An Answer For Life
"Who can solve this problem?" asked the teacher. I scanned the room with my eyes slowly. I knew the answer, but I wasn't going to raise my hand; not yet. "Come on, I know you know this!" Said the teacher, now with a pleading tone; looking for anyone at all to be brave and speak up. Finally somebody caved. Sigh. Relief.
Why do people do that? Sit on answers. In school it might be about "looking cool". You never want to be that first guy, or else people think you're a nerd or teacher's pet. Nothing's more socially devastating than being the nerd in school. You get bullied. Nobody wants you on their sports teams. You definitely wont get invited to the cool kid's birthday parties. Better just sit on those answers and pretend not to know..
Then I realized if I spend my life worrying about what other people think, I'll probably never actually be cool. They say, be careful what you wish for. If you crave affirmation and confirmation that you're normal so badly, you might actually get it. Don't live passively. Engage with life.
You don't need anyone else's permission to go after what you want. Have the courage to dream big crazy fantasies. Be mindful as you start panicking about what everyone else will think if you tried to do those things. You'll think: "What would my friends say? What would my parents do? etc." Then, be brave enough to let these nagging opinions go.
I'm not afraid to look stupid in the short run to look like a genius in the long run. I just go after what I want. Judge me all you like. Because when life calls, I'm answering first.