Dare to be different from the crowd and chart your destiny

Be the hero who understands that with freedom comes responsibility. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Be the hero who understands that with freedom comes responsibility. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

“Never compromise who you are for anyone. If they don’t like you the way you are, it’s better if they leave you than you leave your identity.”

A carpenter and his apprentices were travelling through the province of Qi in search of building materials. They saw a giant tree — five men all holding hands could not encompass its girth, and its crown reached almost to the clouds.

“Let’s not waste our time with this tree,” said the master carpenter. “It would take us forever to cut it down. If we wanted to make a ship out of that heavy trunk, the ship would sink. If we tried to use it to build a roof, the walls would have to be specially reinforced.”

The group continued on its way. One of the apprentices remarked: “Such a big tree and no use to anyone!”

“That’s where you’re wrong,” said the master carpenter. “The tree was true to its own destiny. If it had been like all the others, we would have cut it down. But because it had the courage to be different, it will remain alive and strong for a long time yet.”

“Thoughts believed create your world. Once you change your thoughts, your world changes.” - Byron Katie

Five Take-Homes

1.The greatest prison people live in is the fear of what other people think: People will judge you no matter what you think, what you say, what you do and so on. So, don’t be scared to live your life because of what people say. Just keep moving forward.

2.Mistakes do not define you: When we make mistakes and failures our identity, there are only three things to do when we make mistakes: admit, it, learn from it and never repeat it. It is not how we make mistakes but how we correct them that define us.

3.Don’t let your struggles define your identity: Life always throws challenges and surprises us. When you let your struggle define you, you play the victim card. Rather, be the survivor who goes on to conquer from the strength you draw from your struggles.

4.Words prove who you want to be, action prove who you are: Never make a promise when you are not committed to fulfill it. And never run away when it’s time for you to fulfill your commitment. You may not be hated for failing but you may never be trusted again.

5. Be the hero who understands that with freedom comes responsibility: With great power and freedom comes responsibility. In life, you are free to do whatever you want to do, when you are ready to take the responsibility of your choices and actions.