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Published on December 9th, 2010 | by Olumide

8

I’m Crazy- Confirmed!

I have a confession to make to you. It’s a little shocking: I’m crazy!

But before you feel sorry for me, please be informed that there is one main thing I have in common with Mahatma Gandhi of India, Nelson Mandela of South Africa, Ted Turner of CNN, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Bill Gates of Microsoft and many other people- we are all crazy!

I’m sure you would agree that only a very crazy person would leave the world’s greatest university- Harvard, not because of academic or financial problems but to pursue some far-fetched dream that had never had commercial value before then. Even already tested and well funded business models fail. How much more an untried idea from someone just barely in his twenties? But that is the story of Bill Gates and Microsoft. It is also the story of Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook.

Oh, you are not sure we are crazy? Hang on! Did anyone ever tell you of what Mahatma Gandhi did to liberate India from White oppression? He told his people to fight armed men without arms! They were literally to be lambs to the slaughter, to show passive resistance, face punishments willingly, go to jail, lose their lives… there was a time a British General ordered that fire be opened on a crowd of protesting unarmed Indians in spite of the fact that there was nothing threatening about them. They were in an enclosed square and the British soldiers blocked the entrance. Over one thousand Indians were shot that day including women and children. But this was the result of Gandhi’s teachings to the Indians. It is worthy of note that this strategy brought India her freedom and ultimately it wasn’t as costly (even in terms of lives) as a real war would have been and it demonstrated greater humanity than the British were able to handle. We have similar examples (patterned after Gandhi) in Martin Luther King Jnr and Nelson Mandela.

How about the guy who insisted that the world was round? Galileo Galilee was criticized by the church which was at that time more of a political organization. He had to withdraw his claim when they decided to burn him alive because of his discovery. Today, we all agree that the world is round. But at that time, Galileo was said to be mad.

What about Ted Turner of CNN? The outfit that became CNN belonged to his father and incurred so much debt that the guy (Ted’s father) committed suicide. So to even dare to take charge of it, Ted was crazy. But when he brought out a previously unheard-of idea (to start a 24-hour live cable TV station for only news), he confirmed that he was indeed crazy. CNN started up with low funds and a very low audience. It is said that at times, the ceilings would fall off the roof during live transmissions. But guess what? The crazy guy is the sane one today.

How about Daniel, who preferred to be thrown into a den of lions instead of merely not praying for a while (or praying in secret), or how about Shedrach, Meschach and Abednigo who preferred to be thrown into fire alive instead of worshiping an idol for a few minutes? How about Jesus, who could easily call an entire legion of angels to his defense but instead, chose to die for the human beings who were going to kill him without any form of pity?

I know you may not like my terms but it’s the truth. The world is not transformed by normal people. It is transformed by those who are crazy (for Christians, a better word would be ‘supernatural’). Normal people live the life of Solomon Grundy: Born on Monday, Christened of Tuesday, Got Married on Wednesday, Gave birth on Thursday, Took ill on Friday, Died on Saturday, Buried on Sunday and that is the end of Solomon Grundy. Normal people just contribute to the world by being a part of the 6 billion (their impact is felt only by increase in number and not in impact). But crazy people take the bull by the horns, challenge traditional thinking and make the difference. The problem is that while they are doing that, they come under a lot of criticism. But when they succeed, the same people who criticized them begin to praise them.

Stop trying to be a part of the crowd. The way to succeed and make impact is to stand out from it. Try a new idea. Give your wildest imaginations a shot at fulfillment. It may not work out but you would have the satisfaction of knowing that you gave it your best shot. And perhaps, you would have earned the right not to be part of Solomon Grundy’s family.

NB: In case you were inspired by my mention of Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg to drop out of school, be informed that that is NOT necessarily my intention. I am a strong advocate of good education.

For the benefit of my Facebook readers, this post is from my blog: http://olumideadeleye.com. Please visit and drop a comment. Thanks!

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8 Responses to I’m Crazy- Confirmed!

  1. Tola says:

    You are right: you are truly crazy to write a post like this.

    Keep it up! Great and inspiring write-up!

  2. olokode israe; says:

    olumide this inspirational but u are a bit timid about nr line in
    “NB: In case you were inspired by my mention of Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg to drop out of school, be informed that that is NOT necessarily my intention. I am a strong advocate of good education”
    the fact is school is not a determinant to greatness its what lies within us and d vision we catch.

    history has it and will always have it that academically poor or average people achieve higher greatness that the sound ones.

    you r an example and i am too.
    u did impact alot in Unaab than all the first class students of ur set put together. u r a star.

    israel 4rm unaab ’10. ur far away admirer.

    • Olu says:

      You know, you are right! But I had to put that there for a simple reason: Many people read a motivational article or listen to a motivational speaker and feel it’s easy. But that’s not the real world. In the real world, you have to pay sacrifices and face consequences for your actions. I’m sure Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg counted the costs and saw that it was a risk worth taking. Most people would only bow to the pressures of the moment and quit school. The difference between taking a risk and gambling is that when you take a risk, there is a good chance that things would work in your favour. A risk is well calculated and measured to succeed.

      I will probably talk about schooling another day. The problem is that school has become a system and the system does not necessarily test ability or impart the most useful forms of education. But even then, I believe strongly that Nigeria would be better if more people went to school -if more of our legislators actually had university education, Nigeria would definitely be better :). Perhaps what we should really be rebelling against is that there is a distorted picture of schooling. School helps you to meet contacts- intelligent and like-minded people who can help you achieve your goals (but our society doesn’t place much emphasis on this). As ironic as it may seem, we probably wouldn’t know about both Bill Gates and Zuckerberg today if not for Harvard. There, they met the right friends, worked on the right projects, joined the right clubs… these are the under emphasized parts of school. And that’s precisely why the social guy comes out with a third class but has good communication skills and great relationships and before long he is the boss of the brilliant first class guy who spent all his time reading and lacks basic skills. The problem isn’t the school. It’s the mentality it’s projecting!

  3. Peter Emu says:

    Jide,

    I am inspired by this article. There is more to pursuing just a dream from a reality, but sometimes what is known as reality is just a dream and the dream that we ignored might end up becoming our reality!!!

    Most of these great people you mentioned had to leave their life..as we know it.. and create a life for others, by this I mean, imagine what facebook.com has done for many people in the world?

    I am inspired. Thanks for this great article brother, you rock!

    Inspirational and Motivational articles

  4. Seo Services says:

    Amazing freakin blog here. I almost cried while reading it!

  5. Johnson says:

    Bro, i really appreciate this wonderful article you posted, it has really shown me that dreams can also become reality which i really appreciate.But i must really make my comment “YOU ARE INDEED CRAZYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY.

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