Years ago, Dad once asked me to sew a new button on his work shirt. He had no idea what was coming. Yes, I replaced the missing button in question. But then I dug though the rest of the button container, and sought out about 5 of the biggest, ugliest buttons I could find. And I sewed them all over his shirt. The next day, Dad, without blinking an eye, went about his day, proudly bearing his bright pink, purple, blue, and green buttons all over his chest and sleeves. When asked by his customers about his shirt, he just grinned and said his daughter had some fun. I never thought he’d go for it, but there he was, daring to be different.
One day this summer, we had family over at our place. Face paints and nail polish came out for all the little kids. After painting a few kids’ faces, still holding the paints, I approached Dad. Wrestled with him a bit, gave him one of my I-will-never-give-in smiles, and painted a big beautiful butterfly on his face. He was such a good sport. I thought he’d never go for it and yet there he was, daring to be different.
Dad isn’t just a good sport, he is a thinker, an innovator, and a trailblazer. He farms, does business, and parents differently than other people. It is not always easy for him, but he follows his heart, not the crowd, and it has served him well.Growing up, Dad always told us kids to “dare to be different”. When I was really young I didn’t quite get it, but as a teenager it started to make sense. He encouraged us to not go with the flow, to go against the grain, to say “no” to what everyone else was saying “yes” to, and say “yes” to what everyone else was saying “no” to. This guidance has served me well in adulthood too. I don’t always do things the way everyone else does things. And I’m okay with that. He has taught me to follow my heart, instead of the crowd.
Where are you stuck following the crowd? Parenting, business, values, relationships?
Where would it be better for everyone if you followed your heart?
Here’s to Conquering Stress,
The Stress Experts
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Practical Strategies to Deal with Daily Stressors
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