Colouring Inside the Lines

I remember when I was a child, colouring was torturous. I know it was a way to keep me out of my parent’s hair. Good for them for having a way to distract me rather than just television. It did occur to me how ridiculous it was to colour in someone else’s creation. What was the point? Ok, there is a point. It does create discipline. It does have dexterity building merit, but man is it boring.

My attitude toward colouring inside the lines carried with me through my life. I could rarely follow those who told me I could not or should not do something. Setting boundaries on my exploration of life was a difficult thing. If there was a reason, e.g. electrocution, I could see why they wanted me to heed their warning. If there was no imminent physical danger justifying their recommendation of “do not”, it was hard for me to resist the temptation to do. The risk of emotional danger was never a stumbling point for me either.

This has allowed me to have a colourful life as it has been described. I don’t like reinventing the wheel. Colouring outside the lines is not reinventing the wheel though. Colouring outside the lines leads to innovation. Most things I believed I could do, I set my mind to, and it was done. Even if it bucked what everyone else was doing. This allowed and allows for innovation in my professional life.

In my professional life, I am free enough to try new things. The worst that can happen is that it doesn’t work out. Whether that be a contract with a company, a strategic alignment, a new venture, even a style of dance I want to try. Even asking for something that I want – the worst that can happen is I am told no. Often though, these things do go the way I want and then amazing things come from it that wouldn’t have happened if I had been scared to try it.

Maybe as humans, we are generally fearful. I think there is fear to step out and be an individual – doing things your way without worrying what society will think. I think there is fear to stick your head above the crowd with a new idea – again there can be back lash from society for doing so. I have had it happen and I am not alone in it – when you set yourself apart in anyway, there are those who want to see you fail. Is that a fear based decision on their part? Maybe. Is it a jealous thing? Maybe and I think jealousy comes from fear about our own shortcomings.

Being fearful, maintaining the status quo, and jealousy are all choices. You have a choice to be what and who you want to be. Maybe that is a person who wants to be generally accepted by society. That’s ok. Maybe that is a person who stays on the cutting edge and follows their true path without worry of what others will think. That’s ok. Maybe that is a person who hides in the corner because of pathologic fear. That’s ok. The point is be who you are and don’t apologize. Live life true to you and you can’t go wrong. You may actually go very right.

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