I really like how in “The Lego Movie” Emmet, the main guy, was always trying to fit in. He found out that he doesn’t need to fit in. He just needs to be himself and be creative. He created something cool like a double couch…
Uniforms make me think of being accepted. They mean being the same as everyone else wearing them. Being part of a group. Being part of something bigger. I used to play with Legos all the time as a kid. I would build with them all sorts of things. And part of the Lego process was to follow the instructions and replicated it in similar fashion in order to build it exactly like the picture. Uniform. But one of the best parts about Legos was that it allowed me to be creative. I could build what was in the instructions and then I could build whatever I wanted.
As a kid growing up I was always asked what I wanted to be. I did not know and I felt like I had a plethora of choices. It seems as a kid I got kind of educated into this thought pattern that I needed to select a profession for life. That I needed to pick one of seemingly few six or seven major professions. Which frankly aren’t really all that great if you stop and think about them. Let’s see there is firefighter (might be attractive to girls but is dangerous, plus you can’t have facial hair). Police officer (dangerous or boring depending on the day). Lawyer (lame, until you need one). Doctor (human bodies are gross). Teacher (a mountain of red tape and headaches). Sports superstar (great money, but you have to start training when you are six years old). And that’s all that comes to mind right now. And so I was given this idea that I was supposed to pick one of these and then do it forever. What the hell?
One thing I try to encourage people who are looking for guidance and help in careers or work is the advice that it is not going to be forever. I’ve noticed that even if I like a job, I’m not there for too long. I know that I’m not old, but I have not worked anywhere probably longer than 5 years. And I’ve been working for about half my life now. Close to 15 years. I have read before that the average US adult has 5 to 7 careers in their lifetime. There’s this great book called Multi-Careering by Bob Goff that does a way better job of explaining what I am getting at.
As a child I felt like the important thing to do is just follow the rules. I learned to sit still and be quiet. And I did this very well. I did this so well in fact that I hate doing it now. I don’t like to sit still and I don’t like be quiet. Unless I choose to do so. Like when I am reading. On the other hand, part of my education process felt like creativity was being killed in me. That I was not allowed to actually express things. I was supposed to just do the things the way I was told and that was it. I learned to think critically but I didn’t learn to think creatively. Seth Godin has a timely blog about the enemy of creativity.
This upbringing leads to a boring and dull life. In fact as a kid I could never think of what I wanted to do because I wasn’t sure. My generic and standard answer became that I wanted to have a job with benefits. What a dumb mediocre thing to aim for. You know what? I got it. And it is not all that its cracked up to be. In fact just having a job with benefits really isn’t much of a life to have it all. I mean it is if you want to live a life of fear and never hope to go anywhere or do anything amazing. It’s truly a life of mediocrity.
So when I reached my goal of having a job with benefits, I realized now what? It is not that I don’t like where I work. Because I do. I get to laugh a lot there. There are a lot of good people. And I feel like my job has meaning. And I enjoy what I do. However I feel like I could do more.
Plus I love adventure!
I want to always find out the next thing that’s going to happen. I don’t want to live a predictable life. I want to be on fire.
The other day while reading one of several of James Altucher’s posts, I stopped and had a thought. Where did I even come across this man? And how come I read him almost every day now? How come he has become almost like a mentor to me?
And I couldn’t remember and I asked my wife and she didn’t really recall specifically. So I kinda put that question aside. Then naturally over the course of the next few days I had been thinking about it. I remembered that I was writing my blog post Conspire to Inspire and came across a James Altucher post “10 Reasons Why You Have to Quit Your Job This Year”.
I starting getting into his unique style. I became inspired. I came to respect James for his open on honest presentation. He told stories that were embarrassing to himself. He told things truthfully (I assume). He writes about being gentle and kind not only to others but to yourself. I think these things are important in admirable.
Naturally through reading James blog and listening to Ask Altucher, I came to find out about when Claudia released her new book: Become An Idea Machine: Because Ideas Are The Currency Of The 21st Century.
I was excited and I had been reading some of the Choose Yourself book by James. Claudia
s book was something that I could get to help me do what James was talking about. I knew I could come up with ideas on my own. However I just didn’t know where to start. Her book a really helps you get down the practice of coming up with ideas. It gives you a little start. Like a push to get you going. It is really worth it! Especially at a low price of 99 cents. If you haven’t gotten it I recommend it highly. Obviously. Again you don’t have to buy it to come up with 10 ideas a day. But I think it is worth checking out that’s why I’ve been working on it. That is why I made it to today.
For today it is a list of 10 ideas about uniforms you could wear for one day just to observe reactions. Claudia encourages you to try wearing one of the uniforms for a day and see what reactions you get. I am not sure that I’m going to do that. Not because I’m afraid to you. Well maybe a little afraid. But because I would have to get costumes. We will see if I do it in the future. I will post pictures if I do.
I have had a long-standing fascination with scrubs. I always think they look so comfortable. I have wanted to wear them. I think it is unfair that people get to work in comfortable clothes. It is kinda funny because I get to wear blue jeans to work. Which most people think are comfortable. I have come to like them a little bit. But I used to not wear blue jeans at all. For me they were uncomfortable. I think part of it is because I don’t like the way they look. And so I’m not comfortable wearing them. It is silly and vain. And true.
Because my fascinating with how comfortable scrubs look, I have asked several different people who wear them about it. I have gotten the same response of yes that they are comfortable. I think it would be good for me to wear them and see. I might get some reactions but not that many because it is not abnormal to see someone wearing scrubs. People probably wouldn’t say anything about it. But they might.
The second idea I came up with is to wear a suit. That is normal and not a uniform. But it is to some people. If you think about it culturally and iconically it has become a uniform for business. Even though I like suits, if I was to put one on it might feel silly to me but I don’t think I would get much of a reaction if any. Unless I went to some place where it was on usual for people in suit. I am at a loss to think where that might be but it might be weird just to see a guy to go into a everyday place dressed up nicely.
Thirdly I thought I could wear camo or fatigues. Again like the scrubs, it is not all that on usual. Especially in some areas of the country it is probably quite common place. For example if you’re near a military base. However I might get some reactions because some people might enjoy thanking service members. That might be unusual. I know I have been inclined to say thank you to a service member but I don’t think I’ve ever actually done it.
4. Pilot suit
Similarly, but less common is a wearing a pilot suit. Do they actually wear suits? Those hats and jackets maybe? It is not everyday that I see pilots just walking around. It might be funny especially if you live in an area that’s not near an airport. There are some airports in the general vicinity of where I live but not directly in my immediate area.
5. Baseball uniform
I think it’d be funny to wear a baseball uniform around for the day. With the full get up. A cup. Cleats. Glove. Hat. And everything. I probably would just look like a kid who played a little league game. Or an adult who played softball with grim ambition and just didn’t change after.
6. Speedo and swim cap
This one isn’t a traditional uniform. I would certainly get some weird looks if I wore a speedo and a swim cap around all day. Especially if it was not even summer. I would get probably a lot of nonverbal reactions and I don’t think anyone would be saying anything to me mostly out of embarrassment. And that is if my face was as red the whole day.
7. Train conductor
I don’t know if train conductors even wear uniforms anymore. I don’t think so. I think the local area transit system has a new official button up shirt that they wear. I think it would be fun to dress like an old timey train conductor and just see how people react.
8. Generic security guard
Dressing like a generic security guard or mall cop or something like that might not get very many looks. I would have to probably up the ante and do something like follow people around. It might just annoy people. Or cause paranoia. They would not be your friend probably afterwards.It might not be a good idea especially if something bad does happen around me. Then people look to me to do something about it. Unless I was prepared to take action, I might just cause trouble.
9. Soccer uniform (kit)
This not much different than the baseball uniform. They look very comfortable to me. Like scrubs. I think it would be interesting to wear around even though I’m not a soccer fan. It would be very interesting to see how many people actually say something.
10. Cheerleader uniform
This last one would get a lot of looks if I cross dressed as a cheerleader. I’m sure people would be uncomfortable. But not as uncomfortable as I would be. I dressed like a girl for a Halloween costumes in about the 9th grade. But yeah this one is not gonna happen.
Everything is Awesome when you are creative!