What is Tall Poppy Nation?
Poppies are, in my opinion, demure and unassuming little flowers. While the meaning and symbolism behind the poppy has changed over time and varies by country, it consistently conveys strength and courage, imagination and success, peace and beauty. Most of us can close our eyes and imagine an endless sea of poppies flowing into the horizon, each unique and yet common as a whole. But as we look more closely, and we need to look more closely, within this seemingly uniform ocean of poppies, here and there, are singular flowers that stand just a bit taller, striving to reach just a bit further than expected.
A Tall Poppy is, in my book, an analogy for one who seeks to break the mold, achieving success where others haven’t dared (or even desired) to go. If you search out Tall Poppy Syndrome, it paints a bleak picture of a tendency for society to attack those who have achieved marked success or fame which is intended to nip conceit, arrogance and superiority right in the bud.
But is that what it’s really all about?
Surely, we all know someone who is brilliant, talented, or gifted yet humble, kind and generous? Would we consider these individuals Tall Poppies to be nipped simply because they achieved success in their endeavors? Reaching for the sun is not a bad thing. Reinventing something to work better is not a bad thing. Building new ideas from old is not a bad thing. Accepting acknowledgment or even notoriety for creating something that provides joy, insight, confidence, or motivation in others is not a bad thing. Seriously.
Perhaps it is just fear that drives such negative reactions. Fear of the impact that change will have on our lives. Fear of the uncertainty of what’s coming next. Fear that we will be unable to adapt. Fear that others will think less of us because someone we know does well.
Perhaps, what is true is that we really have nothing to fear but fear itself. Can we imagine that?
Tall poppies are tall simply because they exist in a sea of others who have yet to learn that they too can grow beyond any predefined script.
Being a Tall Poppy is not about elitism, superiority or fame. It is about open-mindedness in the pursuit of excellence. It is about the willingness to embrace change and to adapt in order to grow. It is about overcoming the fear of breaking status quo when status quo no longer works. It is about having the creativity to imagine a better way, a new path, a new definition of good in all things. It is about having the courage to try. And to fail. And to try again.
Tall Poppies are pathfinders. They are problem solvers. They are way-showers. They exist in every walk of life, in every age bracket and they span the globe. They are curious. They are driven. They care deeply about what they do and the people they serve. They are not perfect, and they are ok with that.
If, in a field of flowers, there is one that stands above the rest, would we notice that despite this the others are not diminished? Would we notice that over time we would see a second, a third and then a fourth with more following in rapid succession? Tall Poppies do not seek to weaken, destroy or marginalize – this is a key attribute worth noting.
Tall Poppy Nation is a Vision for a New World Attitude.
Tall Poppy Nation is where we freely spawn new ideas that solve problems both complex and simple. Where it is easier to have the courage to make a difference if even in a small way. Where we follow curiosity to imagination, igniting the creativity that sparks innovation. Where we are invited to take the road less followed simply to see where it goes.
We are open to new concepts and are willing to share our thoughts and energies with others who are innovating. We are supportive, honest and ready to acknowledge that there is more than one right answer. We are teachers and motivators. We know how to laugh at ourselves. Above all else, we understand that there is plenty to go around and that there is always room for fresh new faces and ideas.
You have your place in this world. A thing that you do. A contribution to make. Do not think that it has all been done. Do not believe for a minute that you have nothing to offer. The world needs you to do your thing regardless of what that is.
So go do it! Go dream it! Let it loose upon the world!
I guarantee there are others who will be drawn to you – to explore and invent and share. You won’t get it right all the time, maybe not even most of the time, but when you do, it will be glorious! As Tall Poppies, we run with the wind, chase the stars and are amazed at the endless possibilities. Failure is both good and necessary. Success is fun but hard. It is all easier when your field is full of Tall Poppies.
Join the Tribe. Tall Poppy Nation.
Tall Poppy Nation is a community where new ideas can be "road tested" with other like-minded and innovating people. It is a place where we celebrate those who look to break the status quo in a positive, meaningful and beneficial way. Your ideas don't have to change the world - they don't even have to be of a certain topic - they simply try and solve a problem – no matter how big or small. Join us!
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