of a child (and yes, these traits can co-exist with maturity).
Why does this lesson plan strike you as odd? Because in conventional education (chalkboard and all) there is so much structure we come to rely on teachers, leaders, scholars, and a predetermined program to “educate” us.
It’s no question that those who enjoy more, do more, and achieve more are those whose own daily lesson plan reads: “Educate myself.”
On one hand, rules and norms create social cohesion and order, but on the other, they breed conformity and complacency. Most social norms and rules were created with a purpose, but relevance is never permanent.
Don’t choose conformity and compliance over creativity because you’ll most likely end up somewhere (and someone) you don’t want to be. Let your intuition and creative inclinations be heard before you become part of the herd.
A picture is… many things, but most importantly it’s a single icon that can represent so many ideas, concepts, beliefs, and messages in one glance. Look even closer and even more is revealed. Images give the viewer enough information to present an theme, without pigeon holing the message. They are suggestive, but ultimately, the viewer is able to take the message or lesson they most need to hear — and that message may be different for each viewer.
Image code: APICTUREIS
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