I want to share someone with you this week that I have been recently fascinated with....

I love watching TED talks. If you have been following me for a while, you know that I occasionally share some of my favorites. I watched this TED talk recently by Temple Grandin, and it's absolutely brilliant. 

Temple Grandin is autistic, and she found her way in life, becoming hugely successful and creating an enormous amount of good in the world by using the mind that she was given in this life fully. I encourage you to take some time to watch her TED talk below. If she fascinates you too, there is also a movie made about her life that you can watch on Amazon prime, simply titled, Temple Grandin.  

Temple Grandin Ted Talk - The World Needs All Kinds Of Minds

Temple talks about people with autism and how there are different types of 'thinkers'. Because people on the autism spectrum struggle in some areas of life doesn't mean that they don't excel at others. We all have specific gifts to us, and often people on the spectrum have enormous special gifts to share with the world because of being such unique thinkers. 

This past week I watched several talks she has given and the movie made about her. It's really been thought provoking for me. I think there is a deep message here for all of us, autistic or not.

We all have different minds. We all have different talents as well as things that we struggle with in life. We all view things differently, and have different preferences. We all have unique ways of thinking and unique things to offer to the people around us and the world we live in.

So, why in our society have we been pushed so hard to "fit in" with everyone else? Why is 'fitting in' the social norm of what feels acceptable for people? Why is that the comfort zone for most? 

What would it look like if the opposite was encouraged as a whole? Can you imagine if since the day we were born we were encouraged to be our own unique self? If our unique ways of thinking, processing, creating, and problem solving were encouraged? How much more easily would we be able to adapt to help people learn in the way that comes most easily to them, allowing them to thrive? How much more would everyone be putting their special gifts out there to the world? How much happier would we all be?  

My message today is simple. 

We are all unique. 
We have unique minds. 
We have unique preferences. 
We have unique talents. 
We have unique ways of processing and learning. 
We are not all the same, even though the world often tries to put us into the same box. 
Different is good. 
Different can be brilliant. 
We are good at different things. 
We struggle with different things. 
Stop comparing yourself to others, and thinking that's how you 'should' be!

I encourage you to do yourself a favor and ponder this for a bit. Is it possible that there are areas of your life where your unique self is being a bit stifled because you were taught to fit in instead? Are there areas of your life where you have hidden the 'different' parts of you because you have feared judgement or rejection? Is your way of thinking, creating, or processing this world different from those around you so you tend to keep quiet? What parts of you are you holding back because of wanting to "fit in"? 

Embrace who you are. Embrace all of it. Hold dearly the parts of you that stick out from the crowd. Speak up with your crazy ideas. Speak your mind. Stand out. Fit out rather than fit in. 
How can you do this for yourself? For the world around you? 

The world needs all kinds of minds. Don't deny yourself. Don't deny the world. 

Wishing you a beautiful rest of your week, 

Shelly