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The Eccentric Difference

I’ve always been different. When I was younger, sometimes that fact that I was different made me feel uncomfortable and ill at ease. Not anymore. I revel in being different…I love the fact that I think differently than most…that I see the world from a different slant…it makes me who I am.

Dr. David Weeks, a clinical neuro-psychologist at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital in Scotland did a ten-year scientific study of more than 1,000 of the ‘most different’ amoung us, those we call eccentrics.

“A lot of people,” Weeks said, “assume that eccentricity is a mild form of madness. We found that not to be the case at all.” He found eccentrics to be very creative and curious, with a a vivid visual imagination, extremely high intelligence, and a mischievous sense of humor. They are often happier, healthier, live longer, are more optimistic and less stressed than card-carrying conformists. ” “Eccentrics know they’re different and they couldn’t be more pleased,” says Weeks. “They glory in their difference. They go to great lengths to maintain that difference.” I, personally, couldn’t agree more.

Historical eccentrics include Ben Franklin, Emily Dickinson and Alexander Graham Bell. “Eccentrics have thrown off the constraints of normal life,” says Weeks, “The rest of us are vaguely unsettled by that degree of freedom.”

I’m not saying you have to become eccentric in order to do things differently…not at all… but what is fascinating about Dr. Weeks’ study is that those among us who do think most differently seem to be the happiest and healthiest. ~ Mack Newton

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