I would like everyone here today to think about something Jim Jarmusch once said: “If anyone tells you there is only one way, their way, get as far away from them as possible, both physically and philosophically”. You must have heard this – or a variation of this – a million times, but have you ever let it sink in? Does it truly resonate? If it doesn’t, let history and science show you, why your way is most often the only right way.
Our nature is to stay in the lane, to fit in, to be pliable, because – think twice, look at this picture-perfect order, do you really want to be the one to break it? It’s only when we stand our ground and say “Actually, yes”, that the world changes. We know the names and the stories behind them: Joan of Arc, Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks and so many others, what if all of those people decided to sit still and comply? The world as we know it would have never existed.
The need to belong is innate, rooted deeply in our evolution, and in some situations, it serves to save us. But just because it’s natural and at times necessary, doesn’t mean we should let it take over. We have to notice it, acknowledge its presence, and let it go, be proactive in finding our unique way. The same science that tells you to conform will also say that you’re the happiest when you’re not doing it.
It’s an old idea, one that’s always talked about, but never listened to. So, listen. And don’t let anyone tell you that they know better because truth be told, no one ever has all the answers.