611. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

Earlier today I laughed when an artist friend said to me, “I felt like an alien when I was a kid. And then I grew up and my friends started taking drugs; they finally saw the world the way I saw it! It was great!” Being an artist can feel like living in a perpetual altered state.

Artists often have to walk far down the road of their lives before realizing that their greatest gift is their divergent point of view; it is not what they do, it is how they see. It is a great day in their lives when they realize that they need not bend their view to match “the norm,” they simply need to give themselves permission to see what they see. They need only grant themselves permission to want what they want and express what they perceive; they go so far as to let go of the notion of a norm. Until then they think they are aliens, deficient or are somehow broken; they travel through life thinking, “Either this place is insane or I am?” No matter how you toss that coin, you will not come up a winner.

The first phase of my graduate program was called divergence. We were encouraged to deviate from our path: to pursue something that either scared us or challenged our fundamental assumptions. It was a brilliant educational design and unusual for a university program. Throughout the process I pondered why intentional divergence wasn’t the organizing principle behind all levels of education. A student must diverge to converge; a student must not-know en route to knowing. Divergence requires stepping into unknown territory. Wandering beyond the boundaries is the only way to understand the usefulness or uselessness of the boundaries. Step into the bog, get lost, run from noises that may be nothing or just might be a tiger. How will you ever know if you will fly or fall until you leave the nest? Of this you can be certain, diverge and you will return to the nest knowing more than when you left or, more likely, you will know more than when you left AND have no need to return. No matter how you toss that coin, you will come up a winner.

2 Responses

  1. Divergence. That is how I found YOU. Ha!

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