On Looking for Trouble
Anyone fond of looking for trouble is usually seen in a bad light, a disaster. We tag such people as trouble makers. What if looking for trouble is not necessarily a bad thing? What if a trouble maker is who we should be, what a company needs, or even society? What if our schools produce more trouble makers?
Because of the nature of our school system, a lot of us grew up to respect order, take instructions, and do as we are told. If you went to a secondary school like mine, most trouble makers were punished consistently. They were the ones that dared to go against the rules of the class and school. They did not mind the cost of being wrong.
While I do not support going against the rules, most times, the rules are our limitations. They cage us, cut our wings and keep us small. So looking for trouble might be our way out from thinking small and wallowing in mediocrity.
Companies need trouble makers who will ask difficult questions, who will probe, who is willing to take crazy risks under their names. Likewise, society needs trouble makers who will challenge bad governance and malpractices.
Trouble-making is about embracing the chaos, not hiding from it.
It is about asking questions about our limitations.
It is about refusing to sit still doing mediocre stuff.
Trouble-making is about curiosity, creativity, and risk. It is about showing up even when it is hard. It is about not accepting NO as an answer.
As kids, you realize how troublesome we were. How we tried stuff, jumped fences, got shocked, had a lot of injuries, went against our parents. All of a sudden, we became weak, quiet, and silent. That outspoken kid is now afraid to make contributions in the classroom cum meetings. That kid is scared of what people will say. That kid now booms with ideas but lacks execution, not because of the inability to execute but the fear of failure and the shame that comes with failure.
Looking for trouble is a way of life, an art, a lifestyle. It is, most notably, a mindset. This mindset has to be inculcated to be a high performer who will get results. Be comfortable with disagreeing with others, failing, etc. Look at any of the folks you adore who have gone on to do something remarkable; one thing is consistent, they did not wait still. Instead, there went out there poking holes, looking for trouble.
They don’t realize how independent they can be. When you’re a child, your parents tell you what you’re supposed to do. Then, you’re in school, and you’re part of this institution that tells you what to do. Then, you go work for some company, and the company tells you what to do. So people come in like baby birds in the nest and open their mouths, as if they’re expecting us to drop food in. We have to tell them, “We’re not your bosses. You’re in charge now.” Some of them are freaked out by that. Some people are meant to be employees. Other people discover they have wings and start flapping them. There’s nothing like being thrown off a cliff to make you discover that you have wings.Paul Graham, Y-Combinator founder, on the fear of taking charge
Who will stand up to say NO even when everyone is saying YES? The trouble maker
Who will stand firm on their ideas even when everyone has given up? The trouble maker
Who will speak up when every other person is afraid? The trouble maker
Who will pursue their dreams at all costs, even when the odds are against them? The trouble maker.
It is time to take charge and cause a ruckus.
Cheers to looking for trouble
The world is your stage.