Stand Up!

by David Stewart (other articles by David Stewart)

This world is filled with the things we think we should do. We are constantly told how to dress, how to talk, how to work and how to live. Society dictates its expectations and delivers those messages through advertising and mass media. From an early age we are taught to conform to the social rules of our surroundings and most importantly we are taught not to challenge authority.

In our society if you rock the boat you run the risk of being treated as an outcast, in work, in social environments and especially in business. There are accepted ways of doing things and should you challenge and argue against those conventions you can expect to be treated as a trouble maker.


This plays on the basic human desire to be accepted and to be liked. Very few of us set out in this world to be disliked or cast out. The overwhelming majority of us spend many, many years striving for acceptance, from our friends, our families and from our peers. We buy into the notion that there are only a few pathways to success and acceptance. We look around at people we admire and we copy what they do in the hope that we can have what they have. We follow their lead and while we may try to improve on their methodology, we seldom reject it outright and opt for a new beginning or a divergent approach.

This is curious when you stop to consider that the most successful people are the ones who have done precisely the opposite of what was considered normal. Think Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg or the boys from Google. They redefined whole industries, in many cases created entirely new ones and reshaped the way we view the world. They didn’t do it by modelling themselves on a set formula. They decided to go out and create their own realities and the opinion of others and the naysayers were only there to be proven wrong.

It is the creative and individual flair in all of us that holds the most potential for greatness. If it’s been done before and you try to do the same thing again the best you can hope for is to be a really good carbon copy of someone else or even worse try to live someone else’s dream.

Don’t settle, don’t conform and don’t just accept. Set your own agenda for your life and throw everything you have into making your own realities manifest. We each hold something special inside of us that given oxygen and the room to grow can make an impact. Speak up; demand your right to be uniquely you and amazing things will happen.

18th March, 2014

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