Don’t Fit the Mold

In 8th grade I took a class called Technology Education. You could choose different rotations in the class designed to give you an idea of what you would like to do for a career. You could learn about radio and TV, nuclear engineering, but my favorite option was to create a CO2 dragster.

photo credit: Frédérique Voisin-Demery via creative commons

photo credit: Frédérique Voisin-Demery via creative commons

The object during this rotation was to was to create a fast car. I learned about aerodynamics and got really into it. At the end of the class everyone who designed a car would race it in a single elimination tournament. We designed a blueprint and then the teacher would create the car for us. The back of the car had a small hole for a C02 cartridge to propel the car. I was so excited because I knew the car I had designed was going to beat everyone else’s in class. When I turned my draft in the teacher grabbed my blueprint and immediately handed it back to me. He claimed this car did not adhere to the standards he had created. I didn’t recall this rule he had claimed I violated and I also didn’t see how it mattered at all. I was mad and had to make any changes by the end of class so I wasn’t able to make good adjustments. I had to make a generic car to fit the mold. I got smoked in the first race. When I think about it now it makes me mad. I’m not blaming the teacher because I don’t think he had malicious intent, but I do think he could have allowed more creativity.

Something I have realized in life is it isn’t the people who fit into a predetermined mold who make a difference. Those who really make a difference are the ones who throw away the cookie cutters and create something nobody else has thought of before. Life isn’t about seeing how good you can make something someone else already made. It’s about innovating a new way to do something.

There are a million good ways to do something nobody has tried yet. Why waste your time messing around with something someone else has already done?

I look at the way others I admire write and I want my writing to look similar. Instead of trying to emulate someone else I need to focus on creating my own style. In whatever it is you are passionate about, choose your own style. Don’t fit it into the cookie cutter others are choosing. Create outside of it.