Worthy of Influence

To lead a life worthy of influence we must avoid the urge to 'fit in', even if doing so means risking judgement. We must be eager to set an example, unafraid to stand alone, and always ready to step into the darkness.

If others choose to judge us for leaving the herd instead of respecting our courage to try new things, let that be a sign they are holding more respect for the status quo than for our individual potential as a human being. We are worthy of more respect than the status quo.

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  1. Thank you. This reflection affirms the very steps I have been contemplating this week. I don’t usually contemplate; I usually jump, which shows me fear is present…thank you for dissolving that fear! I shall continue to follow my heart..

  2. i do love the way you write raam. i am 65 and a woman, but i literally became the little boy walking into that forest. the gift of a good writer, there. but of course, as you say, little boy or little girl or old woman, we all have our own dark forest. mine came when my husband died of cancer. hard to believe now, but even at 34, i didn’t know who i was without him. half gone. it has taken me a lot of years looking into different dark forests, but now, like the little boy raam felt… i am exhilarated that i walked in, found the real me, not just the other half of bob, and i am ready for whatever darkness i might find ahead. thank you once again for a wonderfully thought provoking post. peace to you dear heart.

    • Tammy, your bravery and resilience are contagious! Those dark forests will always be there waiting to be explored by some brave soul… sometimes by force, and sometimes by choice.

      Thank you for sharing your story here and passing on just a little bit of your courage!

  3. Yes, like Joy, I too have been contemplating a step into the darkness and this journal entry is a welcome affirmation.

    Following is easier because you know that you are actually on a path. Blazing a new trail is much trickier; what if no one follows your lead? Then you become just a lunatic wandering around in the forest alone.

    • Sage, I think that’s where we need to recognize that being a pioneer — being a trailblazer, a leader, an explorer — always comes with a bit of loneliness. I would personally rather feel alone knowing that I’m potentially laying the markers for others to discover something beautiful.

      If no one follows my lead and instead chooses to see me as a wandering lunatic, perhaps I will at least be an example for others to take such a worthy risk. 🙂

  4. I absolutely love this. I have felt judged lately by a few people close to me for wanting more and daring to be different and it is sites like yours Raam that remind me not to take heed of the herd. Thank you!

    • The herd is there for support and for wisdom; if it provides neither, it should be ignored! I’m so happy you found inspiration here, Caroline, and I have no doubt you will succeed in whatever you dare to do. Be fearless! 🙂

  5. Raam,
    This so resonated with me. While I have a very conservative side, having been in finance for 25 years, there is another side to me that is outside the “herd.” Since I’ve been online blogging I’ve felt a pull to not go beyond a certain “accepted” norm with what I write about. This is pretty difficult since my experiences as an intuitive are by nature – outside the norm.

    We need to be true to ourselves – you’re right. By being who we truly are the people who resonate to that will find us and the ones who don’t will fall away.

    • Angela,

      I understand exactly what you mean, as I suffer the same challenge. There are certain things I feel and contemplate that I’m hesitant to write about… the pressure of what’s “accepted” always lingers behind, waiting to lash out at me (or so I think… perhaps it’s all imaginary, like the monsters in the darkness).

      I’ve started tackling those fears slowly, writing deeper and deeper over time and “testing the waters” if you will. Not so much as a challenge to my readers, but a challenge to myself. How much can I say before I feel compelled to reel my thoughts in for further contemplation?

      Most of the time, my perfectionist mentality wants me to “sit on it” and think it through some more until I have a more firm understanding of the topic. But I remind myself that by letting things out and sharing my thoughts, others will share their thoughts and we’ll all help each other come to a better, more refined conclusion.

      Wisdom is not wisdom unless it’s shared. 🙂

  6. Hi Raam,

    Most people prefer to “fit in” because standing out can be frightening. All your mistakes and failures are that much more apparent when you do not “fit in.” This has always been the culture I have grown up with here in South East Asia. The main reason for fitting in is to avoid trouble and failure.

    It takes courage to stand out instead of fitting in, And in truth the progress that humanity has today is because of those brave souls who dared to stand out instead of quietly fitting in. Each generation needs brave souls to stand out rather than just towing the line like everyone else. It is not an easy thing to do, but it is the only way we can be true to our own natures instead of society’s expectations. It is the only way that we can fulfill the reason we were put here on Earth. And it is the only way that humanity can progress instead of stagnate.

    Thank you for sharing these provoking thoughts! 🙂

    Irving the Vizier

    • Irving,

      You make an excellent point about how fitting in is most often a result of wanting to avoid “trouble” and “failure”. I think the problem is that our societies have been led to believe — and as a result, teach us — that failure is a negative… that failure is somehow bad.

      The truth is that failure — coupled with an intent to learn and grow — is the only way we can improve our societies. We need to make mistakes and try new things, otherwise we spin around in the same circles, making the same mistakes and never improving humanity as a whole over the long-term.

  7. Thank you for these insights, Raam. I’ve always been a person that’s asked thought-provoking questions. Your encouragement to avoid the urge to fit in helps me to embrace this quality instead of shirk from it. Like you and Angela, there are thoughts I would like to share on my blog that will not necessarily be “popular.” The fine line for me is finding a way to express them without judgment and with love in my heart.

    • Hi Sandra,

      I believe if we genuinely express things with love, we will automatically express them without judgement. And equally important, I believe, is to remain open-minded — not only willing, but eager to hear opposing viewpoints.

  8. Hi Raam

    Thank you so much for sharing this. It is words like these, and the energy they carry that are so meaningful to me and give me more courage to do what I do.

    I chose to leave the herd and status quo a while back. It is not always easy to stand alone, but the potential of the human being is definitely what motivates me to do so. For I see the possibilities that are endless when it comes to creating our own life and liberating ourselves from suffering. On the other hand, following the status quo is to me giving away my potential and being at the mercy of others for my happiness, joy, peace, etc.

    • Hi Evita,

      Very well said! The status quo is akin to a great raging river: It has the potential to carry us, but our ability to choose the direction we travel is severely limited. If we really want to explore and find out what else is out there — if we really want to learn what we’re capable of — then we have to step off the boat and carry ourselves into the unknown.


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