“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Think back during the course of your life-time.
How often were told you had to act a certain way?
How often did you give in to fit in?
Did you ever have to put what inspires you on the back burner to please others?
What makes you happy?
Can you march to your own drum or do you need a drum major to guide your parade?
Conformity can often stifle dreams by slaking the thirst for personal growth and dream fulfilment. We are generally grouped as leaders or followers. Followers are rarely independent dreamers; they operate in a drone-like state for the collective. Leaders, by will, guile, influence and force of character can fulfil their wishes and dreams. Leaders are the non-conformists who stand alone in the crowd.
As Gandhi, eloquently stated “It’s easy to stand in the crowd but it takes courage to stand alone.” Leadership requires strength of character which come from the will to excel and succeed. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be a leader, a dreamer, a beacon to others who need leaders.
Those in positions of leadership are often the targets of criticism when things are not going well for the collective but rarely are they praised for their successes. It is here where the courage to persevere in the face of attack or critique becomes evident.
When you resist your urge to lead you defeat your true self. You must act in a way to assuage your fear of being different to let your true self rise to the top. You must be Emerson’s leader. Carve a path for others who need leaders because they have not realized their selves yet.