‘It’s Inspiration Friday’

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Some thought provoking words from Philip Humbert …


Success May Mean Being Weird

by Dr Philip E. Humbert www.philiphumbert.com

One of the paradoxes of life is that being “normal” or “reasonable” often means settling for ordinary results, while success requires that we be different and sometimes, uncomfortable. By definition, high achievers are not “average” people!

All of us have been pressured to conform at one time or another. We’ve been told to “sit still” in school, to “stop interrupting” or “not make a scene.” We’ve been criticized for dressing, speaking, acting or being “different.” The not-so-subtle pressures to accept conventional norms are powerful. “To get along, you have to go along.”

Well. Madame Currie, Florence Nightingale, Helen Keller, Amelia Earhart, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Oprah Winfrey are not admired because they were “average” people! Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Edison, Charles Lindbergh, Franklin Roosevelt and Bill Gates were not “conventional” people. Abraham Lincoln is widely regarded as the greatest American president, yet the thing he was most known for among his friends was his obnoxious refusal to quit running for office, even after he lost thirty-two elections! That is definitely NOT normal!

One of the things that has made America great is our love of individuality. We have always had a healthy respect for our “mad inventors.” The Wright brothers thought they could fly! Henry Ford thought he could put a car in every garage. Ben Franklin flew a kite in a thunder storm (didn’t his mother tell him to come in out of the rain?). Mary Kay thought she could make a living selling make-up, while Mrs. Field tried to support her family selling cookies! That’s just crazy!

Now, we need to tell the truth here. A lot of crazy ideas really are. . .crazy. We’ve all had brilliant ideas in the middle of the night, only to find in the clear light of day they weren’t worth pursuing. I’ve made many fortunes while taking my shower, only to find them going down the drain when I tried to tell my partners about them. Just because an idea is weird doesn’t mean it’s wonderful. But many great ideas (and the fortunes) have been lost because the genius who thought it up was shy. Or lacked courage. Or was intimidated by someone’s comment that, “You can’t do that!”

All great ideas are crazy before they become brilliant. Alexander Bell thought he could talk over copper wires, and even worse, Marconi thought he could send messages through thin air! When David Sarnoff wanted to launch the first
radio network (now NBC), one investor ridiculed him by asking, “Who would pay to send a message to no one in particular?” Jules Verne thought people might one day travel under the ocean or, even more ridiculous, fly in outer space. How crazy was that!? If you can read this, you are a genius. You have thousands of wonderful, creative, brilliant ideas–most of which you’ve never pursued. And that’s a shame.

Success is not achieved by being “ordinary.” Rather, success is the predictable result of following your own path and trusting your own instincts, whether or not your neighbors understand.

One of my heroes, Henry Thoreau, recommended “march to beat of your own drummer.” Franklin Roosevelt was in a wheelchair, and who ever heard of a cripple running for President? Barbra Streisand wasn’t “pretty enough” to be a star, and Elvis was so provocative he was banned in communities across the country. Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard to “write code.” Steve Jobs was not an easy guy to be around. And who would have thought a bi-racial kid from Indonesia could become President? To achieve your unique version of success, follow your heart. Yes, you’ll want to learn from others. Yes, you’ll want to obey the law and applicable regulations, but aside from those things, you become great by being exactly and
uniquely yourself.

This is a call for more eccentrics, more individuals, more creative, unrepentant adventurers. Go where your heart and your instincts lead you. Instead of following the “normal” highway, blaze a new path and leave a trail for others to follow.

Copyright (c) 2012, all rights reserved.
U.S. Library of Congress ISSN: 1529-059X
You may copy, forward or distribute TIP’s if this
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Dr Philip E. Humbert are included. Contact him at:
www.philiphumbert.com or email Coach@philiphumbert.com

One Response

  1. fantastic
    | Reply

    enjoyed your post 🙂

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