We achieve nothing alone. Even to find out what is within us, to discover our place in this world, takes the engagement and intervention of others. As you struggle through challenges and uncertainty, take heart in this fact, as it has been proven time and again on the biggest stages of history.
Just look at Thomas Edison, known as one of the world’s greatest and most prolific inventors. But this almost didn’t come to pass. As a boy struggling with dyslexia—a condition not understood in the 1850s—Edison’s school teacher labeled him “addled” or incapable of learning. Frustrated by how this teacher forced education on his students, Edison’s mother withdrew him from school to educate him at home. It was under that kind of protection and support that he truly became Thomas Edison. Later in life, Edison wrote: “My mother was the making of me. She was so true, so sure of me: and I felt I had something to live for, someone I must not disappoint.”
She had saved him, as mothers often do. She clearly understood and paid attention to the uniqueness of young Thomas, and she acted upon it. Thomas, in turn, discovered the far reaches of his incredible human potential.
Pick any great character of history – Aristotle, da Vinci, Curie, Carnegie, Einstein, Jobs, Musk – and you can trace their successes or failures to two simple things: Protection and Support. Just like it was for Edison, provide enough protection and support, and excellence is born. Eliminate them, and tragedy is sure to follow.
So, have you or someone in your circle struggled with modern education structures? Is your motor always running? Do you live and die with the momentum you have (or don’t have) in your life, from minute to minute?
If so, you’re in excellent company. These are some of the hallmarks of a select group of individuals who probably never fit in exactly to the status quo or society’s expectations. I call them the Entrepreneurial Personality Type (EPT); you might call them colleague, brother, sister, mother, father or … me.
There is overwhelming evidence for it today, and great leaders of our history are sending this message back from the grave. All we have to do is listen and understand:
There is nothing wrong with you … and you are not alone.