Everyone will have an opinion on "different"...


If you read anything I write (which I really appreciate by the way) you will know that I am a big advocate for "different". Different stimulates ideas, offers perspectives to better understand situations, is the champion of change, and makes things happen. It is important to realize though that different will always elicit a response, and this is actually what makes it so important.

But make no mistake about it, the response may not always be supportive. A slightly humorous case in point:

Recently I decided to adopt a whole plant based diet for health reasons (which I should point out does not necessarily mean I've adopted the vegan life style). For my efforts, some of the comments that have come my way went something like this:

  • "Where are you going to get your protein from? You are gonna bonk on the ride"
  • "You need to eat meat to get enough protein"
  • "We were talking about you becoming a vegan and just laughing"
  • "You are breaking your vegan rules because there are eggs in the bread you ate"
  • " I guess we can't eat at that restaurant anymore"

Sure I received other comments that supported my new eating habits but those mostly came from people who already support a whole plant based diet (aka vegans)... although they may not be so happy when they find out I will still be wearing my leather jackets.

As in my little case study, different will most certainly elicit responses regarding the problems that will come with what you are doing or suggesting — in fact, if you aren't experiencing this it may be an indicator of "group think" or a lack of engagement. Different is supposed to elicit a response, and with it, create discussion. It is in this discussion that better ideas are developed, situations are better understood, and change can be effectively implemented. And in knowing this there shouldn't ever be any reason to shy away from offering a different opinion, taking a different point of view, or offering up that "crazy" idea — you want to invite the pushback, as well as the discussion, because it offers a better result.

And for that opinion on my plant based diet — yes you can get all the protein you need from plants; meat is actually really hard to digest and inflammatory; I'm not a vegan; there are no eggs in the bread I eat, and restaurants are extremely helpful and flexible with what they serve.

So far, so good.