How To Be Remarkable
Feeling like "one of many" at work?
Just another cog in the wheel of business?
Here's an idea. Be remarkable instead.
For the most part, we're encouraged to run just slightly ahead of the pack. We're rewarded for being mostly like everyone else, but just different enough to be a little special. Careful though, just a little special. Not too special.
There are a lot of reasons why being "just above average" is a good thing. You do good work. You contribute. You add value. You achieve. You probably help others achieve. You matter. You're in good company too, because you're close to the rest of the pack at work. Just slightly ahead vs. far ahead. You're not pushing boundaries so far that you're out on your own.
You can have a very successful career being just above average. But what if you could be remarkable in some way?
Worthy of being, or likely to be noticed as being, uncommon or extraordinary.In today's expert opinion, I share words of wisdom from one of my favorite people on the planet: renowned author and expert in the world of business and the art of personal expression, Seth Godin. His thoughts on being remarkable are, in my opinion, remarkable.
This article is short and sweet, but profound. I hope you enjoy it. I hope, even more, that it makes you think about your own potential to be absolutely and unabashedly remarkable in some way. Starting today.
How to be remarkable
[Below is an article by Seth Godin, first published in 2007. It was recently re-released in his ridiculously remarkable compilation of earlier works entitled: This Might Work. Highlights in Red are by the author of this blog for emphasis. See the Bottom Line for commentary.]
1. Understand the urgency of the situation. Half-measures simply won't do. The only way to grow is to abandon your strategy of doing what you did yesterday, but better. Commit.
2. Remarkable doesn't mean remarkable to you. It means remarkable to me. Am I going to make a remark about it? If not, then you're average, and average is for losers.
3. Being noticed is not the same as being remarkable. Running down the street naked will get you noticed, but it won't accomplish much. It's easy to pull off a stunt, but not useful.
4. Extremism in the pursuit of remarkability is no sin. In fact, it's practically a requirement. People in first place, those considered the best in the world, these are the folks that get what they want. Rock stars have groupies because they're stars, not because they're good looking.
5. Remarkability lies in the edges. The biggest, fastest, slowest, richest, easiest, most difficult. It doesn't always matter which edge, more that you're at (or beyond) the edge.
6. Not everyone appreciates your efforts to be remarkable. In fact, most people don't. So what? Most people are ostriches, heads in the sand, unable to help you anyway. Your goal isn't to please everyone. Your goal is to please those that actually speak up, spread the word, buy new things or hire the talented.
7. If it's in a manual, if it's the accepted wisdom, if you can find it in a Dummies book, then guess what? It's boring, not remarkable. Part of what it takes to do something remarkable is to do something first and best. Roger Bannister was remarkable. The next guy, the guy who broke Bannister's record wasn't. He was just faster ... but it doesn't matter.
8. It's not really as frightening as it seems. They keep the masses in line by threatening them (us) with all manner of horrible outcomes if we dare to step out of line. But who loses their jobs at the mass layoffs? Who has trouble finding a new gig? Not the remarkable minority, that's for sure.
9. If you put it on a T-shirt, would people wear it? No use being remarkable at something that people don't care about. Not ALL people, mind you, just a few. A few people insanely focused on what you do is far far better than thousands of people who might be mildly interested, right?
10. What's fashionable soon becomes unfashionable. While you might be remarkable for a time, if you don't reinvest and reinvent, you won't be for long. Instead of resting on your laurels, you must commit to being remarkable again quite soon.
[End of article.]
What's great about Seth Godin is that he doesn't just talk about being remarkable. He simply is remarkable. He leads by example. Here's the latest example I've seen.
The book you see in the photo at the top of this blog, is called This Might Work. It was a bonus gift from Seth to a small group of people who actively supported the publication of his latest book, The Icarus Deception. I was lucky enough to be one of those people. I received my "behemoth" book, as Seth describes it, around the holidays.
This book is a compilation of Seth's previously published works spanning several years. It's enormous in size, measuring 11x15 inches, and 3 inches thick. It weighs over 18 pounds. It's stunningly beautiful inside and out, lush in style, and completely indulgent in every way for a book lover. Everything about this book is remarkable. People all over the world are talking about it. It is stunning.
|One of Seth's fans posted a copy of the book with her baby.|
I include it here so you can see just how BIG this book really is!
Seth is remarkable for having created this book. But he didn't stop there. Seth has decided not to sell this book, so it remains special to those of us who have it, exclusive and in limited print. We're practically begging him to sell the book; we're so crazy about it we want others to have it too. Seth has had over a dozen bestsellers. He could easily add this to the list and make multiple millions of dollars selling this truly remarkable book. But he's chosen not to do so (although I hope he changes his mind).
He's living on the edges, doing something no one expects. His choice not to publish a truly remarkable book - to walk away from easy financial gain - makes him all the more remarkable as an author. Not everyone will understand. That doesn't make it the least bit less extraordinary.I share this article and this example with you because I think every one of us is capable of being remarkable in some way. It's easy to go with the flow, be one of many, and get by just fine. It's harder to stand up, stand out, and be special.
Being remarkable isn't about being the life of the party, or the person who talks just-a-little-too-loud to get attention at work. It isn't about being egotistical, insensitive, or brash. It isn't about trying to one-up your co-workers, or out-perform them, or make them look bad. It isn't about being teacher's pet, or brown-nosing, or grandstanding for attention either.
Being remarkable is about: Paying attention to what matters to others. Making conscious choices to push the boundaries of what can be done and live on the edge of possibility. Choosing to be creative and bring your own unique and best talents forward. Being brave enough to challenge the status quo in productive and possibly game-changing ways. Taking chances even when you know some of your ideas will be rejected and some of your efforts will fail. Investing the time to wow other people, because you can. Choosing to be bold in ways both big and small, in the interest of doing or being "better."
You don't have to change the world to be remarkable. You just have to live the definition of the word. Be worthy of being perceived as uncommon or extraordinary every now and then. Before you know it, you'll overhear someone say, "Wow! That was really something!" and they'll be talking about you. In that moment, you'll know you did something worthy of remark. You'll be... remarkable.
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