Life life to the fullest: be different
You will never change the world by trying to be like everyone else.
Have strength and the guts to trust yourself, and sometimes even go against the popular opinion. You are not able to ignite change in the world, or in your own life by doing things the same old way. It much easier to be successful by trying to be different from others, than by trying to compete and being like everyone else. Be proud of your differences, and highlight what makes you special.
Story of the bananas in Madeira
I took the banana photo on Madeira island in Portugal, and the islanders are very proud of their bananas, and they have been growing everywhere on the island since the 16th century. The bananas used to be the most important export product of the island to all over Europe. Blame the European Union for not seeing the special sweet Madeira bananas outside Portugal anymore.
The islanders told me the story how “the rule-makers” created the EU regulations for bananas (like for all of the other vegetables and fruits). According to the EU regulations, also called the “bendy banana law,” bananas have to be certain length and curve the certain way to be “EU standard” and to be allowed to be sold (and exported). Many of the bananas that grow on the island of Madeira don’t grow up to EU standards, and thus can not be exported out of Portugal. Now 80% of the bananas on island are exported to mainland Portugal, and banana growing is still a big business.
What is remarkable that the new regulations from the 1990’s didn’t kill the banana business of a few hundred years, nor the islanders are all that upset about it (at least not anymore). The islanders believe that “smaller is better” and pride for their bananas, you can’t go on a vacation on the island without hearing how proud the locals are about their “small bananas,” which are much sweeter and better in taste than the larger ones. Today, the “small & sweet Madeira bananas” are also one of the reasons why people love going to Madeira, and it is a culinary tourism draw.
The next time when you don’t qualify for something, or you are different than anyone else, think how you can highlight your difference and turn it in your favor.