Thanks to Jo for reminding me of the story of Todd Rose.
At the age of 21, Todd Rose was a high-school dropout struggling to support his wife and two small children. He was on state benefits and had worked his way through ten minimum wage jobs in two years.
Todd remembers his report cards at school which had a common thread and read, “He’s a little hyperactive and finds it difficult to fit in.”
One day when he was at a very low ebb, blaming his school and teachers for his misfortune, Todd’s father – who had worked his way up from tea boy and floor cleaner to mechanical engineer – gave him some life changing advice:
“I’ve lived with you for 21 years Todd. You’re not lazy or stupid. You’re just fine the way you are, you don’t need fixing. You just need to find something that really interests you and someone to teach it to you.”
His dad’s words hit home so he enrolled in a series of human biology classes at his local college.
Todd found the psychology classes gripping, not least because he realized that school had not worked out because he was outside the range of the average, normal student and as such, not catered for.
The reality is that no one is actually completely average and has at least one skill or talent, be that as yet undeveloped, which is well above average.
In a world that has perpetuated the cult of the average and valued sameness, conformity is losing its grip on the reins as authenticity and exceptions rule.
There’s one thing that you’re a world champion at. No one does it better than you. You’re the best at being you. And when you’re being your best self, your world will transform from a round hole to the shape of your square peg.
Ps. Todd is now 42 years old and Professor of Education at Harvard.
The Top 20 Book Titles of the Year:
The Long Drop – by Eileen Dover
Empty Cage – by Freda Bird
The Dirty Dozen – by Yu Flung Dung
The Race to the Outhouse – by Willie Makit, with illustrations by Betty Dont.
How to Improve Your Garden – by Mo Delawn
Danger – by Luke Out
Bottoms Up – by Hugh Jass
Downpour – by Wayne Dwops
Enter – by Doris Open
Falling Trees – by Tim Burr
The Yellow River – by I.P. Freely
Hitting the Wall – by Isadore There
The World of Insurance – by Justin Case
The Great Escape – by Freda Convict
Spaghetti Recipes – by Al Dente
Better Beer Making – by Bud Wiser
The Life of a Cloakroom Attendant – by Mahatma Coate
Fly on the Windscreen – by S. Platt
House Cleaning – by Manuel Labour
Dangerous Driving – by Pastor Redlight
Live big & love deep.
Moving minds Transforming performance