When we are young, we all dream of an ideal future. We want to be like our idols, to make a difference in the world. Most of us give up that dream somewhere along the way in order to fit in. Some of us keep trying until we fail one too many times and come to the conclusion that our dreams are unrealistic. The rare few however, never give up, they persist until they make their dreams a reality.
These people, by definition, don’t fit in. They are change-makers, people who question the status quo, and then they go about creating a new one. They refuse to accept the world as it is, and commit their lives to leaving the world better than they found it.
Who are they?
1 – The Artists
Dante / Homer / Shakespeare / Beethoven / Mozart / Goethe / Tolkien / Picasso
The Artists evolve our definition of beauty and help us understand the world from a different perspective.
2 – The Psychologists
Piaget / Jung / Freud / Skinner / James / Watson / Pavlov
The Psychologists help us understand human behavior and how we can evolve psychologically.
3 – The Innovators
Da Vinci / Franklin / Edison / Tesla / Ford / Wright Brothers / Disney / Jobs / Musk
The Innovators have revolutionized or created an entire industry and evolved how the world operates.
4 – The Scientists
Hippocrates / Galileo / Newton / Darwin / Curie / Einstein / Feynman / Hawking
The Scientists develop a deep understanding of the physical universe and help us evolve to harness its power.
5 – The Revolutionaries
Mao / Martin Luther King / Marx / Guevara / Bolivar / Lenin / Gandhi / Mandela
The Revolutionaries overthrow the accepted social norms in favor of a more evolved social level.
6 – The Philosophers
Socrates / Plato / Aristotle / Confucius / Descartes / Voltaire / Steiner / Bruce Lee
The Philosophers question the most fundamental reasons for living and give insight into a more evolved way of living.
7 – The Sages
Lao Tzu / Buddha / Jesus / Muhammad / Krishnamurti / Mother Teresa / Dalai Lama
The Sages have evolved higher levels of consciousness and translate their understanding in to simple terms for the rest of humanity.
Are these people extraordinary? Without a doubt. These are people who have all self-actualized and contributed to humanity in a way that has positively impacted the future of our species. But what if we could get more people to self-actualize? There has never been a time in history when it was as easy as it is now, thanks the people above. Most of our basic needs are met by society, we are better educated, and more connected than any generation before.
So what can we learn from these change-makers so that we too can make our own unique impact on the world?
1 – Be an Open-Minded Avid Learner
Be curious about the world. Stand on the shoulders of giants. Don’t recreate the wheel. Learn from the best that have come before and improve upon what they have done.
Richard Feynman developed a technique to learn by teaching someone else in simple terms so that you can pinpoint holes in your own knowledge.
2 – Hone your Skills
Practice, practice, practice. Get really, really good at something. Find your medium to be able to deliver value to others and express your purpose.
Bruce Lee would watch a boxing match on TV, simultaneously performing a full side splits, while reading a book in one hand and pumping a dumbbell in the other.
3 – Create your Own Path
Be willing to be different. In order for you to make a real difference, you have to do something that hasn’t been done before. People won’t believe it’s possible. There are no instructions, no-one to follow or tell you what to do. You have to make it up as you go along.
The Wright brothers devoted themselves to powered flight when the consensus at the time was that if man was supposed to fly, God would have given him wings.
4 – Have a Grand Vision
Believe that you can make a difference, find something that you are passionate about changing and make your vision crystal clear so that you know which direction to go and how to inspire others to rally them to your cause.
Elon Musk wants to take us to live on Mars to avoid the extinction of the human race.
5 – Experiment with the Resources at Hand
Waiting until everything is perfect or you have everything you need before taking action means that nothing will get done. Figure out what you can use right now to start moving in the right the direction and build up momentum as you go.
The Dalai Lama says that if he could find a technology that would give him the same benefits of meditating for hours a day he would use it. But in absence of a such a technology, meditation will have to suffice.
6 – Be Resilient to Failure
You will fail. It is inevitable. No-one ever became truly successful without failing many, many times. Take failure as an opportunity to learn, to do better next time, and let failure be your most powerful ally to improve yourself.
Thomas Edison failed to create a light-bulb 10,000 times. He only succeeded once.
7 – Follow your Intuition
There will be distractions. You will doubt your ability. You will question your vision. But at the end of the day, you know the right answer in your heart. Do what you think is right. Get in touch with your inner voice, and paint the world how you want it to look.
Mozart would write a symphony straight from his mind, without going back and making any corrections.
What is your Dream?
Which of the 7 Types of Dreamers do you resonate with? Which do you have the potential to become (or are you an entirely new type)? What do you need to focus on learning? How will you change the world?
I’d love to hear your answers to those questions. Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I promise I’ll read your answers! And if your dream inspires me i’ll write back to you to see if I can help in some way to make it a reality!
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