Call Me Crazy
What? You are leaving Coca-Cola, with all the benefits and great salary you have! Are you crazy? This is the reaction I got from most people when I decided not to take a full -time role with Coca-Cola after being there for over ten years. Which is the same reaction I got when I decided to join the direct sales company I’m currently with. And the same reaction I got when I decided to become the first woman driver in a security role at the airport (at a time when no woman was allowed to be a driver ). Throughout my personal and professional life, I have gotten used to people calling me crazy. The first few times it made me hesitate and maybe stopped me from taking action. But as I got older and wiser, I understood that being called crazy was actually a sign that I was on the right track. My mom always told me I was born without a filter, and I also believed that for the first seventeen years of my life. Why seventeen?, you might ask. Because it was at that age that my parents emigrated from Israel to Canada, and I insisted on staying to finish high school and then enlisted in the army. You can imagine my parents’ reaction: Are you crazy? But after a lot of convincing, begging, and crying, they let me stay, for which I am forever thankful. So yes, after hearing “ are you crazy” many times before, it was at that moment, when I was seventeen, that I understood that it is not that I don’t have a filter but that I just have a very different one. This superpower has served me very well, for the most part. It has given me the courage and tenacity to zig when everyone is zagging. It has allowed me to take risks. It has given me an open mind to take on opportunities that most people are closed to. It has pushed me to go after what I want, no matter what people think or say.
At times, this came at a price, which was forgetting that I can’t expect everyone to act or think like me. I found myself preaching and sometimes judging people for doing or not doing certain things. It was in the last seven years that I had to do a lot of personal development to understand that as much as I want to help people be and achieve what they want, I need to respect their decisions and actions. I’ve had to humble myself, and this has helped me realize that there is no right way, but rather a way. And mine might be good for me, while another way might be good for someone else. This mindset has allowed me to learn from others and grow personally and professionally. While my filter still remains my superpower, my acceptance and tolerance are what can make me someone else’s hero. In this lies the truth about my purpose in life: to positively impact everyone I touch. So being called crazy is what motivates and inspires me. And being called a trail blazer, a mentor, a leader is what gives me emotional freedom.