Monday, March 10, 2008

Why be Normal?

"Why be normal?"
This was the constant phrase of one of my good friends in high school. I didn't "get it." Why did he insist on going against the grain? Why did he think it was a good thing to do? I kept wondering these things. He truly was unique!

While I'm not so sure that my friend's plot against normalcy was such a good thing, I think this concept deserves much attention. Most definitely you have to NOT be normal to go anywhere or make any difference in this world. Can you name any one person from the past who who strove to be like everyone else that is remembered to this day? Can you think of anyone who has made a difference in this world who strove to be like everyone else? Undoubtedly, everyone who has made a difference has set themselves apart from the norm.

Now what?
Since we all agree that conformity is the enemy of making a difference and leading a successful life where does this leave us?

1. Make a decision to NOT be normal. This takes tremendous self confidence to stick your neck out, but oh the rewards!!! And the ironic thing is the more you decide to be different and take action the more confidence you gain, because you see the difference you make. That confidence will prompt you to be less normal and take even more action. It creates a good healthy cycle. There is nothing that feels better in this world than the feeling of making a difference!!!

2. Study the lives and material of those who have made a difference. Make a list of influential people and do some research on them and what sets them apart. Read what others have written about them. Read the materials they have written. Make a list of what set them apart. Learn from the pros how to make a difference.

3. Put what you learn about these individuals and from them into action. Simply learning what they did and taught will get you nowhere. Take the list you have made of what sets these individuals apart, read it daily and modify it to your life. Ask yourself, "How can I apply what I have learned from these people into my life." Write it down. Look at it first thing every day and take specific actions toward that goal.

4. Make a list of the rewards you will receive for setting yourself apart. Review this list daily also. Constantly remind yourself of the benefits of setting yourself apart. It will keep you going and moving forward.

5. Make a list of consequences of being normal.
This could be as simple as writing at the top of a piece of paper, "This is what my life will look like and the difference I will make if I strive to be normal:" and leave the rest of the page blank.

6. Make a decision to take action. Yes, I know this is a repeat of number three.

7. Take action.

8. Take action.

Decision -> action -> rewards!

Make Yourself Unforgettable: The Dale Carnegie Class-Act System

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