For many, being different can be challenging. It's not something we only go through as awkward teens or when making a life change. Sometimes our differences are traits we were born with, sometimes they're a choice, and sometimes they happen to us. Standing out can feel lonely, and usually comes with all kinds of attention. Being different takes courage.
Examples of Being Different:
You're the only one in the room with your hair or skin color.
You speak a different language than the place you're living.
You're the new guy/gal at school or work.
You're the first in your family with a college degree.
Or, you're the first in your family to forego university for trade.
Your spiritual beliefs or diet choices are uncommon amongst your friend-group.
You're straight edge -aka- you don't use drugs. tobacco or alcohol.
You're making unpopular sacrifices to start a business.
Something comes easy to you that most people struggle with.
You have an idea that no one supports or understands.
Whatever your stand-out feature may be, it shouldn't be something to overcome or stifle, but rather, something you embrace! The people who aren't afraid to be different or think different are the people who move the world forward. Here are some ways to look at being different On The FLPSDE!
Did you know blue-eyed redheads have the most unique coloring of all humans?! Approximately .17 percent of all people have this rare color combination. If you're a redhead, think of it as your trademark! Everyone will remember you because you're different. In the United States, you're one of few if you can speak two languages fluently. It's estimated that less than 20 percent of Americans are multilingual!
You Can Make Money!
Much like big diamonds or gold, when your differentiating trait is rare, you can use it to your advantage, financially. People who apply hard work to unique skills or traits stand to make a lot of money. For example, Winnie Harlow has earned millions as one of the first supermodels with vitiligo. Marlee Matlin has earned millions making shows and movies, one of which earned her the Academy Award for Best Actress; she is the only deaf actress to do this. Soccer player Lionel Messi earned himself a $673.9 million contract, and photographer Annie Leibovitz commands a six-figure fee while her iconic portraits sell for nearly $20,000 a piece.
You're A Leader!
Being the first to do something raises the bar for everyone else. Maybe you'll be the first in your immediate family, friend group, or country to achieve something, but being the first opens the door for others to follow. When you're the first to achieve the impossible, you crush the doubts that keep others down.
You Get A Fresh Start!
When you're new to a neighborhood, school or job, it's a great opportunity to make new friends and set new goals. Maybe at your last school you were bullied, or in your last town you didn't get out much. Now, you can make the most of a clean slate and start fresh.
You're An Influencer!
When you're the only one in your inner-circle who lives a certain lifestyle, you have an opportunity to encourage change in others. It may be unpopular to pray, meditate, live without debt, eat a plant-based diet or be sober, but maybe when your loved ones see how these choices impact your life, they might be interested in giving it a try for themselves.
You Break Barriers!
When you're willing to pursue something that is intimidating to others, you have an opportunity to break down the barriers that hold others back. For example, you could live #VanLife for a year or downsize to a tiny home; you could quit your 9-5 job to start your own business or put your stuff in storage to backpack around the world for a year. For many, these ideas sound like a fantasy because they're not realistic or practical, but when those who are afraid watch someone they trust do something unbelievable, they start to reimagine what's possible for themselves.
You Change The World!
Did you know that only five percent of people on the planet are entrepreneurs? Even fewer are inventors. When you have a one-of-a-kind idea that people don't understand, and the tenacity to go after that which makes you different, you might just change the world! In addition to being a culture-changing artist, Leonardo da Vinci drafted designs for the first parachute, helicopter and armored car, among others. The lightbulb sounded ludicrous until Thomas Edison eliminated 10,000 ways not to make one. And Steve Jobs didn't win any Mr. Congeniality awards, but now the majority of the world operates from his "crazy idea" called an iPhone.
On The FLPSDE, being different is actually so much cooler than being just like everyone else. Embrace the differences you were created with, go after your odd-ball ideas, and don't be afraid to stand-out...the world will be better for it!