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Embracing your "Inner Geek"                                                  August 2007

I have been teased my whole life about my energy and enthusiasm. The comments, "What would you be like AFTER a cup of coffee?" and "Nobody can be that happy all the time!" are a common refrain, and I've always wondered why being someone with a lot of energy who takes pride in spreading joy around would be considered such a freakish thing. I've always been like that!

I was labeled a "geek" in school - the classic over-achiever who was on the honor roll and stayed out of trouble. I was never one of the "cool kids," but I was always one quick to leap to the defense of others who were targets of ridicule for whatever reason - just being a little "different" their only crime. I had the seeds of "Champion-of-the-Underdog!" even back then. I always knew I was different. But it is only now as an adult that I've come to own my "inner geek" and declare it proudly!

Kids can be cruel and extraordinarily unfair. So can adults. And when one dares to stick their head out to look beyond the crowd, "the mob" is keen to chop it off and put you back in your place. We see it in politics. We see it in neighborhoods. We see it in schools. The pressure to conform is everywhere. There are two responses to such pressure: feel the pressure and cave to conformity; or feel the pressure and rise above it. This is your life and you are the star in your own movie. Who do you want to be, and what will your life be for?

Where would the world be without the courage and creativity of trailblazers and mavericks who simply would not quit? Think of how boring it would all be if there weren't people like Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey, Walt Disney, Steven Spielberg, Benjamin Zander or Yo-Yo Ma out in the world? All "geeks" in their own special way, but brilliant in their respective fields - for daring to do something different, in their own unique style.

Whatever is true and authentic for you, OWN IT. Don't be afraid to stand out. March to the beat of your own drum. Let your light shine!!! And may we all celebrate our differences.

Cheers and all my love,

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