The Other 99%
Posted by Ryan Neal
The Other 99%
Publication: RidiculouslyExtraordinary. Posted by Ryan Neal
In a few paragraphs I'm going to tell you a story about why 99% of society fails. It has to do with challenges and speaking up and being you.
I get a lot of positive reaction on this blog. I get some negative reaction as well. I welcome it all.
Tell me I'm wrong. Tell me you disagree. Tell me I'm going about something incorrectly.
I respect being challenged. (But back it up.)
The truth is I want to be wrong. I want to be challenged. It's the only way I'll grow.
You should feel the same.
You don't form strong opinions without being challenged.
You don't do anything of value without plowing past challenges.
Challenge me, challenge yourself, challenge everybody.
Ruffling Feathers and Speaking Your MindA lot of people seem to be too afraid to state their opinions for fear of ruffling feathers. While diplomacy is all well and good in certain instances, if you don't speak your mind and stand your ground regularly you turn into a number. You're not a number, so don't act like it.
7 years ago I was in a marketing class at Wayne State University (I wouldn't recommend it; the class or the school). My teacher, who ran a small Web design company, was "teaching" us about Internet marketing. Little did she know what I did for a living. :) Anyway, she started talking about Pay Per Click (Google Adwords) and stated "Don't bother with this if you're a small business. It doesn't work. It's too expensive. It's only for big businesses."
I hate arguing. It's completely useless. (Life Lesson #8)
But I had to say something. (Which is sometimes a good sign that you're in a situation that won't turn out well.)
So I spoke up in this massive, useless, class of 50+ students.
"You don't know what you're talking about. I use Adwords profitably every day. Do I look like Coca Cola?"
(I know, I was an asshole, but I was steaming at the toxic information she was spewing and I didn't know how to handle it.)
"Impossible, it's only for big businesses," was her ignorant response.
"You don't know what you're talking about. How did you get this job? You are giving all of these people, who are already brainwashed by this system, sadly incorrect information." (I left out the brainwashed part, although it was true then and and it's true now.)
Then another student spoke up: "Hey, be quiet. We just want to get this class over with."
My first instinct was to stand up and choke slam the dude. (I used to have a temper. haha)
Instead, I gave up. "Whatever." This was a losing battle with losers who had nothing more to lose. They had already given up on life as far as I was concerned. No good could come from dealing with these people.
This situation reinforced what I already knew: not only do I not belong with 99% of society, I do not want to belong.
99% of the world doesn't care. They don't want opinions. They don't want challenges. They just want to skate through life with as little friction as possible.
You can be like the 99% if you want.
Or you can ask yourself, "What challenges will I take on today?"