Being The Outlier

Being The Outlier

Being different in a world full of patterns...
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Guys when I mentally planned out the course of my life, it had as little to do with math as possible - let me tell you.

And now...I find myself in a statistics class...studying business...and exploring an area that I have never felt comfortable in.

But now I am about to put this to good use…What I want to explain, is the concept of an outlier.

“Eww, gross. Christy, are you using a stats analogy!?”

I know, fam.

I never thought I would be here either, yet here we are…so bear with me because this just might make some sense which also means that the pain I am suffering through in stats will not be in vain.

An outlier by statistics’ standards is “a point which falls more than 1.5 times the interquartile range above the third quartile or below the first quartile.”

Because that hardly means anything to me, and I’m the one in the class, I’ll just explain it this way:

An outlier is something that goes against the pattern of something that makes sense.

It’s a number that is either too high or too low, and it works against the natural. It pushes against what is understandable and challenges what should be.

When I do mstats problems outliers are normally the most annoying thing, yet they remind me of something of deep importance.

Outliers tell stories.

They speak a truth that throws things off, yet they are more honest than any other data on a table. They are brave because they stand out and bring a hard truth to a pattern that is comfortable.

I heard a speaker this week talk about how the bravest of all leaders will learn to stand out. They emerge in times where they are desperately needed to communicate honesty in a world that has been taught to deceive themselves because of personal desires.

This speaker told the story of Nehemiah.

Honest and willing.

These are the two traits that stand out in the story of this brave leader. Nehemiah was an outlier. He went against the flow because the pain he felt in his heart for the people around him, nearly left him with no choice. He pushed and fought and painfully thrusted himself against the crowd that thought differently than he.

He heard the voice of honesty and justice that nobody else seemed to hear and he did not turn away. This voice pulled him further and further from the natural, making him even more of an outlier - an outsider. He became a voice, not only for those in pain and suffering, but for God. He was one, of many many few, who did not ignore the laws of his Father simply because they were difficult.

He did not ignore the pain he felt because it was hard. He ran towards it. He charged his grief and lament, and used it for something that changed the course of God’s people.

Nehemiah befriended God, and came before him with a sincere heart. He cried out to God and asked for help. And he didn’t stop there.

Nehemiah was an activator - never just wishfully thinking. He went before a king, risking his life, and he obeyed the calling placed before him.

An outlier, in a falsely linear world.

I wonder at ways that I need to be more like Nehemiah. I wonder how I need to become brave and use my voice.

Where have I begun to blend in where I am supposed to be different?

Where have I fallen into the pattern of this perceived normal, and ignored the calling I am intended to follow?

This world confuses me, and throws me off sometimes. It trips me up and makes me believe in things that aren’t rooted in God’s love.

Truth. My heart desires truth.

If being an outlier - an outsider - is what it takes for me to be in a truer relationship with God, isn’t it worth it?

God wants us to know the truth and walk in it, even if it means being different.

So let’s walk this difficult path together, and make the truth known.









Cover Image Credit: sapir.se

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs.

In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm...

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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How Incorporating Organization In My Daily Routine Single-Handedly Changed My Life

And how it can structure yours.

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It would be a complete fabrication of the truth if I pretended that my life in any way has been picture perfect. Things are messy, life is messy, and my life becomes an endless cycle of self provoked destruction.

I've had short bursts of motivation as a last expedient to seize control of the downward spiral I have endured. But mostly they have diminished along with any motivation I have left.

None of these short term solutions have yet to salvage my mental, physical, and academic state. SO, as an attempt to overhaul my life, I decided the best way to strive for control, is to organize every aspect of my life.

Yes, this could become unhealthy if I used this tactic as a way to tear myself down or over analyze my accomplishments, or lack thereof. But I try to view my life as something I have a say in while considering that not everything will be perfect or completely satisfy my goals for myself.

To successfully enact this measure, I try to never go into a day unaware of what I must accomplish, what tasks/work I have to attend to, and stocked with a full calendar and set of alarms that prevent me from missing deadlines. Although mildly time-consuming to detail my life in advance, it is greatly beneficially outweighed through the amount of time this tactic saves me.

Recently, I have noticed how much happier I have been, and feel as if my life is back on track and it's future in my hands. This has allowed me to work an upwards of 50 something hours a week, see and manage friends, read and keep up with hobbies, as well as give me peace of mind and time to relax with loved ones.

I am grateful for the role that organization has played in my life and suggest that everyone incorporate some type of underlying structure in their lives, to realize that anything is achievable with proper organizational preparation.


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