Being uncommon means…

I don’t believe anyone sets out in life to be mediocre, ordinary, or “common.” Deep down, we desire more than that, but all too often we give in to the weight of social obligations, others’ expectations, personal fears, and the allure of low hanging fruit.

It goes without saying that “settling” is the choice of least resistance and therefore, the path of the common folk. But despite the odds, there are always some who stand boldly in the face of life’s challenges and temptations.  Not surprisingly, they achieve the extraordinary and become exceptional.

It’s not difficult, nor worthwhile, to list the ingredients of the common life. But it’s always beneficial to explore the anatomy of life’s inspirational anomalies.  In a few short minutes, I came up with 53 different, but complimentary, factors of what I believe makes a remarkable person.

Among many things, being uncommon means…

  1. Looking at the same things everyone else sees and thinking something different
  2. Seeking adventure over comfort and convenience
  3. Testing common assumptions
  4. Nurturing relentless curiosity
  5. Accepting responsibility
  6. Understanding that reality is shaped by our perception of it
  7. Keeping your word
  8. Constantly learning
  9. Noticing patterns
  10. Learning from losses
  11. Eating right
  12. Exiting your comfort zone regularly
  13. Understanding that direction trumps distance
  14. Seeking the unknown
  15. Being resourceful
  16. Understanding that failure is not trying
  17. Creating opportunity, not waiting for it
  18. Looking for value
  19. Adding value
  20. Asking, “Why?”
  21. Asking, “Why not?”
  22. Cultivating creativity
  23. Seeking input from your opposites
  24. Knowing what you stand for and what you don’t. And then taking the stand
  25. Letting go of the past to shape the future
  26. Candidly and regularly assessing your actions and results
  27. Knowing the difference between being busy and being productive
  28. Taking one additional step when others don’t
  29. Understanding that motivation is temporary, but purpose is enduring
  30. Asking for support
  31. Understanding that the best defense is often listening
  32. Appreciating victories, even the small ones
  33. Resisting the urge to do what is easy over what is right
  34. Choosing your battles
  35. Working smart trumps working hard (But still being prepared to bust your ass)
  36. Understanding that character is your best marketing
  37. Sharing your time with those you care about
  38. Embracing fear as a companion, not an enemy
  39. Caring for your body, mind, and spirit (yes, all three)
  40. Understanding that failure is a temporary event, not a trait
  41. Saving and giving money
  42. Traveling often
  43. Being yourself
  44. Beginning with the end in mind
  45. Thinking locally and globally
  46. Being immersed in the present, but vested in the future
  47. Giving spontaneous compliments and consistent support
  48. Creating something that outlives you
  49. Being able to laugh at yourself, before passing judgment
  50. Understanding that your beliefs precede our actions
  51. Listening to feedback, but following your intuition
  52. Caring (so much meaning in one word)
  53. And most importantly… taking action towards the things that matter most to you

And now the most important question…

What does being “uncommon” mean to you?

I sense this list could grow to be much, much longer.  Add to it in the comments. I (and many other readers) would love to get your thoughts below.

Stay uncommon,

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