Day 32 (Weird wins)…

…because it’s how you are wired. You are wired to be weird.

Not normal.

Not much has changed in the corporate world since our days on the playground. The playground is like a chicken yard, where any weird bird or weird kid gets picked on and pecked on. We yearn to fit in. We yearn to belong. We fear being called out and called names, so we go along to get along. We chicken out. We conform. We compromise.

And become normal.

At great cost — the loss of your identity. What you compromise — it’s the price of choosing normal — is your self.

You lose.

One of the many life lessons Toto’s dad taught him was this. “Chester,” he said, “half the people you meet in life will like you, and half the people won’t. Half will know why, and half won’t. Don’t waste your time trying to make everybody like you.”

Three months after losing our 3-year old and still feeling like the freak no one could look at or be around on the playground at work, I made a decidre — I couldn’t live compromised anymore. Which for me meant I knew I would have to leave and leave millions behind on the table. Toto was one of the few work peers whom I could still be around and be real with. I had to talk, and it had to happen somewhere away from the office.

So on a windy March day with the nip of winter and a hint of spring in the air, we met at Shamrock public golf course. We had a third player join us, an older man who wasn’t dressed for golf. He wore the weirdest hat ever worn on a golf course — it was more like a duck-billed hunting hat. It was the kind of hat Smalls was wearing in Sandlot before Bennie-the-Jet-Rodriguez mercifully gave him one of his old normal ones.

Of course, the man with the weird hat introduced himself as Chet Scott, Toto’s dad.

I don’t remember much about the golf, except they won. They won me. They freed me. And it wasn’t what they said, it was about who they were when they were with me. Toto and his dad goofed around like silly, weird kids on the playground who didn’t care about acting normal. Shank one to the right? “DAGGUMMIT!” followed by a howling laugh and Toto getting a turn wearing the duck hat. Swing and miss in the bunker? Rinse and repeat. Make a putt? “Easy-peasy lemon squeezy!” After 3 months of pain it felt so good just to be with and to laugh.

Normally when you resign like I did six weeks later, you don’t hear from someone like Toto ever again when you leave the system, but Toto’s not normal. BTL is weird, not normal.

Weird wins. Not normal.

Embrace it. Live it. Love it (Thanks, Toto)…

8 thoughts on “Day 32 (Weird wins)…

  1. This is so good, John, thank you for sharing. My wife and I were just talking this morning how we have a little weird streak running through our family, and it’s okay!

  2. Our norms define what’s normal…that’s how every culture functions. Certain behaviors are accepted, encouraged, or corrected…thus our norms get created. Hang out with vegans…you won’t be ordering too many hamburgers before you find yourself eating alone. The thing about normal norms…is they create normal culture…which creates, well, average. That’s why weird wins. Weird norms create a different culture, something unlike what other groups, systems, or societies enjoy. If you are weird towards excellence, mastery, love…well that’s going to be different. What kind of culture would that create? What are the norms of your group, team, or tribe? What are the beliefs behind those norms? Funny how it all comes back to W.I.P. Weird…huh?

  3. It’s weird to care. It’s weird to love. It’s weird to listen. It’s weird to serve others. It’s weird to seek (and speak) truth. It’s weird to be accountable. It’s weird to forgive. It’s weird to believe. It’s weird to give. I must be weird.

  4. I’m still soaking this post in. I love the quote about half liking you. I love the years of friendship in this post. I love the permission that becoming built to lead gives those being built…
    To be themselves.
    To be weird.
    To dream big.
    To love themselves.
    so good. I’ll be sitting in this one a while. thanks fellas.

  5. I love this so much, Gu! Thank you for sharing. Weird is good. Another word for weird is unique. My Worldview tells me that God has created and spoken each of us into being as unique, one-of-a-kind individuals experiencing our personal hero’s journey. Made in His image. Made for a purpose only we can fulfill. And each bearing forth the innumerable aspects of His eternal Being.

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