Friday, December 7, 2012


Very many years back while a teenager, a certain guy in Kenya announced that he would be vying for the Presidency. Kenya had just legalized multi-party politics (an abnormal thing given the preceding decade of one party rule).
To very many people in Kenya, this candidate was abnormal to say the least. He was belligerent, represented war and revenge. According to one of the leading columnists at that time, Kwendo Opanga wrote in his column, 'The Week That Was', Raila Odinga 'is not even an orator'. 

Raila Odinga
At face value, the Odinga proposal was abnormal. Today...sometimes news is not complete in Kenya without the mention of that once abnormal name, Raila Odinga

I am learning that there is great value in what we deem 'abnormal', especially at face value. Very many people tell me that they are bored. I tell them that they are just too normal and plain predictable.

Nothing saps juice out of life like the known normal. That is why some relationships are on the rocks...there is no effort to delve into the abnormal. Of course the abnormal calls for effort...and for most people, the brain does not love that word effort.

To be honest, we love the predictable. We love the comfort zone. What we know, what we have always known. We seldom want to operate in the new.

Try going out today and jog if you have not done that for months. The results will be evident not only during your jog, but also after the jog. Your body has just registered the abnormal or out of the ordinary and is now complaining.

Try juggling some balls, even if they are two. That is cumbersome stuff if you have never done that. You give up in exasperation easily. Yet, juggling being an abnormal thing to do for someone who never has, is a very helpful exercise to the brain.

When everyone has the same tools, it might be the abnormal that might give you competitive advantage.

Indeed, as a visionary, I would bet that in building your life signatures, it is important that we find ourselves at least going out of the normal once in a while, sticking with the abnormal until we have mastered it. That way, the abnormal is not normal anymore.

Just ask Raila Odinga. Had he vied for the presidency before? No. Was it easy the first time? No. Was it cumbersome? Of course! Did he give up? No! He's still right there smack in the middle of the race. No doubt the man has grown.

That is what trying the abnormal will do for us. It will grow us. It is Maxwell who said that, "If we are growing, we are always operating outside of our comfort zones"...sometimes, we are our own 'Kwendo Opangas' if you will. Yet we have to grow this thick skin to insulate us from those who see us being weird when we engage the abnormal.

It was weird to drop out of Harvard in order to develop MS DOS to its full potential. Nobody is supposed to do that. It is abnormal to drop out of school. That abnormality made us Bill Gates of Microsoft, and Steve Jobs of Apple. Infact, the normal is so ordinary for anybody to notice you!

A great visionary always seeks to be in the face of that which scares them. That which is foreign to them. That which demands effort from them. That which is out of the normal and out of the ordinary. 

You might want to try the abnormal...chances are that with time, it will work, and you will grow.

Have a weird week, wont you?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Disqus for Life Signatures

What are your thoughts on this?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...