You must have heard of Robert Frost’s famous poem The Road Not Taken. He talked about two roads: One that a lot of people had travelled and the second one which wasn’t that much trodden upon and which very less people took. What if I told you there was a third road? No one had ever taken this road and it was filled with thorny plants and slimy creatures. This road was quite gory and sepulchral. But in the end, it would make you the first person, the living example for others, who tread upon this third road. It would make you the one who wasn’t ordinary, someone who was extraordinary. Would you do it?
Humans are always scared of something. Be it tomorrow’s maths exam or turning in that presentation to the angry boss, we mortals always worry about the scary devil we are terrified of. And the thing we are most scared of? Failure. Which people try to avoid by searching for success. We are so scared of failing that we miss the obvious: you can escape it by doing something that others don’t. Or in other words, look beyond the ordinary.
But this phrase has become quite overused, because everyone feels that it’s only for successful people, the ones who are different have the ability to look ahead and do something different. And I would like to tell you that this is in fact, a very convoluted myth.
According to the dictionary, ‘ordinary’ refers to a person or thing bereft of any special characteristics and therefore normal. But what we must realize is that we are not ‘normal’ in every way. In fact, we are all abnormal or non-ordinary in our own unique way. We all have different capabilities, interests and experiences that we gathered over a lifetime which has helped us in looking beyond the ordinary. We all do different things everyday and the same thing can’t be done by anyone on this earth because you are doing it. Just like a game of chess. The same pieces in every game but a different game every single time. No two games of chess can be the same around the world. Each one of us is looking beyond the ordinary in some or the other facet of our lives.
We are mortally scared of failing and we are so caught up in being ‘successful’ that we don’t see that success is coming to us as well albeit in small bundles. Completing a task, being able to understand someone, making someone happy are all little bits and pieces of success. Find them.
And more importantly, don’t try to do what others are doing. Just try to get inspired and motivated by what they do. Every person who has done something in life is not solely successful because he/she looked beyond the ordinary. So, don’t fret. You aren’t doing anything wrong. Keep going.[perfectpullquote align=”right” color=”#d3d9ce” class=”rblog” ]Judge yourself and not others. You are different from everyone else.[/perfectpullquote]
What you should be motivated to do is learn how to look beyond every day. Don’t let your thoughts influence you, influence your thoughts. Instant gratification won’t come, be patient enough to welcome long-term rewards. Don’t discuss people, but ideas. Judge yourself and not others. You are different from everyone else.
I have been told that most of us are lambs who like to follow each other and do the same things, while the rare few of us are lions who chart their own path. Well, my take is that all of us are lions in our own unique ways. We are different and extraordinary.
This article has been published in the October 2016 issue of The Teenager Today.