In Action, Change

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

If you ask people what they’re supposed to do or what they’re supposed to be, you’ll get a variety of responses. Virtually all of them will have one thing in common. “Supposed to” will be based on what someone else thinks. People will talk about what their boss expects, what their spouse expects, what their friends expect, what society expects, etc. We spend a huge percentage of our life doing what we’re “supposed” to do – based on somebody else’s ideas.

That’s not how it really works. What we’re really supposed to do is what we’re passionate about. What we’re really supposed to be is what that voice in our head tells us we’re supposed to be. When people say that someone “marches to the beat of their own drummer”, it’s usually meant to be an insult. But you’re supposed to march to the beat of your own drummer! That’s why he’s your drummer!

Think about your life. How many things are there because somebody else thinks it should be that way? Better question: how many things aren’t there that you wish were present? There are very few people in the world who can honestly say that they’re being and doing exactly what their passion tells them to do (or at least trying). Why do you think you’re passionate about things? Is it just by chance? No way. You’re passionate about those things because that’s what you are supposed to be doing.

What’s true about you personally also applies to you as a leader. So many leaders are afraid to try and move their organizations in a new direction and they make lots of excuses about why. I think one of the core reasons is they’re afraid that others within the organization (and without) will think they’re crazy. They’re afraid to chase what they’re passionate about because they’re afraid they might fail and look ridiculous. The problem is that if you don’t chase what you’re passionate about, you’ll definitely fail and look ridiculous.

Whether it’s personally or professionally, make sure that you do what you’re truly supposed to do.  Make sure you’re dancing to your music.  And stop caring whether anybody else can hear it.

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