One of my favourite quotes is by Albert Einstein who said “The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before.”

I don’t know about you, but one of the things I’m most afraid of in life is mediocrity. For me, life is too precious to be lived in mediocrity. Life is a golden opportunity, and we only get one shot (that we’re consciously aware of!) so why not go full out? Unfortunately, many people are trapped in mediocrity. I believe one of the main reasons is that they do not dare to be different. They want to play it safe and avoid failure. But just like the financial markets, the less we risk, the less reward we can expect.

I believe that everyone is born unique. But through the years we work very hard to be like everyone else. It’s human nature to conform and fit into society. We want to be accepted for who we are and we want to be loved.  It’s not normal for us to do things that go against the grain. That’s why we have very few leaders and way more followers.

But my own personal experience has shown me that when I try to do what everyone else does, I feel stressed, unhappy and that I’m not being true to myself. However, when I follow my heart and do what I love, I come alive.  I’m not saying it’s easy to do this. It takes courage to follow your heart when everyone is telling you you’re making a big mistake.

Have you had moments when your intuition was telling you to go one way, but you chose the other because of what others told you and then you wish you had just listened to yourself? You then promise yourself you’ll do it differently next time, but you make the same mistake again!  Very few of us are taught to trust our feelings and follow our intuition. Yet that is where our greatest adventure lies! Even when we don’t know what’s going to unfold or how!

When I was training to be an accountant at KPMG several years ago, my friend created a company drama society and directed the Shakespeare play, Much Ado About Nothing. I felt excited to audition to perform a role in the play to support her, even though I really didn’t have much interest in acting. One evening as I was performing on stage, I had this really amazing experience of time slowing down and feeling an overwhelming emotion of appreciation for what I was doing. After that experience I was hooked! I began to seek out more productions I could be a part of, but I found nothing. For several months I tried until I became weary of searching and literally gave up! I concluded that I wasn’t meant for acting and my experience at KPMG was just a one-off adventure.

A couple of weeks later I got a call from my cousin in India. She told me she was planning to direct her first feature film in Mumbai and wanted me to perform a leading role in the movie. I had never considered acting in theatre, let alone film! Yet I agreed because I wanted to help her and it turned out to be one of the most magical and inspiring experiences of my life. It was also a major turning point in my career.

Following that inspiration led me to pursing film school in Los Angeles thereafter and I now work in a totally different industry, which I truly desire to be in. I did a complete 180 degree from finance to entertainment! Daring to be different paid off. Now the challenge is to keep doing it!