Be More Picasso

Others have seen what is and asked why.

I have seen what could be and asked why not

Pablo Picasso

We are all unique. We are all different, and this is completely normal. After all, no two people are the same. If we were, life would be boring. Humans wouldn’t be individuals, capable of independent thought and action, but rather robots, pre-programmed to think and behave in the same manner as everybody else.

Accepting that we are all different, with thoughts, feelings, drivers and motivating forces unique to each of us, is a powerful and liberating feeling. It’s empowering, because you come to the realisation that you control your own life, nobody else. You have the freedom to pursue your dreams, and the only one who can stop you is yourself. You don’t have to listen to others, but can instead chase after whatever it is that you want, and learn from the ensuing experiences. Once you accept that we are all unique, you realise that you don’t have to accept  the opinions or limitations of other people, but instead it’s your own judgement that matters. That’s not to say that you should disregard completely what others have to say, because everyone you meet in life has something which they can teach you. Just don’t take the word of others as final. Don’t be afraid to look at a problem from a different angle or perspective. In doing so, it might be you who makes the breakthrough, and gives the world something special. Pablo Picasso’s name is still known today, throughout the world, because he didn’t accept the limitations of those around him. He ignored the critics, and instead focused his energy on pushing boundaries and taking art in new directions. Most important of all though, he believed in what he did, deeply believed, and did not give up. Be bolder, be more daring, be more Picasso.

The reason why there aren’t more people living the lives they want for themselves and are genuinely happy, is fear. Following your instinct and your dreams is a brave decision, because it involves breaking away from the norm and the status quo. People will try and discourage you, some because they don’t want to see you fail and get hurt, and others because they don’t want to see you doing better than them.

This second group are often referred to as having a “crab mentality”. Crab mentality  is a way of thinking best described by the phrase “if I can’t have it, neither can you”. The metaphor refers to a bucket of live crabs, some of which could easily escape and do try, but other crabs pull them back down to prevent any from getting out, ensuring the group’s collective demise. The analogy in human behavior is that members of a group will attempt to reduce the self-confidence of any member who achieves, or even attempts to achieve, success beyond the others, out of envy, spite, or competitive feelings, to halt their progress.

Crab mentality achieves nothing more than mediocrity. Progress and innovation slow to a crawl. Everything stays the same. There’s no change or challenge, just more of the same. This is a very toxic, dangerous, and sorry state of affairs. Crab mentality leads people to feel comfortable and complacent. People stop trying because they don’t want to stand out and be criticised. They don’t attempt anything, because they fear being ridiculed if they fail.

People, however, don’t admire and look up to “crabs”, because they haven’t attempted anything noteworthy. Hence they have no influence, and just become one of the faceless masses who don’t stand out. Is that what you really want?

People admire, respect and are influenced by innovators. People who have dared to attempt something great, whether they have succeeded or not. They want to know what it is that led them to become successful, and what they have learned along the way.

History remembers Henry Ford, Pablo Picasso, Michael Jordan and so many other greats, because they dared to strive to become the best they could possible be in their chosen arena. Those who may have been just as talented, but chose to play it safe, are easily forgotten.

You are not here because you are happy with being average, and just sailing through life. You visited a blog about fulfilling the potential which you have within you, because you are hungry for more. You want to become the best version of yourself. The only way to do this is to be brave. You have to muster up the courage to go after what you want. Decide, plan and act. Reflect on your journey at regular intervals, and make any necessary changes to stay on track.

Don’t allow anybody else tell you how to think or how you should view the world. There are enough people already doing everything the same. Dare to be different, because the world needs more people looking at issues and problems from a fresh perspective. We need innovators, not imitators.

So, as you begin this new week, be bold. Be confident. Be willing to experiment. Be more Picasso.

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