When I was a kid I thought society was something to get away from. A malevolent machine herding humans like animals into schools to be shaped into complacent, compliant drones. Become an adult! Form an orderly part of society! Here is your carefully rationed small change as a reward. People would work their asses off for the reward of corporations and die never having questioned the box they were living in.
I rebelled by questioning and rejecting the world and every system in it. Religion, law, social norms.. The world had presented every rule to me with an example of everyday humans violating those same rules they advocated or purported to represent. Norms seemed to be fragile, a pretense that noone sustained in private. I sought a personal understanding of what the world and I were capable of.
I thought I was going to step outside the program and be something amazing and controversial – a counter-cultural writer, a gender-bending rockstar. A leader.
Was I wrong? No. For all my dreams, I lacked the courage to pursue them. People were scary. So I went back to trying to fit in, incapable of being normal, but not drawing attention, and have continued to struggle ever since.
My message is, don’t let anyone stop you. If you have the capacity for original thought and achievement on your own terms, if you have the vision to change or shape the world, go after it with every breath. They want you to crumble. Succeed. The only difference between you and those beacons of achievement you look to as a source of inspiration is that they shook off the fear and took action.