When we are brought up and told to survive, it is generally taught that we need to be the odd one out – that we need to be the person who cannot be picked out. But why is this? Why do we reject our own innate uniqueness? Why is it that when it comes to survival, the fittest wins, and then there are the weakest and the one day miracle?

In our race to be the strongest, the fastest, the biggest, the smartest, the most cunning, the most ambitious and the most cunning we have given birth to a self-fulfilling prophesy. We have given up the uniqueness of each of us. We have given up our personal identity. We are now little more than a mass of cells swimming in a sea of our own made, of our own body created and our very own blood.

There are many reasons for this. One of the main ones is that we were brought up to believe that there is just one life in this world, one race, one colour, one language, one sex and that is as it should be. We were told that there is just one winner in any game, that there is only one winner, and that anyone who thinks otherwise is either mentally unstable or lying. So if you are thinking or acting differently, you are somehow abnormal and it’s OK to laugh at you; the joke is on you.

The truth is that being the odd one out can give us tremendous personal growth and insight into who we are, what we want to be, and what we are made of. It is part of our evolution as beings. And in these times where so many people have been taught that they are nothing and deserve no better than what they have, being the odd one out can make a lot of difference.

It is something that I realised when I was very young. As a child I remember going into the garden and telling people I was “The Old man”. I was told many times over how old I was, and that I had lived many years; but when I talked to these people they would not believe me. They would say things like “He’s old enough to be married”. It seemed that for many people anything older than a couple of years old and with a white collar job was not a valid reason to talk to someone; whereas if I told them I was a senior citizen, nobody said anything to me then or doubted me.

Looking back now, I realise that this is common sense; but as humans, we tend to ignore reality. Our society has conditioned us to believe that success is measured by the amount of money we have, the position or grade in our job or university, the big house, and all the other meaningless trivia. I don’t know about you, but I find this extremely shallow. Now then, I would like to talk to you about my survival tips for being the odd one out…

Well, one thing I do know is that it will take a great deal of hard work to make it in this world; although the opportunities are limitless. It would be good to be aware that each day I will have to wake up and put in some dedicated effort to go through the door. In life, things are not going to fall into place automatically; and there is no such thing as “falls without pain”. My belief is that if you give yourself enough time and focus, you will be able to rise above the rest and become the person that you have always wanted to be.

However, there are also other benefits to living a life of purpose. You will learn more about yourself and who you really are. Perhaps you will meet somebody new and get to know them better. My own personal goal is to spend one day a year doing something very unique that will benefit my fellow human beings on the planet; while doing something that I have found to be incredibly enjoyable.

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