I have always been attracted to the notion of questioning norms, many of the people I admire throughout history were considered rogues and revolutionaries of their day for that very same notion. I admire them mostly because they brought about change. They were able to create change because they were different and they thought differently. They asked the right questions, they asked why, and they made their own answers when they didn't get good ones. I find very few things absolute in the world, and with a little creativity, anything is possible.
I think it is easy to look back through history and celebrate the different thinkers (Albert Einstein, Coco Chanel, Pablo Picasso), but it is hard to celebrate different thinking in the every day. It scares people, it makes them think you are ridiculous, or worse, a troublemaker. I think many times people acquiesce so they can collect their paychecks and go home. It is hard to ask why, it is hard to stand alone in thought, it is hard because it requires more work, however it is if anything, necessary.
“if at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it."- Albert Einstein
Recently I was chastised for being the only one in the room (of 7) who didn’t think the same way as everyone else. My superior found this troubling, I found it more troubling that he found it troubling. Without thinking differently there are no new ideas, without new ideas there is no innovation. Without a disagreement there is no conversation, without a conversation there can be no progress.
I’ll leave you with the inspirational Steve Jobs apple advertisment ‘Think Different’, which was as relevant in 1997 as it is today, and always.