Although I have never considered myself as such, deviating form the standard path, quickly creates the perception of being a ‘free bird’. Some people probably are ‘natural’ free birds but thats not me. Thinking differently came to me as a technique to get love and attention and a result of having to find out about things on my own. Only after so many years it also became a second nature and a productive asset.
Being asked for an interview on this topic by a student almanak around ‘free birds’ (alumni) made me reflect on this once more. After some hesitation (fitting a relatively introvert person) I participated as it might help others to recognize the potential of their own protection mechanisms and to embrace and trust them much earlier than I have done. Below therefor the interview as published in the: Leidsche Studenten Almanak 2015-2016 (sorry for the somewhat inflated introductory paragraph):
See also Deep Listening for more background on this.