It is common to fall into the hands of statistics, becoming a martyr, and following a predetermined destiny. Many individuals look to see how likely those from the lower-income class are to go to college, what the statistic is for women to move from middle management into the executive level, or what the differences are of various cultures, races, and backgrounds when it comes to success later in life. We can use these numbers to place ourselves into distinct categories. We can play the game, calculating our likelihood of success at only 20%, therefore, a waste of time to go to college. Or, we can determine our own fate.
I do not deny that those in lower classes have less access to the same tools and benefits that middle or upper class individuals may have. This can cause a greater struggle, but I also believe there are those who will fight to rise above. Just as someone in a higher income family may turn to addictions or crime and lose everything. The determining factor in the end, is choice. While statistics can provide a great deal of data to help us understand the world better and to figure out what changes to make, there is something deeper that comes from within an individual that determines if they will follow the statistics, or become an outlier. An outlier stands outside of the norms, and in many cases, this can be a great thing. For those who are condemned to a life of poverty by statistics, being an outlier changes their life for the better, and can perhaps lead to a better life for their children.
I have been faced with numerous challenges, and I am still struggling through them, but I have pushed hard to get to where I am, and I now hold two degrees. Degrees that ten years ago, I would have never believed possible for me to attain. Yet, I have them, and I am now determined to keep moving toward my dreams and to be successful. I know I will be, and I am an outlier. I am proud to be an outlier. I fully believe that people choose their fate. I see more people complaining about where they are at in their lives on Facebook each day, and I wonder why they are not taking steps to change their life.
A degree can only take someone so far, it is the graduate’s responsibility to prove they have retained the knowledge and can use it in a career. Someone who wants to write should write each day. They may not be published, but they are growing by writing regularly. Writing a blog can be beneficial to someone who needs to stand out for their writing, business, or to showcase photography, travel, food, or art. There are so many steps people can take to shine, but these opportunities must be grasped, or they slip away.
I challenge everyone to stop letting statistics define their lives and futures. Each life is an opportunity to make change, to give back, to contribute, and to become something. Determine what you want your life to be, and go for it. Confining yourself to the limit of averages does more harm than good. Be an outlier. Be the woman who is an executive. Be the person in poverty that rises above. Live the life you dream about, then give back. Encourage someone else to be an outlier too. It has to begin somewhere. And the glorious ripple that stems from positive change can make all the difference.