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Optimisfits: Igniting a Fierce Rebellion Against Hopelessness
by Ben Courson
Learn More | Meet Ben Courson
Why Be Well-Adjusted When You Can Be Savage
Being well-adjusted is seriously overrated.
I 'm tired of knowing my place and toeing the party line
Webster 's dictionary defines misfit as "a person who is poorly adapted to a situation or environment."
Like it 's a bad thing?
I think there 's a lot to be said for the poorly adapted.
When you are trying to adapt to a culture that finds everything pretty much meaningless—who wants to adapt to that?
When you are trying to adapt to a culture that specializes in filters and computer tricks that make you look thinner and more gorgeous than you really are, and online posts that try to impress people rather than impact people—who wants to adapt to that?
When you are trying to adapt to a culture that is all about fulfilling the boring, conformist values of the "American Dream"—who wants to adapt to that?
And, frankly, I 'm not interested in trying to fit in with unthinking Christianity, made up of followers of an unquestioning vanilla-flavored brand of Churchianity, with all its tameness and sameness. Especially since the One who started it all was offering something more along the lines of a banana split with gummy bears and sprinkles on it.
So, when I am offered the opportunity to adapt to the System—in whatever form—then I will just politely decline.
Or maybe not so politely.
I 'm proud to be a misfit.
Who really needs to "fit in" anyway? Sometimes it feels like we are moving ever closer to the world George Orwell envisioned in 1984. A world where everyone is expected to conform, to take their proper place as a cog in the System, to just keep quiet and not upset the applecart, to do what is expected and unquestionably adapt, and to meekly submit to the subtle brainwashing that lulls us into complacency.
No. Just no.
I 'm too busy nourishing my inner rebel, trying to keep alive to the the things that really matter.
I 'm saying no to being what the mighty J. D. Salinger 's young Holden Caulfield called "a phony."
I refuse to believe that everybody 's Instagram posts are telling it like it is. It is easy to slip into a comparison of our real life behind the scenes with the highlight reels that everyone else is posting. And then we hegin to feel like our life is kind of boring in comparison.
It used to be that we tried to live up to the models we saw in magazines. Now we try to live up to our own Facebook profile.
So...if your life seems boring in comparison with other people 's lives, maybe that means that is the time to change your life. Instead of focusing on a desperate attempt to get the attention of others, maybe it is time to just quit worrying about what other people think and decide to live your own adventure.
That 's what I 'm trying to do.
No one ever accused me of being well-adjusted.
And I 'm proud of that. I 'm happy to be a misfit.
When I was a teenager I told my family and friends about some of the dreams I had for my life. Big dreams. Huge, hulking dreams.
I dreamed about having a show on TV and radio stations around the world. I imagined doing talk shows and radio interviews. I planned on writing a book that would be in bookstores everywhere.
Not because I needed the approval of my fellow featherless bipeds. I couldn 't care less about that. But I had a vision about how God could use me to give hope to the world, especially to those who were struggling and confused and just plain tired of it all.
Maybe I was a little like Joseph, who couldn 't keep his mouth shut about his coat of many colors. I was seventeen when I really began to grasp my dream, and I started telling people about it. They quickly let me know what they thought about all my dreaming. They told me to quit fantasizing and get serious. Some offered stern rebukes about recognizing my place. Or, more often, I just got a blank look from people who didn 't know what to say, like the person who is dancing with you at a party but clearly wishes they were dancing with someone else. A few just smiled and humored me.
My dreams didn 't fit with living an ordinary life.
Some tried to tell me that becoming a friendly neighborhood pastor would be the best way to accomplish what I dreamed about. But I knew that wasn 't the answer. I couldn 't see myself sitting in an air-conditioned office, answering emails and talking to parishioners whose main concern was that the music was too loud on Sunday.
that might be all right for some people, but it wasn 't the dream God had given me. I tried that approach for a while, but it left me stressed and unhappy and unfulfilled.
So, I took ahold of my dream, believed in it, and did all the hard work I needed to do to make it come true. I worked hard. I sweated to the point of exhaustion. I ground it out. I failed, learned something from the failure, failed again, and then learned some more.
It was bitter before it was sweet.
And guess what? My dreams have come true, and what 's more, I feel like I 'm only at the beginning of the journey.
Because I didn 't want to say yes to the well-adjusted and the average when I could be maladjusted and a savage?
I 'm sure you have your own dreams. They probably look a lot different than mine. Which is good. It is in our uniqueness that we can make the most impact for God and others.
When you have the courage to pursue your own dream you are probably going to look like a misfit to the people around you.
But really, who cares?
Say no to conformity and expectations and ordinary-ness.
Nourish your inner rebel.
To do that you 'll need some encouragement nourishment, and that 's one of the things this book is all about.
When Henry Ford was first introduced to the famous inventor, Thomas Edison, it was as "the man trying to build a car that runs on gasoline." Upon hearing those words, Edison 's face lit up and he slammed down his fist in excitement. "You 've got it. A car that has its own power plant; that 's a brilliant idea."
Up to that point, Ford had mostly met with ridicule and naysaying whenever he talked about his project. He 'd come very close to giving up. But Edison 's words ignited a new burst of confidence and became an important turning point in Ford 's life.
"I thought I had a good idea, but I started to doubt myself," Ford once said. "Then came along one of the greatest minds that 's ever lived and gave me his complete approval." This simple vote of confidence helped launch the automotive industry.
I hope this book is a vote of confidence for your dreams, so that when it comes to visioneering your future, you 'll give everything...but up!
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