When in Rome…

…do like Romans do. Time and again, someone is going to give you this advice, and most people don’t think of it as a big deal. In fact, this might be one of the most common advices flying around, and one of the most common advice to be completely ignored by people who have achieved anything in life.

If Einstein, Galileo, Copernicus, Tesla,  Turing, Stallman, Torwalds, Jobs, or Gates went ahead and followed this advice, think of where we would be today. In fact, if any of the people who brought any change in this world followed this, we would be in a really mediocre world right now.

But how do you swim against the flow?

The world has never been kind to the odd-ones-out. Every time someone challenges the authority of the herd, the herd tries to shut them down. The only way to achieve greatness is to go against the flow. It will always be difficult to do that, especially when people who matter to you repeatedly oppose you, but in the end, it’s completely worth it.

But how do you do it? How do you stand up to all these people, and tell them to mind their own business? How do you get up and gather the courage to not do it like the Romans do? If you think, the answer is quite simple. Suppose, for an instance, that you are drowning. What is the thing you would want most in such a situation? Air? Oxygen? The ability to get out of the water? And what would you be prepared to do to be able to get out of the water and breathe again? I would say that I’ll be prepared to go to any lengths to be able to breathe again. If you have that kind of a willingness to achieve your goal in life, there is nothing you can’t do.

So what do I do exactly?

Well I can’t tell you exactly what to do. Life is like a human body, every one is unique in it’s own twists and turns. To make the best of it, and to be able to achieve any goal you set your mind to, you need to treat your journey as a bespoke tailored suit, not a tshirt from the store around the corner. Of course the tshirt is fine now and then, but the suit, which is custom made to your body’s measure, will always be better. If we look at examples from history, every one of these people who have achieved anything, were met with obstacles bigger than anything. And what did they do? They went ahead and did something unique with their problems. Some faced punishment and death with grace and courage, while others kept kicking until they were sore, and successful.

So, the only advice I can give you, is that when life gives you lemons, freeze the lemons and throw them back at life. Don’t just sit there and go with the current, make it your own, and I can assure you that once you’re there, the Romans won’t mind.


 

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