We all want to be unique, right?
It seems that throughout life we are taught that we need to blend in. Be like everyone else because differentiation is a bad thing. Pursue the same things as everyone else. This is especially common in school, a place that is notorious for stamping out the free-spirited. Even more, when I was in the military, you did not want to be known as an outlier. However, this goes against the very nature of us as people. We long to be special…special to ourselves, to our family, to our friends, and our peers. There is an excellence in each of us, I’ve shared this before. Why does it matter?
Different is remembered.
Do you remember the song “Tubthumping” by Chumba Wumba? If not, check it out here. That song will forever be in my memory not because I found it to be particularly good, rather it was so different from the other music on the radio. A more recent example of this is Dragostea Din Tei by Ozone, found here. These songs were all over the radio, and while I did get bored of them, their unique sound memorializes them because of the differentiation.
Different is appreciated.
We get bored of the same old things in our day-to-day lives. We certainly do live by habits and patterns, but there is certainly something to be said about the things that come and break up the monotony. Even the most change-averse individual needs some kind of variety at some point. With this in mind, being that “something different” can put you in a position to be an authority on a subject. There is a guy that makes good money off his website that is solely about worm farms ( super-differentiation!). I am seriously curious about what other incredibly specialized (yet oddball) ideas are successful out there. This guy has been interviewed on many different podcasts for entrepreneurs because of the importance of being different.
Different, itself, is unique.
None of us specialize in all of the same things. Our strengths may be similar but to the same degree and in the same order? Very highly unlikely. The elements that make you who you are, are definitely worth celebrating. After all, you are the only one riding on your rollercoaster through life. Sure, others may have a corkscrew followed by 3 loops and a 1 mile drop, but maybe not in that order. Also, maybe spread out over their course because they cannot handle the degree of insanity that you are comfortable with.
Differentiation is the key to your happiness.
It seems that as we get older we become more accepting of this pattern to our lives where we wake, go to work, come home, eat, sleep, repeat. Its up to you to shake that up. You ever play blues saxophone onstage in a small bar in downtown Providence? Me neither, but one of you out there has, I know it because I saw your show. It was incredible. Want to know why I haven’t? Because I don’t know how to play blues saxophone. Keep working on those skills. I may not be a blues musician, but I can listen to it with the best of them.
I’ll find my own way to differentiate myself from all of you people.