The Addiction of Conforming

The creative urge, The Inspired Life


A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be.
~Abraham Maslow


During my hairdresser days, I had a continuing conversation with some clients that went something like this.

CLIENT: I want something new and different. Something really exciting. I’m bored with my hair. It always looks the same.

ME: OK, let’s see, you always wear your hair straight and brown and shoulder length, how about we bring it up around chin level, right at the base of the neck, put in some long layers to give it some bounce and add in some highlights to brighten it up. That will be very different and will frame your face and the highlights will bring out the color of your eyes.

CLIENT: Oh no, I couldn’t cut my hair short. It has to stay long. And…I don’t know about layers, none of my friends have layers, I wouldn’t know how to take care of them. Highlights…that’s too radical. I’m too scared. How about a trim instead.

Uhuh…no change for her…

Change is difficult for a lot of people. Daring to be different than everyone else is difficult. Standing up for your beliefs in a crowd of people who believe differently than you is very difficult. And not so politically correct depending on who you are, where you are and what the circumstances are in today’s society. We are getting used to quietly slinking away. Taking our thoughts and ideas and beliefs and going home. We get on the computer and share with strangers behind screens instead. It feels safer. We aren’t as exposed. We can control our exposure. Say what we want them to hear.

Except its boring. We live in a lukewarm world with everyone conforming to the sameness of corporate structure. We create matching neighborhoods, strip-malls and towns and duplicate them all over the country, and follow society’s rules, passing the time with idle chatter. We say nothing of value at all for fear that we will offend. It is a mindless, weary, aging way to waste an existence.

Conformity is dangerous. It’s addictive. It sneaks up on you.

One day you were young and full of dreams and plans and hopes and ideals and then little by little someone whispered in your ear “Psst…that’s not what we DO here. WE don’t wear purple boots, we wear brown shoes” So off you went to the brown shoe store. Then another day it was “Psst…We don’t believe in that anymore…” and away went the dreams, the hopes and the plans until you forgot that you had been dreaming…The next thing you know you are all decked out in your beiges and browns with your safe hair cut and all purpose shoes. One day blended in to the next and before you know it there is a school reunion notice showing up at the door.

Where did it go? Where did YOU go? Well, take a deep look. You are in there. Sandwiched somewhere between the serving others and making sure they are OK and working to make ends meet. If you made it a point to let go of all the unconscious conforming for others and really woke up and paid attention to your OWN needs, hopes, and desires, what would they be?  Do you know? Has it been a long time since you have dug down deep and asked yourself-do I want this for ME or do I want this because I THINK its what I OUGHT to do.

Our true selves never really go away. They lie in wait for the day when they get a turn. A turn to be set free and live the life that THEY were created for. Each one of us has a special gift, a destiny to unfold, a dream to bring to life if we will take the time to discover it and then pull it out and make it happen.

Shine a light on it. Be unique, take a chance, dare to be different, authentic, one of a kind. Be interesting. Bring a little color into an otherwise gray world.

Crystal at BigBrightBulb has sent out a mission for all of us to share our dreams and goals. I have many. Lots of family ones, one I joke about with my best friend Jackie K. where we talk about ending up as two old ladies living on a beach somewhere warm selling artwork to the beachcombers as they go by.  Of course, now that I am happily married, that dream is evolving. That’s OK too. Dreams do that sometimes. But when the dream is more than just a friendly daydream, when the dream is a vision of how you want your life to be, when the dream grabs you by the heart and won’t let you go, then that has become more than a dream. That dream requires ACTION. That dream now has built in the required ingredient of PASSION.

Passion is what turns dreams into action. Passion is what happens when people DON’T conform, but seek their OWN unique vision and follow their own authenticity. You will never find passion if you have a dream brought on by a should.

Ok Crystal here is mine:

My Passionate dream: To grow Life’s Little Inspirations into a website that offers books, motivational speaking, workshops, coaching, and training classes on how to work and live an inspired, profitable and happy  life.

I took my first step today. I registered my domain name. And I wrote out a huge list of everything I wanted. It was very long. I’m on my way.

What are you doing to make your passionate dreams happen?