March 2023

March Thought of the Month

"Day by day begin to stand out. Be a difference maker. Fitting in with the crowd is robbing you of your destiny."

~ Hiral Nagda

So many times in life, we do things simply because that's how it has always been done. Or worse, go back to the way things used to be done rather than take a chance on new ideas. How many people missed out on the chance of a lifetime because sticking with the status quo was easier than investing in a new idea? How many companies have failed because they continued to do what they had always done instead of innovating to compete in a changing market?

This inflexibility of thought and action can be dangerous, dooming a business or a dream to failure. In work and in life, we must be willing to question where we're at and move against the crowd when the situation requires it.

A mild example of this was in a Reader's Digest type story I once read about a young bride who made a ham dinner for her husband. He watched her cut the end off the ham before placing it in the roasting pan, adding the pineapple and glaze, and putting it in the oven. He asked her why she cut off part of the ham. She told him that's the way her mother always did it.

But once he asked, she became curious, so the next time she talked with her mother she asked her the same question. And she gave the same answer: because that was the way her mother did it. Now both women were curious, so they called the grandmother to ask her. She replied because her roasting pan was too small for a whole ham.

Her practical solution became a family tradition because no one asked the right question for two generations. It is vital for all of us to ask questions, to examine all the facts of situatons before we make what could be irrevocable decisions. It's one of the reasons a free press is part of our constitution, as a way for us to get answers to our questions, especially the ones some don't want asked.

This is why learning to think for ourselves and to stand on our own when required, and teaching those skills to the children in every generation, is so important. Without these abilities it is too easy for a people to become complacent sheep or worse a mob for others to direct. Each of us has a unique destiny and purpose in this world, but if we give in to the pressure to follow along, we risk failing in what we were born to do.

The pressure to go along isn't easy to resist but we all must. Doing anything just because people around you are is rarely the formula for success. Be sure the why of their actions makes sense first by asking all the right questions — even if they make you uncomfortable, and if it doesn't, forge your own better way.

[Thought and image design by Elaine C. Oldham]

032023 thought image
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