Your education, experience, intelligence and financial situation don’t matter. The important thing is the direction in which you focus your unique, powerful, creative mind. Be yourself. Just you. Be remarkable. Live your dream.
This week I had the opportunity to present to my BNI group (Business Networking International), to talk about my two vocations, my role as a financial services professional and a writer. Both fit into my purpose built on a foundation of HOPE, Helping Other People Everyday. The first sentence of this blog, the message above, is a collaboration of quotes and ideas I have collected over the past several months. I keep that message with me and I look at it every day. I printed it out for everyone in attendance and gave them a copy to keep, to think about, to move forward.
There is a lot to be gained from quotes, messages, and words which inspire or attempt to make you introspective. In that message the two words which can mean even more if you really take the time to think about them: Be Remarkable.
What does it mean? The confusion here is that some people think it means to simply get noticed. Not so. A guy I look to emulate, blogger, author and creative genius, Seth Godin, put together a top ten list on how to be remarkable. One thing he says is “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.”
At its core it’s simple, giving other people a reason to make a remark about you. But you certainly want it to be a good one. Do the right thing, do something for someone else, take the time to care outside of the ordinary and someone might make a remark to you, or about you. But it will build slowly. Do the wrong thing, and there will be plenty of remarks about you and they will travel fast and leave you in the dust.
To paraphrase one of Seth Godin’s Top Ten ways to be remarkable, maybe the most profound is this, remarkable doesn’t mean it’s remarkable to you. If you think it’s remarkable, it doesn’t matter, it’s selfish, it feeds only your ego. But if other people are willing to make a remark about it, because it has touched their lives in a unique way, then you are remarkable. But it’s not trying to please everyone. When you appeal to everyone, you appeal to no one. Godin states it this way: “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 or spread the word.” He goes on to say, “a few people insanely focused on what you do is far better than thousands of people who might be mildly interested.”
Those people are the ones on your team, family, friends, co-workers, or others. No team, no dream. But the dream must be YOUR dream, not someone else’s dream. Carly Fiorina, former chairman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard advises this, “Love what you do, or don’t do it. Don’t make a choice of any kind, whether in career or in life, just because it pleases others. Make the choice to do something because it engages your heart as well as your mind. Make the choice because it engages all of you.” In his book, Put Your Dream to the Test, leadership guru John Maxwell follows up that statement this way, “Don’t become a slave to someone else’s dream. Why? Because once you own a dream, it will also own you.”
The right dream, fueled by your passion, and with a purpose to touch and affect other people’s lives in a way they have never felt before will make something happen you won’t be able to stop, no matter what you do.
And you’ll have no choice, because you are changing the world.
It will make you remarkable.
Until next time, thanks for taking the time.
Seth Godin’s Top Ten ways on how to be remarkable: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2007/01/how_to_be_remar.html