Special Is Better Than Normal

Turns out normal is just that. Normal. There is nothing wrong with it.

But the potential for doing unbelievably awesome things is within all of our genes.

By the way, in case you didn’t notice, we are continuing from our yesterday’s post (What is wrong with normal?)

Of all the nagging questions I raised in that post, the one thing that most baffled me was the idea of finding one’s passion. That just seems like an incredibly hard thing to do. Its not hard as in preparing for an exam. Its hard as in ducking out of that exam to go play cricket in order to become a player for the Indian cricket team.

Apparently what we love to do doesn’t come to us until we are actually doing it. That thing that is the exact expression how you feel on the inside, comes out when we shed our outer protective layers. These are the layers that we put on early in our life due to hard realities of school, family and relationships. We put them on as a defensive mechanism in order to hide who we truly are from forces that seem to exert an insurmountable pressure on us to conform to their rules and rituals. We pretend that our external cover up layers are the actual self while the true core of us lies dormant deep inside.

It is up to us to willingly peel through the external fake layers that we put on for others. This is not easy for sure. We have to start small, starting at the very first layer. But once you get started you will build a momentum that is as powerful as any motivating factor.

Take the case of Shyam Yadav. This guy does special effects work for Hollywood movies. But that is not the most remarkable thing about him. The most remarkable thing about him is the fact that he gives out free French Toast and Hugs to people. Yes, you read it right. He makes french toast and gives it away to people and then they get a hug.

Along with his gang of friends, named FTX, he travels around the country and outside the country in some cases, sets up his grill and does his thing. He has fed an estimated 5,000 to 6,000 people around the world: cities like Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Auckland, Santa Monica, New York, Melbourne and Jodphur. In fact he has a calendar at his website that lists places where he has hosted his french toast give away.

For Shyam, this is not work. He says

“It’s the only time that I feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. When I do my job, I’m good at my job, but it doesn’t give me a whole lot of joy. When I do this, it’s like this is exactly what I’m supposed to do.”

This is not normal. By any means. Why would someone with a good job and pay spend their time in giving away, lets be honest, not the healthiest food in the world, to total strangers in places far and away from home?

The answer is in Shaym’s quote above. It makes him feel that this is what he is supposed to do. How many of us feel like that and how often ? He was not like this before. Just years ago, he was just another guy who did FX for movies and went on about his life. He was a normal guy. But not any more. It took something in him to make that start to spread the joy with food and hugs and slowly but surely he shed all of his deceptive outer layers to find his true self.

Every one has different layers. Layers differing in thickness, count and toughness. And its difficult to peel them off, especially those that give you the comfort of familiarity. It is scary to step outside that comfort zone. It is frightening to challenge something that you think is your true self.  But it also exciting. It takes time and effort. And it will be worth it.

Because once we get our true self out in the open, we will feel truly free.

Check out this story that chronicles Shyam’s journey of awesomeness. I loved his definition of a stone cold person.

Perhaps he sums it up best about the essence of his passion with this quote.

“I don’t know what it is that I want to do out there, but I want to have a connection. At the end of my life, I want to feel like I’ve added.”

I guess that’s the best place to start.

[Post: 111 of 365] [Days Missed: 46]
I am on a blog-a-day-for-a-year crusade. Keep me motivated with your comments. Or tell me if I can become a billionaire.