It’s interesting what many people perceive as dumb, stupid or weird. I think anyone doing things differently to the majority can easily be seen in that light. Different scares many people. Different seems wrong to the mainstream. Different makes people look like they are not quite with it. The fact is that different often represents genius, achievement and innovation. It is my goal in life is to live differently, be different and achieve different, so I am okay with being seen as dumb, stupid or weird. I hope you feel the same and won’t get offended, but will be complimented when you are called dumb.

Back in the 1950’s two teenage boys, Jon and Tom, were sitting together in an ice-cream shop having a milkshake and donut, when a younger teen, named Billy, walked in. Jon said to his friend Tom, ‘See that kid who just walked? He is the dumbest kid in town.’ His friend asked why. ‘I’ll show you, watch this.’ He called Billy over and said, ‘Hey kid, I have a gift for you. I’ll give you either this one dollar note, or these two new shiny twenty-five cent pieces.’ Billy looked at the choices, looked at Jon and said, ‘I’ll take the two shiny ones. Thanks.’ He took the coins and went off about his business. ‘See what I mean?’ Said Jon, ‘The dumbest kid in town!’

The next day, Tom was out on his bike, when he saw the same boy who took the fifty cents instead of the dollar. He went over to him and said, ‘Hey Billy, I saw you yesterday. You know that the one dollar is worth twice as much as the fifty cents, right?’ Billy then said to Tom, ‘Of course I do, I’m not stupid. Jon does that to me at least twice every week, if I take the dollar, he’ll stop doing it!’

So, the question is, who really is the dumbest and who is the smartest? I think in this humorous example, we can work it out. Jon was adamant, based on his perspective, that Billy was the dumbest, but I believe Billy, and you, know that to be untrue. It’s so easy to look at what people are doing and make a judgement call based on what we see, what we know, what we’ve experienced and what we perceive. My first point, in this blog, is to encourage you to look beyond the surface before jumping to conclusions about the sanity and intelligence of the people around you.

If you read my blogs regularly, then I’m confident you are already on top of that first point. It’s this next point I’m most passionate about. My strongest message and encouragement for you is about protecting yourself from the people who refuse to look beyond the surface and are often jumping to conclusions about your sanity and intelligence. We must be so very careful not to be sucked into what mainstream society sees as normal and intelligent, and, how some people make you feel if you dare to step out of the mould and work to create a different life. If you are doing things that are legal and moral, but may be perceived as strange, weird, dumb or stupid by many people, you are right on track… keep doing them!

What is dumb anyway?
I was told, by more than one person, I was stupid for thinking I could be a professional footballer, and, I totally understand their perception. At the time I made the declaration I was a skinny, sickly, sooky teenager, and, not that talented. However, those people who called me stupid didn’t know was what was inside me, nor what I was prepared to do to back up my declaration. I was called crazy by many people after I stated my intention of becoming a published author. Again, I understand where they were coming from, as at the time the statement was made, I was working over 120 hours per week in two businesses, and, I had no writing skills or qualifications. Those people saw crazy, but they were looking through their filter, not mine. I saw something completely different. I knew what I wanted, and I knew what I was willing to do to make it happen.

So, you see dumb, stupid, crazy and weird are just perceptions of the person looking through a frame of reference they have been conditioned with over their lifetime. It really has nothing to do with you or what is possible for you. You are not normal, and that is a massive compliment. Normal people don’t read these type of blogs. Normal people don’t do things that go against the flow of mainstream society. Normal people don’t strive, work, struggle, persist and aspire to great things. Normal people don’t do much at all, and what they actually do, they complain about. Normal people will try to make you feel dumb, stupid, crazy and weird in an attempt to stop you aspiring for more. Why? Because cutting you down is easier than lifting themselves up to a higher level of living. I hope I am making sense.

Be inspired by, not discouraged when someone calls you dumb, stupid, crazy or weird. It means you are stepping out of the pack and swimming against the stream. When you get called crazy for wanting to run a marathon or reach an exceptional level of fitness, commit yourself to do it anyway. When someone calls you dumb because of decisions you make and actions you take to increase your financial position outside of your career, then push harder to become successful. When you get called weird for having an aspiration to become a successful author, entertainer, business person, politician, artist or academic, work harder than normal to be successful. When you are labelled stupid for chasing something that most people can’t see, then run faster, chase harder and get it done.

Steve Jobs was called crazy. JK Rowling was labelled not good enough. Elvis Presley was told he had no talent. Walt Disney was told he lacked imagination. Oprah Winfrey was told she was too emotional. Jerry Seinfield was sacked from an acting role because he wasn’t good enough. Thomas Edison was labelled stupid. Albert Einstein was told he was too slow a learner. Charles Darwin was labelled lazy. Marilyn Monroe was told she should become a secretary. I could go on and on and on. What matters is not what you are labelled by others, but what you label yourself.

We live in a world of people. In fact we are heading toward a global population of eight billion people. Everywhere you look there are people, and, whether you like it or not, those people have an opinion based on their life experiences. Some of those people are going to share their opinion with you whether you want them to or not. Some of those opinions are going to conflict with what you believe, what you desire and what you want to hear. Be ready for it, and know that when someone labels you dumb, stupid, crazy or weird, it’s actually a great compliment. It means you are striving for an exceptional life. Make your goal to be perceived as the dumbest person in town!