In life there are some child prodigies who, from birth, seemed to have something special that allowed them to succeed or excel. In sports, many times this is often the case with athletes like professional basketball players who not only are tall, but their wingspan or reach is most often even longer than they are tall, making it easier to defend, pass and shoot.
Compared to us average people that are depicted in Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Man” have heights that match our reach from tip of finger to tip of finger once fully grown, are the same. But outside the sports world, I have been looking around lately and noticing how many people I know who are at the top of their industry and they would not have been who anyone would have picked.
The modern and now classic embodiment of the misfit no one saw coming is Steve Jobs. Anyone who has read his book or watched a movie about Steve knows that no one would have picked him to be the catalyst of change for our world over the last 30 years. But Steve had passion and experiences that allowed him to connect dots no one else even saw. What I see is that more and more passion and experiences add up to great success and amazing lives for some very cool people.
I just spent a few days backstage at New York City Fashion Week and the one thing I can tell you everyone there had was passion for hair. From the way their hands touched the hair, to how the hair responded was magical to watch, to the commitment from the lead stylists to both the craft and bringing the designers vision to life was inspiring.
It didn't matter if it was a simple ponytail (something that was seen less this season) to inspired rocker looks, period looks or looks that were inspired by a person who just climbed a mountain and took their hat off, the passion for creating a look that was iconic for the image needed. Not just a ponytail, but the perfect ponytail for this look, for this season, done masterfully 20 to 30 times driven by passion for our craft.
The second thing that can be seen in many successful people is not the fact they have the natural path, instead they draw upon experiences they have that at the time seemed misrepresented as a waste of time. Many of the most successful people as you learn from their stories, you find traveling and wandering, working in unique places or having unique jobs and backgrounds that greatly effect the way they see and affect our world.
It is those experiences from outside and from earlier times in lives that allow the thoughts to create change to happen, because of a different perspective, or a “why not” look at an industry.
When you look at names that change the way things are and sometimes life as we know it, from Oprah, Abe Lincoln, Steve Aoki, James Corbin to Steve Jobs none of these people would from the outside have known what they would do. But they all had two things in common, passion and experiences that propelled their lives to think differently and achieve levels of greatest no one would have predicted.
For so many of the best, it was not the fact that they should be there that allows them to hold the honor as the next best thing to come along, it’s the misfits with passion and experiences that so often rule.