“200 years” ago I was voted most popular in my High School, yet I always felt different and that I didn’t fit in. I never quite understood how I could be voted “Most Popular”. Not only was I puzzled by winning the “Most Popular” slot but what really kicked it over the top was the fact that my High School was predominantly African American and I’m a white Jewish male.
I never felt I fit in anyplace, but no one ever would suspect I felt that way. It wasn’t about being a phony or a sociopath, it was about, and still is, being comfortable with who I am and being comfortable interacting in the ever-changing world that spins around me.
I’m okay with being who I am but am I 100% satisfied yet? No I’m not. I have several formidable purposes, goals and dreams up front to actualize and consummate and I have a few waiting in the wings. I’m always looking to make myself a little bit better and stronger every day.
Early in my life I did eventually realize that I’m not “different.” I’m actually a unique individual just like you are. I’m an individual with my own set of unique physical, intellectual and mental faculties. I came to see my “being different” as actually being “unique and special.” Changing the words, changing the labels, turned my perception of who I am on its head.
As a result of this simple yet profound change, I had an epiphany and the term I made up to describe this phenomenon, describing why I’m so comfortable with myself and my interactions with the realities of life, was that I was an “Extreme Acclimatizer” or EA.
Acclimatizer Defined: A person or thing that acclimatizes itself or others. Someone who easily becomes accustomed to a new climate or to new conditions.
I realized later in life as I looked back, that feeling special and feeling unique and not characterizing myself as different and not fitting in, actually has been an asset for me.
These positive feelings have emboldened and inspired me. My self-confidence is off the charts and I don’t worry about what people think about me or what they say. Of course, I’m human and if something unpleasant is said I do feel bad for the moment but: my pity parties are very rare and are very brief and they don’t last nearly as long as someone’s pity party who desperately wants to fit in.
The point of this:
I understand what it’s like to feel “different”, and also not to feel that you belong but I did do something about it. I changed the direction of my life. I don’t know the exact moment when I decided to make this change. I didn’t know enough about life yet to become the master of my universe and establish a grand plan to lift me up and out of my unhappiness.
It was around the time that my father abandoned our family that I experienced this seismic shift in my life. I was 14 years old and I wasn’t able to describe it immediately. It wasn’t until many years later, and reading many books, that it started to come together in a form that I could grab onto and lay it out on paper. I was able to visualize and organize, who I was and why I felt different and, why I was so mentally comfortable and happy existing on the periphery.
Why fit in when you were born to Stand Out? – Dr. Seuss
Terms to be used:
“Unique” Defined: Being the only one of its kind; unlike anything else. Synonyms: distinctive, distinct, individual, special, idiosyncratic;
“Original” Defined: present or existing from the beginning; first or earliest. synonyms: indigenous, native, aboriginal, autochthonous; authentic, genuine, actual, true, bona fide; something serving as a model or basis for imitations or copies. An eccentric or unusual person. Synonyms: individualist, individual, eccentric, nonconformist, free spirit, maverick;
“Independent” Defined: Free from the influence, guidance, or control of another or others; self-reliant.
“Different” Defined: Adjective- not the same as another or each other; unlike in nature, form, or quality.
Synonyms: dissimilar, unalike, unlike, contrasting, contrastive, divergent, differing, varying, disparate;
“Distinct” Defined: Readily distinguishable from all others.
“Distinctive” Defined: Having a quality or characteristic that makes a person or thing special from others; or appealing or interesting because of a special quality or characteristic
There’s an abundant supply of life stories available on the internet and on book store and library shelves to confirm that being “different” and not “fitting in”, can be beneficial to you and your success support community if, and it’s a big if, the feelings are respected, accepted and seen as assets and not something to be ashamed of.
To name a few divergents:
Steven Spielberg: “I was a nerd in those days. Outsider, like the kid that played the clarinet in the band and in orchestra, which I did.”
Taylor Swift: “I remember when I was in school, the whole reason I started writing songs was because I was alone a lot of the time. I’d sit there in school and I’d be hearing people like, ‘Oh my god, this party that we’re going to is gonna be so awesome on Friday. Everyone’s invited except for [Taylor].’”
Christian Bale: “I took a beating from several boys for years. They put me through hell, punching and kicking me all the time.”
Richard Branson, founder Virgin Group: My biggest motivation? Just to keep challenging myself. I see life almost like one long University education that I never had — everyday I’m learning something new.”
Steve Jobs: His whole life was about being different.
IMPORTANT NOTE: I’m way ahead of you in the vernacular category of labeling. I’ve been using the term “unique”, and not using the word “different” for many years, so for the sake of this article only, I will alternate the usage of both “Unique” and “different” to accommodate everyone’s comfort zone.
I like to keep things simple so . . .
To summarize: The premise for this article is “I believe that being “different”, “unique” or an “original” is really about being authentic. It’s about allowing all that you are to be all that it could be.
First, Let’s begin with making a declaration that we’re distinct, we’re unique, we’re special but we’re not “different.”
Just semantics? Frivolous? Inconsequential? Absolutely not. I am a great believer in the power of the spoken and written word and the effect that words have on how the world and its inhabitants, yes the world and its inhabitants, survive and evolve.
I modified my self-identification from “different” to “unique” and because of that small yet powerful adjustment I turned the page and started a refreshingly new chapter in my life. I saw a world where I could stand up, be noticed and be who I was. I could be who I am and be successful. That was an exciting beginning for me. I was proud to be “Different” for the first time in my young life.
Remember: “It’s all about allowing all that you are to be all that it could be.”
Just two distinctive attributes, fingerprints and DNA, assure us that we are definitely unique and that we’re all truly one of a kind. Fruits and vegetables are different. People are unique, uncommon, exceptional and yes, sometimes peculiar but not different. Let “different” be for inanimate objects.
Each one of us is unique. Being unique makes life interesting. Most of us hopefully use our uniqueness to make the most out of life, the most precious gift that we’ll ever receive. Many people don’t acclimate and to save face, they blame it on being “different” and “not fitting in.”
IMPORTANT NOTE: For purposes of building business and personal relationships, I created and gave names to 4 different kinds of “uniqueness” zones to help me in evaluating people. I use this to decide if someone is going to be in my life and more importantly, what part they might be able to play in my life’s journey. Don’t judge. Please read on:
SideBar: Before I introduce the different kinds of “uniqueness” zones, here’s a brief synopsis of the following four zones and how they’re going to serve as visual aids and enable you to be aware that:
1- We’re all different/unique. These 4 categories are meant to visually support, and allow you to see, that we’re all different and different in so many ways. Of course, no one person fits neatly in any one category. I classify a person in any one of the 4 categories using the prominent, dominant characteristics of that particular person, as the criteria.
2- There are four “Uniqueness” zones (Distinctive, Conventional, Aberration or Outlander) to accommodate and cover enough dominant human characteristics to be able to effectively compartmentalize people. It sounds cold but we subconsciously, albeit barely perceptibly, do this naturally every single day with everyone we meet and most times, we’re dangerously and carelessly unaware that we do it.
This exercise now allows you to size up people consciously and deliberately. Aren’t you entitled to have this privilege? Are you not entitled to determine who is allowed in to your Success Support Community? This is for your happiness. This is for your protection and for you to build a successful personal and business life.
Now you’ll be aware of who is trying to come in to your Success Support Community rather than indiscriminately having people trampling all over you and your plans by causing “indiscreet and uninvited chaos and disruption.” Now you’ll see it coming before it gets there. If you still feel uncomfortable using it just look at it as a new form of “Vetting.” No matter how you do it you “gotta” do it. It’s for your protection and preservation.
3-Being different is no excuse for not moving up and out of where you are in life right now, if you’re unhappy. These 4 categories represent the fact that there are always options in one’s life. Pick one. Pick none. The choice is all yours. You have choices. You have options. You can decide to “fit-in” to one of the 4 “uniqueness” zones or a combination of more than one.
4 –You can decide to change “how different or unique” you truly want to be or not to be. Being different/ unique is never a permanent or static condition. It’s always in a state of flux and can only be modified and prompted to mutate by an indomitable desire wherein only you have the password that will energize and incite it.
Let’s celebrate “Being Different.” Let’s appreciate our “Uniqueness.”
The 4 “Uniqueness” Zones:
A Distinctive: These are people who use their “uniqueness” to their advantage. They understand what it means to be unique and distinct and not “different”. They use their uniqueness to make a better life for themselves and other people. They use their uniqueness to make the world a little better off every single day. They’re the leaders, innovators, disruptors, trailblazers and explorers. They’re ambitious, fun-loving and comfortable with who they are. They’re a joy to be with and to be around.
A Conventional: These are people who don’t recognize their uniqueness. These are the good people who try to do the best they can in life. They don’t believe that success is part of their future. They believe that their luck is only mediocre. They’re honest and sincere. They’re loyal and trustworthy. They’re smart but their self- confidence and self-image are burdensome restraints rather than the forces that will lift them up and out from where they’re stuck in life. They could be great friends if they can keep their jealously of your ambition and success, in check.
An Aberration: There’s no middle ground for these type of people. They’re either in the lowest or highest social circles. Either way, the one common link is that they embrace their uniqueness and use it for anti-social and destructive acts that are self-serving and are in the category of social deviance. Here you’ll find street thugs, unethical wall street brokers and even self-seeking politicians. Proceed with extreme caution if you decide to interact with any of these scoundrels.
An Outlander: These are people who cannot be cast in any one category. In fact, these people feel at right at home moving in, out and through any one of the above categories. They’re noncommittal, self-centered, very bright and extremely cunning. The have the meaning of “Uniqueness” down to a science. They’re bold and fearless. They’re not necessarily hurtful or contemptible people. They’re unreliable and will not be emotionally or physically available if you need their help or assistance. You can’t figure out if you like them or love them. You won’t be hating them, but there’s always going to be something gnawing at you that “there’s just something off with them.”
Outlanders are the ones that could “rule the world” if they would only just respect and direct their uniqueness towards dynamic and fertile use. It’s never too late for them to turn it around and they know that.
How do people make their uniqueness, or being “different”, work for them?
Most people develop their own personal version of the following success equation. It’s not necessarily in this order and it’s not necessarily mentally structured like this. This is just a guide to help you use your “being different” or “uniqueness” to build a successful personal and business life.
IMPORTANT PERSONAL NOTE: I will follow up all these steps more comprehensively in future articles. In the meantime, if you read and study ‘The t.r.i.p Concept’ and ‘The i.m.a.p.p Concept’ you’ll find all the information you’ll need.
Success= Accept your uniqueness + stay hungry + be curious + be on the lookout for opportunities + be networking + think differently + create differently + be humble.
1-Accept Your Uniqueness:
As I said previously, the two attributes that assure us, guarantee us and prove to us all that we really are unique are 1- fingerprints and 2- DNA. Accepting that you’re unique and that you can change your life is a great place to start. Even if you can’t wholeheartedly accept it yet then fake it, imagine it or fantasize about it. This is important if you’re going to be able to work with all the steps effectively and, at the least, adequately.
This is the starting point for your Success Quest to a great life. This is your chance to use your special personality to build a solid life for you and the people you care about. All that’s important here is that you just start and don’t stop. The more you practice, explore, experience and experiment, the stronger your belief in your uniqueness will become and that’s all that matters.
I first heard the expression “Stay Hungry” back in 1969 when I was 17 years old, long before Steve Jobs made it known to a new generation. “Stay Hungry” was told to me by an “old-timer” salesperson as I went out my first day, to sell Fuller Brush products door to door in Brooklyn, New York.
A piece of advice that this fantastic old-timer would also give me, and constantly remind me about, was “You gotta have Fire in Your Belly to be a Top Salesperson.” Fact Check: He actually used the word “Schlepper” instead of “salesperson.” Schlepper Defined: a salesperson who walks around with his products in a case and visits customers.
What does “Stay Hungry” and “Fire in Your Belly actually mean?” They simply mean: Possessing a powerful sense of ambition or determination.
If you’re unhappy with being different and unique why don’t you just do something to correct and adjust your world? You’re going to need a powerful sense of ambition and determination to get up and out of your current frame of mind.
My first piece of advice would be to read through this article and then read and absorb the information in ‘The t.r.i.p Concept’ and ‘The i.m.a.p.p Concept.’ Doing so will set you on the proper course you need to take to make your “being different” and “Uniqueness” work for you. These concepts will give you the practical guidelines and recommendations on how to move forward.
Absorbing advice and information means absolutely nothing unless you’re willing to actually put it in play and push and pull your way out. It’s you who will determine the launch time for your Success Quest. It’s you who’ll determine how bad you need the change.
SideBar: When your desire to make adjustments and move up and out, exceeds your pain and/or unhappiness level, you’ll find the strength to stand up and kick in the door marked “Successful Lives Available Here.”
“Stay Hungry.” Keep that “Fire in Your Belly Burning.” Stay determined. Stay motivated. Success is available to you.
This should become a guiding natural force for you. How do you build a life of success just by being who you are? It starts by being curious and “Practicing, Exploring, Experiencing and Experimenting.”
Go out and find “opportunities.” Take time to get to know yourself better. Being curious will open another dimension for you. Asking the “right” questions will blow the locks off all the “closed doors” that are holding you back.
Be curious and always ask questions starting with the 5W’s+ 1: Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How?
Please read my article on this blog: “The Most Powerful Tool in Your Success Support Arsenal is Free and Available 24/7. Are You Using it?” It’s an article on “questions.” Knowing how to ask the “right” questions will open a world of wonderment to you.
“Much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on.” Steve Jobs
4-Be on the Lookout for Opportunities:
Opportunities do not make house calls. You need to go out and let them “bump” into you. Use my ‘The p.e.e.e Concept’ to find opportunities: “Practicing, Exploring, Experiencing and Experimenting.”
These are compelling investigation, detection, educational and fact-finding tools in your Success Support Arsenal that will allow you to discover and bring opportunities into your life. You will find more information on this concept in ‘The i.m.a.p.p Concept’ Part 5 Persistence.
Networking for business and for your social life is the number one tool in your Success Support Arsenal. People are your primary source for opportunities.
Effective business networking is the coming together of individuals who, through trust and relationship building, help each other achieve their goals. Joining a networking group is the best way to start. For more information, see Part 4 People in ‘The i.m.a.p.p Concept.’
6- Think Differently:
So you’re different. You’re unique. What makes you feel that way? Do you feel you think differently than most people? So you’re lucky enough to be unique and think differently? If that’s so, congratulations. Thinking differently is the catalyst that’s responsible for most of the major break throughs in the categories of inventions and discoveries in every subject you can imagine.
Some interesting points about thinking differently:
a-Thinking differently starts with the attitude of acceptance and positive expectancy. Embrace the fact you’re feeling, and now thinking differently, and it will open up access to your five traditionally recognized methods of perception, or senses: hearing, sight, touch, smell, and taste. Expect very special thoughts to flow from this new affirmation and this enhanced access to all your senses.
b-To get your “Thinking Differently” energized and empowered, question everything. Don’t accept the status quo. Be a disruptor. Make a conscious effort to disrupt the obvious and traditional thoughts that you have and start asking questions like: What if we change that? How do we make that happen? What can be the new version of it? Etc.
Adopt and nurture the 5W’s + 1. You can never ask enough questions. This is how your uniqueness and thinking differently will kick start and set out to work for you.
c- Being able to think differently may have to be awakened and practiced until it becomes natural and part of your Success Support Arsenal. Don’t let that discourage you. It’s there, it just hasn’t received the love and attention it needs to emerge yet. Be Patient.
d- Thinking differently is about your thoughts being expansive and widely diffused. It’s about having an open mind to all possibilities. You may experience the feeling that your mind is all “over the place”. That’s just you and your mind revving up and getting ready for a tremendous Success Quest. Keep a small pad and 2 pens with you at all times. Thoughts could be fleeting and you don’t want to miss any great ideas that come by.
7- Create Differently:
Everything that is written in # 5 “Thinking differently” holds true for “Create Differently”
I just added this one separately because it’s prominent enough to remind you that “creativity” works hand in hand with “Thinking.” What is applicable to “Thinking Differently” is also valid for “Create Differently.”
“Creative Thinking” is defined as:
Specific thought processes which improve the ability to be creative. Being in an optimal state of mind for generating new ideas. To think deliberately in ways that improve the likelihood of new thoughts occurring. To maximize the ability of the brain to think of new ideas. The ability to think of original, diverse and elaborate ideas. A series of mental actions which produce changes and developments of thought. The process of exploring multiple avenues of actions or thoughts. Sometimes called divergent thinking because thought patterns and areas of belief are expanded.
“Lateral Thinking” is defined as:
1-solving problems through an indirect and creative approach, using reasoning that is not immediately obvious and involving ideas that may not be obtainable by using only traditional step-by-step logic.
2-Similar to Creative Thinking. Also: Seeking to solve problems by unorthodox or apparently illogical methods. “A set of systematic techniques used for changing concepts and perceptions and generating new ones”, “Exploring multiple possibilities and approaches instead of pursuing a single approach.”
“Critical Thinking” is defined as:
1-the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgment.
2- the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.
Humble Defined: Having or showing a modest estimate of one’s own importance.
Humility Defined: The state or condition of being humble.
The top two ingredients for measuring and determining the authentic quality and attributes of a successful life:
a-The way you manage, behave and endure in life when you have nothing.
b-The way you manage, behave and endure in life when you have everything.
For me, actions not words, is the primary element in sizing up people that I’m considering forming a business or personal relationship with. People want to work and play with people they “like.” It’s not a hard-set prerequisite in business but it certainly pushes and pulls you to the front of the line.
Bring humble is a people magnet. It’s an invitation for all to come on in, relax and stay for a while. It promotes you and sends a signal out to the world that you’re approachable. It communicates to people that you appreciate the human race and that you’re open for networking. It’s a comforting posture that opens a wide field of opportunity for you to play on.
Being Humble is recognizing that you’re not alone on the planet. Its recognizing that there are strangers as well as people known to you, that have helped you somehow, somewhere on your life’s journey and Success Quest. It’s about appreciating and expressing your gratitude to yourself and these people. It’s knowing you wouldn’t have come this far without the support and respect, and even some love, that was lavished upon you.
A meaningful life is not about being rich and famous. It is about being real, being authentic, being humble, being able to share yourself and touch the lives of others. It is only then that we could have a full and happy life.
“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.” C.S Lewis
One Final Warning:
It could take many years to build an impressive life of health, happiness and success but it could take only 24 hours to shred it to pieces. Remember where you came from. Show your love and gratitude to the people that were and are, by your side.
A simple, sincere “I’m sorry” could prop up and revitalize any situation. A simple hug and a “Thank you” will go a long way. Stay Humble my friends. Stay Humble. You just never know when you’ll need that white knight to come to the rescue. People like to help humble people and bury the arrogant ones.
It’s up to you how your future plays out: Keep the bridge open or blow it up.
Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I hope it helps you.
Please feel free to explore and read ‘The t.r.i.p Concept’ and the ‘The i.m.a.p.p Concept’ while I inconspicuously review them and add new articles to share with you.
The two concepts, a total of 9 separate components, are made up of a total of 170 pages with approx. 44,000 words. Each component is easy to read and they’re meant to be individually reviewed slowly and deliberately.
If you go to the top of the www.itsallpossible.com home page, you’ll see the two concepts listed and each one has a drop down that lists the components and allows for you to access one component at a time.
Here’s how it lays out:
‘The t.r.i.p Concept’: Part #1-Truth; Part #2- Reality; Part #3- Inspiration; Part #4- Positivity
‘The i.m.a.p.p Concept’: Part #1-Inspiration; Part #2-Motivation; Part #3- Action; Part #4-People; Part # 5- Persistence.”
Your Success Support Arsenal: ‘The t.r.i.p Concept’ gets you to the starting gate; ‘The i.m.a.p.p Concept’ gets you to the finish line.
• Phase 1: The t.r.i.p Concept: Truth + Reality + Inspiration+ Positivity
• Phase 2: The i.m.a.p.p Concept: Inspiration + Motivation + Action + People + Persistence
• Phase 3: The two concepts begin working in tandem and now in phase 3 they’re all working together. Combining all the components in both concepts creates a firm foundation for a very compelling Success Support Arsenal.
If you have any questions or advice, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I welcome all comments. Actually, your feedback would be greatly appreciated. Raw or well done, I’ll take it all.
Once again, thank you very much for stopping by.
Extra Stuff- My concepts and all the articles I’ll write, are all backed by:
•Over 55 years of “street” experience.
• Over 40 years of starting and building physical, virtual world and internet businesses.
• Over 40 years of starting and building many different types of businesses.
• Becoming a millionaire and then “turning my back” and “walking” away from it. I’m much stronger now than I was then and I know exactly what I did wrong. I’m working on getting it back. Please feel free to come along with me on my Success Quest. I would love the company and besides, I have many powerful and impactful teachable moments to share.
• Knowing hundreds and hundreds of wealthy and/or successful men and woman over 60.
• Knowing hundreds and hundreds of wealthy and/or successful men and women under 60
• Knowing thousands of successful people from all around the world through face to face networking, social media and as serving as President of Macaby Group, an international company.
• Started, and never stopped, reading and studying about Positivity and Success back in 1975 as a young Stockbroker trainee for a brokerage company named E.F. Hutton. They gave us the book, “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill, to read and study as part of our training program.
• Dreamed of being rich since 1962, when I was 10 years old and when my father left for the first time. He left a total of 3 times. Finally, he was gone for good the third time. You know how the saying goes.
• My attitude: “You may see me struggle but you will never see me quit.”
• Over 40 years of doing many smart things and doing some very dumb things. Huge lessons learned.
• I’m a good “beginner” and I’ve learned many, many, many things from my over 40 years of mistakes and missteps.
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