“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.”- Albert Einstein
Do not take heed of the opinions of those whose ambitions are not on the same level as yours. It is a waste of time to expend your energy trying to get people who do not share the same vision as you to understand the feasibility of your ambitions. Instead, you will find naysayers, those that will rain on your parade with the proverbial “it cannot be done…it is impossible!” Most of the time, what I have realised is that, such people are sometimes merely projecting their own insecurities and incompetence upon you. They fear that they could not achieve the feats you aspire to achieve and thus they condemn you to failure. Yet, it is crucial to remember that, they are not you, you are not them, and thus, only you know the extent of your capabilities. So, I repeat, do not take heed of those who do not see what you see.
It seems that whenever someone ventures beyond the ‘norm’, those who may not have the fortitude to do the same will likely have a pessimistic outlook on such actions. For example, when the Wright brothers were in the process of inventing the Wright Flyer, I am adamant that they were met by barrage of cynics telling them that it was impossible. Yet, here we are more than a century later clocking more air miles than ever before. Moreover, when one decides to stray from the pack, in order to do something that has never been done before, one thing that is never in short supply are those voices of dissent telling them it cannot be done and testing their resolve every step of the way. This is because the majority of the population finds comfort in uniformity, since it offers security, as according to their logic, if everyone is doing it, it must be right. I, for one, have seen countless examples of this in the advice I received regarding what I should study at university. Many advised that I study something that “guaranteed a job”, evincing how the majority are often concerned about security as opposed to following your passion. To an extent, I can understand, as security ranks very highly on our animalistic survival instincts. However, staying with the pack often leads to being average, something I am sure most of us do not want to be. If one yearns to excel and be that which others are not, they will need to do that which others are not doing and forge their own path.
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”-Robert Frost
We as a people have always been afraid of what is different, just as much as we are apprehensive of change, so it is predictable that people are wary of those that dare to be different. Yet, do not be afraid to do that which is different and do not be afraid to pursue your goals, however crazy someone else deems them to be. Go after that which fulfils you and encourages you to hop out of bed with a spring in your step. Do what you want and love because at the end of the day, your life is yours to live. Mediocrity is ubiquitous; do not fall victim to mediocre living. As Henry Thoreau once wrote “suck the marrow out of life”. Thus,let one not live and be limited by the results of other people’s thinking and insecurities; forge your own path to a life that fulfils YOU!