Are you a rebel? Cool. Find a Cause!

Being rebellious is an advantage!

Storm Troopers standing in lie with one stick out
Rebel storm trooper

Does the thought of a 9–5 cause your stomach to clench with a sensation of impending doom? Maybe you have a traditional job at the moment, and choose to pass the time counting down the days before that side hustle will make you enough money to emancipate your soul from such malignant discontent. I have news for you my friend. You got a bit of rebel in you! Going it alone is not for everyone. It takes courage, tenacity and an ability to viciously believe you can make it on your own.

Do you know what you want? Having a direction in mind for your life is not uncommon. What IS uncommon, though is bucking all expectations at your own peril. There are those of us who cannot help but thumb our noses at convention. Have you ever met someone who was never satisfied with how things were?

Did they ask too many questions, or was the nature of their inquiries somewhat inappropriate for the situation? Or, have you ever known someone who will argue with you about anything? If yes, than you have encountered someone with a rebellious personality.

Society would have you think that following the rules and sticking to convention is the key to success. They say these conditions exist for a reason, and to disrupt the status quo would only lead to disorder and chaos. But caution be damned! Question everything!

Rebellious personalities have a knack for asking about what most would find unsettling or taxing, and have a passion for finding the truth. This desire to know what actually IS propels the search for answers and in turn, progress.

One of the great advantages of being rebellious is the tendency to question everything. The power to interrogate reality is necessary for extracting new discoveries and insights from prior assumptions. Because you are rarely satisfied with things at face value, you can gain the upper hand when analysis and perception are critical factors for success.

All great innovations, philosophies and products come from the thoughts of people who did not accept the first answer they got. It’s those who chose to dig a bit deeper, uncovering hidden truths and debunking falsehoods, who move the needle forward.

Don’t get too excited. Rebellious people often find themselves in solitude and isolation. Most people are perfectly happy to get on with life; the status quo is fine, after all it got us here, right? Because the default tendency of most is to go along to get along, when you challenge their internal narratives they become uncomfortable, and in turn associate their discomfort with you. Naturally those with rebellious personalities can clash with more normative thinkers, stirring discomfort and friction in relationships.

road with a fork in it
A fork in the road

If you’re a “road less traveled” kind of person, you know what I’m talking about. Not to worry. There are benefits to being rebellious that I find quite interesting.

You think for yourself. This means that you have actually taken time to consider how you want to go about living your life. You have considered what morals are, how they are formed, and which ones you see fitting to adhere too. For most, morality is imposed upon their personality and not actively selected for its compatibility with their temperament. But not you. You know what you value. It’s a byproduct of questioning everything!

It’s strange. The more you are willing to offend people, the more you find that those who love you really love you. And those who don’t love you span the border between contempt and outright hatred. In other words, you are polarizing. It’s better to give people an opinion of you, instead of them forming their own from your lack of confidence and self-assertion. Ever heard there’s no such thing as bad press? This is the same principle. When you are polarizing, it not only gives you the ability to control how others think of you, but ensures that, love you or hate you, YOU are top of mind!

This goes back to questioning everything. Another side effect of your insatiable desire to know comes an uncanny ability to spot trends that could benefit you professionally or socially. It is the cutting edge of any field where all the action and excitement resides. It could be a new proposal for increasing efficiency at work — one that gets you that big promotion. Or it could be that next big business idea that will set you free. Both stem from an ability to aggressively question things as they are now.

If the phrase “it has always been done this way” conjures within you a strong, immediate desire to rip your hair out and start looking for a different way to get it done, then you are a rebel. It’s this disruptiveness that has lead to countless innovations, helping humanity build the world we now have. The road of those who challenge normality could be lonely, but it will be anything but boring.

If you are able to win people over to your side, all the trailblazing thought you engage in has the ability to shape the world. It’s pointless to throw rocks at your house unless you intend to rebuild it. This might be a challenge for those of us who enjoy challenging convention. However, if you can find a way to package your ideas in a form that is not offensive and valuable to the powers that be, your capacity to drive change will be profound. History has always been driven forward by those who dared to question what is, and found a way to present their new vision to the world. Work on your persuasive powers so when the time comes, you can assert your influence and make some progress.

New ideas come fast. So do actions. Not all rebels are reckless. Those who enjoy doing their due diligence find that research is no impediment to rapid implementation. When you feel strongly about a topic or cause, it’s not in your nature to procrastinate, you want results — now! While some waste time mulling over options, you know what you want and how to get it done. This can be a massive advantage when making decisions and can give you the upper hand in competitive environments.

woman shadowboxing at sunset
Resistance

The examples above are just a few reasons why a rebellious personality is not always a bad thing. However, it’s not a super power. You will need to optimize a few things in order to make the most of your rebelliousness. For one, consider how impatience affects your life. Not wanting to wait in a three hour line is one thing, but when being impatient impairs your ability to see long-term goals through , then it’s an issue.

Second, work on presenting your ideas in a way that is palatable to most people. I get it. People can be really stupid, and it feels like they just don’t get what you are trying to say. But it is your responsibility to be patient and figure out a way to get your ideas across without infuriating everyone in the process.

It could also be beneficial to decide when you should go against the grain and when you shouldn’t. Not every hill is a good place to die. Choose what issues matter the most to you, the ones that make up who you are, those that define you, and fight for them. It’s pointless to buck convention for the sake of it. Make sure you have a goal in mind when challenging the status quo at hand.

Not everyone is rebellious, and not all rebels are effective. But if you can master the shortcomings of this personality trait, the advantages are surely not to be taken lightly. Know yourself, and keep challenging what has long been assumed to be true. If applied with the proper care, rebelliousness changes the world. Stay unsatisfied, always question. But don’t forget to have a vision for how you would do it better. Otherwise you are just a contrarian, one who gets nothing done.

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Ryan

I write about philosophy, consciousness, politics, marketing and other random stuff.