I know I took advantage of the opportunity to change Y to Why , but that comes with the territory when you primarily find yourself drawn to an offbeat way of thinking. It happens often when you’re divergent. Maybe you’ve seen the movie or read the book, but divergence is a also a real-life way of living that isn’t so much a conscious choice as a predilection or feeling that causes one to act outside the norm. Why do people do what they do? Some make choices outside the norm….often. What do you really know about divergency?
There are varying degrees and ways one can be divergent. Some divergency can be disturbing, like when someone decides they want to become a dragon (I’m not talking about a costume here), but most divergency is not as far outside the realm of “normality” as you may believe. Often divergency can lead to huge changes. Divergency fuels evolution.
Divergents do take chances and get noticed (for better or worse), but it’s not meant in harm, just as an outward expression that’s often beneficial to society. Divergents love to make people see things with a new perspective. They love to make people think. Doing the unexpected is expected in a divergent’s world.
Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Wilbur & Orville Wright, Ray Kroft, Oprah Winfrey, Walt Disney, Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams….. If you’ve picked up on the pattern, you probably realize these are some pretty mainstream names these days, but they all began as outcasts who were told they would never ‘become ‘ anything. What made them famous IS their divergency and their drive. They knew they were onto good ideas when no one else understood. Then they kept pushing towards their dreams. Some dreams failed, but some flourished and the rest is history.
It often takes people a really long time to realize the value of divergent ideas BECAUSE they are so different. Different can be unsettling, or even scary, but different can also be beautiful (Georgia O’Keefe), amazing (Tim Burton), and even life-changing (Ken Robinson). If you’re divergent, you’ve probably met with confusion, frustration, disbelief, and probably a little more awe than you realize. Most divergents hold keys that other people don’t even know exist. Being divergent is a tough road, but the payoffs are worth it in the end.
Divergency isn’t a fail safe to stardom though. Other divergents include names like Nikolai Tesla, Vincent Van Gogh, Emily Dickinson, and Edgar Allen Poe. These were divergents who had great ideas, had the drive to pursue their ideas, but did less “fitting in” to society and so their recognition came only after their deaths. Countless others, we’ll never know.
Divergent tendencies can be innate or they may evolve as we expand our knowledge and understanding of the world. Either way, divergency is all about connecting the dots and finding the hidden “why”.