A little over 20 years ago, I recall there were several things that happened about the same time when I didn't want to do something someone else wanted me to do - and I determined the only reason they wanted me to do it was because it was what everyone else did. I'm sure I had known for a long time prior those episodes that I wasn't like everyone else, but at the time I decided to put it into words to tell others and to remind myself.
I AM NOT A CONFORMIST
I have worked my whole life to figure out who I am, what makes me special, what makes me unique, and how I fit into society as an individual. Having learned who I am, I have become very comfortable and confident of my place. I don't succumb to pier pressure and I won't be intimidated.
There is zero chance that I am going to wake up tomorrow or anytime soon and decide that I am no longer motivated to be different or that I am motivated to being the same as everyone else. I not only don't want to be the same as everyone else, I don't want to be the same as anyone else! I am not going to do what everyone else does just because they do it. In fact, if anyone else does it, then I am likely to want to do the opposite just to be different.
Same follows, different leads.
I have succeeded in life to the degree I have because of who I am. I have also failed in life to the degree I have because of who I am. But, one thing is for sure, I am who I am and I'm not anyone else. I live within my own skin and I like it that way.
People remember me because I am different. My tombstone will not read "Here lies another Joe." I don't follow the crowd. I am not a sheep being led to the slaughter. Trends mean nothing to me - unless I set them.
I don't approach things like most others. I am an original thinker. That is why I have accomplished things that others have not. That mindset is what allowed me to invent a few things and to write my books. I am not constrained in my mind by the limits of typical thought and typical behavior. I consider myself to be evolved beyond such a simplistic existence.
I am not going to worry about keeping up with the Joneses. I am not going to care what the Joneses think. I am not on this planet to please the Joneses, but to please myself and whomever I make a commitment to. If a person requires that I become something that I am not, then I cannot make a commitment to them.
So, as a nonconformist, I run the risk of being labeled eccentric, peculiar or even strange. But, many of the greatest personalities and minds in history were off beat... if not off their rocker. That trait is what set them apart from the crowd in the first place and allowed them to reach their full potential - not encumbered by the constraints of society.
I shall be telling this with a sigh.
Somewhere ages and ages hence.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood and I
Took the one less traveled by.
And, that has made all the difference.
Perhaps not surprisingly, that's the only poem I ever learned that I did not write.