Going against the stream is terrifying but at the same time also being the most appealing thing you can do
People going against the stream are often seen as rebels, and sometimes it’s even going so far that they are treated as dumb individuals. A lot of people suffer from atychiphobia or fear of failure, and it can block you completely even to try something.
On the other hand, you can view it from a different angle. People who dare to try a different route, people who dare to fail to reach their goal and people who are willing to “play all-in” to get a chance to achieve what they dream of. Are they dumb?
The most well-known parallel from the world of animals you can see among the salmons. They come from the sea and are going against the stream up in the river of birth to spawn. The instinct they have to do this in spite of all danger on the route, secure such an important thing as the survival of the salmons.
We as humans also follow a specific path, influenced by many different sources. Many of the behaviors and even routines are good ones to get a society to function correctly. But we also adapt to many habits due to fear, convenience, and even laziness.
James Clear, one of my favorite bloggers, has a very straightforward recipe of how to get rid of your fears.
Just take a look at famous people who have achieved changes or innovations that change a whole world. So different personalities such as Martin Luther King, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison, Jeff Bezos, Henry Ford, Florence Nightingale and even Donald Trump, they all have a least one thing in common: Going against the stream!
Erase The Fear When Going Against The Stream
One of the first rules you learn as a blogger is that you should not write about yourself. Your audience doesn’t give a s**t about you and your life.
I will break that rule now, and my purpose isn’t to brag or something in that way. Instead, I firmly believe that you can learn something from my story and all the times I have been going against the stream.
My life story in an abridged version will give you the three most important experiences I have learned along the road.
After receiving my university degree, following the stream to get a good education to “secure” a successful career, I traveled abroad. I didn’t go to a Swedish neighbor country with more or less similar cultural habits. My destiny was Mexico! What could a young Swedish guy do in Mexico, with nearly no knowledge at all about the country and knowing ten words in Spanish? Well, not much.
However, jumping over 45 years and looking back, I can proudly confirm that I now know in depth the culture, the habits, and the way of living in Mexico. I have a wonderful family, where my Mexican wife is the primary daily promotor to cultivate the true family love and relationship. We are a trilingual family, and yes, Spanish is now my second language after Swedish of course. The skills of knowing languages give much more than natural communications. It’s the main key to a different culture, structure, way of thinking, well, a different world.
Going Against The Stream Is A Must If You Would Like To Be Multicultural
Some year’s ago my daughter recommended a book, “Third Culture Kids.” Highly recommended book. It’s a fascinating book about families who have been living in many different countries, and at a certain point, you ask yourself: Where is home?
As a person with language skills and not being afraid to try new challenges, we have been living in 5 different countries. Different schools for the kids, new friends and cultures and without being fully aware of it, adding new priceless life experiences to an already abundant and different life.
The career within the corporate world was going from success to success. Everything seemed to be the ideal life, as taken from a “Life Dream” book. But one day and like a blizzard from a blue sky, the company was sold to a completely different group of investors.
The position and the excellent relationship I had built up with my superiors during an extended period, they were all gone. I don’t blame anybody for this. That’s the way the corporate world works. The shareholders’ interest will always be priority number one.
And thinking about it, you’re hired to do a job and get paid for that. You probably view the job from a personal perspective of how to grow within the company. However, never forget that you are hired to make your boss’ or the shareholders’ dream come true.
The 3 Takeaways For Going Against The Stream
Summing up my own life and what you will experience yourself when going against the stream:
- Get rid of your fear. Easy to say and difficult to do, right? We all have concerns sometimes. After all, we are humans. But when the fear is there, make a quick analysis to figure out if the risk is worth a try. If your answer is a yes, then just do it!
- The future is multicultural. Every life journey is different and unique. The people who understand and have experience from different cultures will be among the winners. Learn languages! If English is your mother tongue and spoken by most people in the world, treat a new language as an entrance to a new culture. Even the difference between Brittish and Amercian English represents a cultural difference.
- Create a correct view of the corporate world. If you belong to my generation, the corporate world was almost the only option to get started. Too many people trust the corporation the same way they trust a good friend or your spouse. Nothing can be more wrong!
You should always try to have a plan “B” if you lose your job. In today’s world, there are multiple opportunities even to try something while continuing you daywork as usual. You can do it in your spare-time and when you want.