A couple months ago, I attended the “Get Motivated” seminar featuring: Colin Powell, Rudolf Giuliani, Barbara Bush, Steve Forbes, Bill Cosby, Terry Bradshaw and James Smith. James Smith, the one speaker I’d never heard, of said of himself, “I am strange. I am weird. I am sure you can tell I am tall and gangly looking. I am not normal. NORMAL SUGKS! Normal is average. Normal is dull and boring. Who would want to be normal? Not me and you shouldn’t want to be either!”
In two words Smith summarized the meaning of a reoccurring dream I used to have. I used to have this dream where I was being chased and it felt as if it would go on forever. I would try everything to escape my pursuer. I’d speed up. I would hide. I’d zig and zag until I’d finally reach a point where I’d have to turn and face my follower. When I’d finally turn to face my attacker, I’d throw a punch in an attempt to fight. However, in each dream my arm was extremely heavy and my potential blow would land with no speed or force. With my futile punch tossed, my dream would end and I’d wake in a panic.
While this dream ceased, the thought of it has never left me. I had grown to believe my dream was my subconscious enforcing on to me the importance of facing life’s obstacles. Yet, I was never fully satisfied with my conclusion because I didn’t understand why my punches were so non-effective and why I never was able to clearly identify my supposed foe.
I believe I’ve finally cracked my dream’s code. In part I was right, my subconscious was telling me to turn and face my foe. I’ve come to realize the reason the violent blow I’d always tried to deliver was tempered was because the pursuer in my dream was me. My dream was what Marianne Williamson’s poem Our Deepest Fear so eloquently points out. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? … Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
I firmly believe we’re all put on this planet with unique qualities, gifts and talents to serve a higher good and by doing so we evidently end up helping others. Yet, I’ve struggled to include myself in my own conviction. It is easy to see how others are or aren’t embracing and celebrating their strengths and unique attributes. It is simple to spot those who are playing small under the cloak of normalness and quite another to turn to face your greatest foe, yourself.
“We are often our own worst enemy” is an old saying and old sayings become old because they tend to be true. So I believe my dream was my subconscious asking me to take a critical look at my own life to see how I was getting in my own way, robbing myself and others my true potential.
So, have you taken a good hard look at yourself lately? What have you done to develop your talents and uniqueness? Have you traded in the “real” you for a cheap “fake” version of yourself to appear normal?
Being normal sucks! We were all designed to be great in our own way. You might be holding the key to another person’s future success and that someone might be you.