“The brick walls are there for a reason… The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”
Greatness is Inherently Threatening to the Average Joe
There’s something pretty interesting that I noticed the other day — that 99% of of people, the average joes, tend to clam up and get defensive when you indirectly force them to question they way they’ve been thinking. Let me give you some classic examples:
Upon witnessing that a friend is not eating dessert, the following conversation typically ensues:
Average Joe: “Whoa Sarah no brownies for you tonight? What are you watching your girlish figure or somethin’?”
Dieter: ” Yeah, I gotta get my weight down. I’ve been trying for a while and I’m finally making some leeway. I’ll stick to the strawberries.”
Average Joe: ” Oh come on, just take a little bite.”
Dieter: “I’m quite alright, thanks.”
Average Joe: [Mocking dieter] “Sarah over here is being a party pooper and boring today. But I love brownies, gimme some!”
Secret emotions of the Average Joe: Envy, hatred. “I wish I could have the same self-control.”
Upon engaging in conversation about a recent passion or dream that the dreamer has, a conversation with the Average Joe will typically go like this:
Extreme Dreamer: “So, I decided I’m going to do a world trip. All 7 continents. I’m gonna travel as long as my money lasts me, and once It runs out I’ll get a job on the road. I’m tired of my job and I want a fresh change of things.”
Extremely Average Joe: “Hah, and I’m buying a Lamborghini and retiring in Hawaii at 31 with my trophy wife. So what movie did you see that in? Who’s paying for the trip? You’re going alone? Didn’t you hear it’s dangerous in < insert extremely safe country >? Aren’t you worried about getting some freaky disease like Ebola? Or what about all those car bombings, shootings, chemical spills, health scares, zombie invasions, freak unicorn attacks and student-run bake sales? You should probably stay at home, it’s safer.”
Secret emotions of the extremely Average Joe: “Damn I wish I could do that. I wonder if she/he’ll go through with it.. I hope not. So I can say I told ya so.”
Why Are Average Joes so Average?
There are a couple reasons why people tend to react to anything different with such hostility:
- Fear of the Unknown
Fear of the Unknown
- They feel like they have to question deeply seated assumptions or previously held beliefs
- They feel threatened (because of #2)
- Cultural Inoculation
Downers will try to prevent you from getting what you want to achieve because they are envious and afraid that you may get an opportunity they never had.
Learn to spot genuine-in-the-interests-of-your-well-being advice vs. pure envy. Friends and family are not always your best advisors.
Avoiding the Fetters While Accomplishing Miracles
“A great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Challenge Conventional Wisdom by walking your talk, since the motto tends to be “do as I say, not as I do.” (Who the hell came up with that anyway?)
- Never assume because you haven’t done something before, or nobody you known has done something like it before, that you can’t do it
- The real world is full of downers who want to live their dreams as badly as you do, but are chained by their minds and how they’ve been inoculated by society. Don’t get offended when they criticize or doubt you, and don’t get angry when they call you a “fool” or “dreamer.” Pity them, because they are giving up everything to live someone else’s dream. They are enslaved.
The Walk-Your-Talk Part
Here are my take home points:
The majority of people will always try to bring you down. Don’t hate them, don’t be angry at them, just feel sorry for them. They are envious and in the back of their heads are also thinking ” Gee, I wonder if I could…. < get the hell out of this place >”
Remember the concentric ripples in the pond you produce by walking your talk. All things are related and influence each other immensely and subtly beyond our perception.
Don’t be a mediocre mind that is a parasite and dead weight to others around you. If your kids or friends are big dreamers, put your feet up on the counter with a coffee and talk some time. Almost everyone has an obvious childhood dream, and almost everyone has been taught to keep quiet about such “childish things.”
Don’t let others violate the sanctity of your own mind. It’s a sneaky little virus that creeps into the minds of almost everyone, until one day you find yourself as the debbie downer of the group telling people to “be realistic” and “keep dreaming.”
It is no coincidence that dreamers inspire people to push themselves and others further, while the other 99% of humanity pull people down and give them reasons to be afraid or doubt themselves. These two mindsets are almost in direct contrast with one another.
Think about that.
Mediocrity is an excuse to be a coward because you don’t have the balls to go for what you really want.
Keep your head in the clouds, but your feet on the ground.
“The future belongs to those who believe in their dreams.”