Is Being Different From Each Other Is Good?
We are all born originals - why is it so
many of us die copies? - Edward Young
Feeling Like You Don't Fit In ...
And that is a horrible way to feel .. especially when you consider that everyone is unique. Everyone, underneath the things that define a generation or a culture, is truly unique and vastly different ... from the things they love -- to what inspires them or makes them laugh.
Being Different Can Be Good
If you really are an odd duck, there is no sense in beating around the bush. To fit in socially, you need to find one thing in common with the people around you that help you fit in and be considered a mate ... one of the guys ... even if you are "a bit out there".
Common ground can be found in music, sports or a passion for what is new and trendy or very traditional. And if you can't blend in, being able to explain (without explaining) how you are different is valuable ... and can really help. Usually, putting your uniqueness into a context that makes sense to the ones around you .. can help them accept and embrace what makes you different.
Building Upon Passions
One of the best ways in our culture to make being different or unique OK is to put it in terms of a passion, and then relate that passion to a career or profession. Many people who do not know how to value our differences, do know how to value something that will make you successful, wealthy or famous.
Those are some of the key values of our culture, and tying your uniqueness to one (or all of) them can help you be accepted by your family, peers and teachers.
Or, you can relate your passions to the passionate pursuit of those around you. If your Grandmother or Great Uncle had the same or a related passion ... letting people know that can help them make sense of who you are ... and why you are the way you are. It can also help them understand why you excel at certain things.
Finding A Life Calling
Another way to feel less awkward and put other people at ease .. and turn being different into a good thing ... is to link what makes you unique and different to your life calling ... the thing you are meant to do with your life.
A keen sense of smell could make you an essential member of a search and rescue team, a great nose for a perfume developer, or the inspector of gas leaks. It could also make you a great doctor, an innovative winemaker, or a successful home appraiser.
But life callings are more than just a profession .. they are a way to help people and create a better world to live and grow up in. And if the people around you .. and you yourself .. can see how you will do that .. a lot of the awkwardness of being different can be replaced by a vision of who you are meant to become ... and all that lies ahead of you waiting to be done.
Different From Other Businesses?
The same thing applies to businesses and other types of organizations. But in this case, it is called branding and is known as what makes you stand apart and stand out from the crowd ... in both good and bad ways.
Being unique in business may be just what your company needs ... and should shout about. But just being different isn't what you want to focus on. Instead, you want to be distinctive -- in the things your customers and clients value most. And that is what finding your business niche is all about.
That way, you begin to build loyalty to what makes you different ... like Classic Coke or Starbucks' coffeehouse experience that harkens back to Lloyds of London and the bankers that backed the shipping trade.
The Next Step