I recently learned a new word, eclectic, which means to be made up from a variety of sources. Eclectic also means not following any one system, but choosing the best parts of each system and using those.
This reminded me of the book series and movie Divergent. In that dystopian world, members of society are considered dangerous if they don’t fit into one specific group (intelligent, honest, brave, kind, or selfless). Those who are divergent, who fit into more than one group, are considered dangerous.
I think a similar philosophy can be applied to our society. If you don’t fit into one group, or if you don’t just support one way of thinking, you are “dangerous” – but in a good way, as in you have dangerously high amount of potential to do positive things.
To be Divergent in our modern world is to oppose the traditional way of thinking, or just simply to be “different.” I think being different should be encouraged, because it is these type of people who do amazing things.
I think it is also important to realize that being “divergent” in our world isn’t just a lifestyle or personality trait. You can apply it to your life to make you happier, when you choose to leave your comfort zone. This means not conforming to your own thoughts, and being eclectic within your own life.
You may think you’ll never be successful, but the truth is that you never know unless you try. What holds us back is fear. Fear of failing, and fear of “doing the wrong thing”. We don’t want to make decisions that don’t suit us, or that we aren’t meant to make; but of course, we have no way of knowing how one decision will affect us later down the road.
There is a quote I once saw that haunts me – “Are you happy, or just comfortable?”
I think it is terrifying to go through life and be content and happy, but not make the most of your life. That’s why I think it’s important to not conform to any particular way of living or thinking, but to choose the best aspects of everything. To be eclectic, and to live with this idea in mind.
Living and existing are two completely different things. One is a flatline; one is a mountain-range esque line of experiences. Some of those experiences might be negative, but the negatives allow the positives to happen. Fear makes us feel alive, and doing things that our outside of our comfort zones allow us to experience truly making the most out of life.
Obviously, it’s okay to be hesitant to leave your comfort zone and try new things. But don’t let fear be the thing that stops you. Let is be something else – common sense, a new perspective, a better idea. Be fearless, so much so that fear itself fears you. Turn the tables, and you’ll be surprised at what happens.