The awesomeness of Unfamiliar and Familiar

Right now we all have an incredible opportunity while the rest of the world waits and watches, sitting in awe of what we have here in New Zealand. It’s the opportunity to change, to evolve, to lead the revolution of what ‘tomorrow’s world’ looks like. But how do we “pivot” from adversity? How do we thrive from something if the process or even the concept may make others pretty uncomfortable? How do we decide what our contribution to tomorrow even looks like? In living with Cerebral Palsy I’ve played with a few ideas in my 36 years, but this seems the most consistent for success.

Grab a piece of paper; it doesn’t matter if it’s a beautiful fresh white sheet or a napkin from the local business that you are supporting as you read this piece. Within that paper draw two overlapping circles. You could be doing this to develop an opportunity for yourself, your team, your business or your dream. Label circle 1 ‘Unfamiliar’, label circle 2 ‘Familiar’ and where they overlap, label that part ‘AWESOMENESS’.

This is an approach that saw me never getting bullied at school, turning my biggest perceived weaknesses (talking) into my two biggest opportunity (becoming a full-time speaker) and historically has worked to turn the most unfamiliar things such as flying into something AWESOME!!!

There isn’t anything comfortable about the initial idea of jumping into something hundreds of tons, 76 metres long, a few metres wide, that will take us at least 19,000 feet high and be stuck in it for hours. The idea of flying is pretty uncomfortable until you add food, drink, carpet, TV, music and, most importantly, people. Imagine how much less comfortable flying would be without the flight attendants… that’s another piece. For now though, flying merges the unfamiliar with the familiar to create awesomeness and so can you.

In the circle that’s labeled ‘unfamiliar’ put in all the things that are unfamiliar to society about you, your team, your business, your dream. For me to become a speaker this included Cerebral Palsy, my speech, my name, my experiences… to name a few.

In the circle that’s labeled ‘familiar’ put all the things that are familiar to society that you can USE. This can be stuff you have direct access to, or quite simply stuff that you like. It’s the stuff that simply builds rapport. For me, this included comedy, music, quotes, storytelling, inspiration.

Where these two circles overlap is where ‘Awesomeness’ is found. Conceptualise ideas of ways you can merge the ‘unfamiliar’ and the ‘familiar’. In a time where I didn’t really know what I could be within this world, what my tomorrow looked like, this exercise enabled me to become a speaker. It’s enabled people to evolve planes into airlines; for you it might just be what sees you changing in ways you never considered possible for your tomorrow, and that is AWESOME!

By: , Bending Perceptions, Inspiring Change

Issue 117 March 2021