We all want to stand out from the crowd. Even Oliver Wendell Holmes was once quoted as saying, “Nothing is more common than the wish to be remarkable.”
Still there are some common pitfalls to avoid when standing out. They’re ones we’ve all been guilty of from time to time. I’d be lying if I said I haven’t done a few of these in my past.
But if you’re looking to be just a little more memorable, you might just want to stay away from some of these.
1. Never question anything
Unremarkable people accept things at face value. They don’t question conventional wisdom or ask questions about the world around them.
People who do remarkable things are generally curious people. They want to know why things are the way they are. They ask questions like: Is there a better way? Why are people doing things like this?
By asking questions, you’re challenging the world around you. You make your own path instead of taking the path laid out by everyone else.
2. Don’t travel anywhere
What better way is there to get yourself out of the familiar and routine than travel? It breaks up how you see the world and shakes things up.
When you travel, you meet different people and cultures. It shows you how other people live which can be radically different from your own life. Before you know it, you’ve brought back a little piece of their lives into your own.
The most important part is that it gets you reflecting on your own life. Getting an outside view of how people live can give you an objective view of how you live back home.
3. Never take any risks
The problem with never taking any risks is that you have to take a few risks in life to get anywhere. Every great accomplishment starts off with the decision to take a chance.
Imagine what life would be like if you always stayed in your comfort zone and only did things that were safe. All you’d do is stick with what’s familiar to you. You’d never learn or grow as a person.
The people who always play it safe don’t strive to do much. Only those who push themselves past their limits will do more. And that means taking on a risk or two.
4. Think superficially
The world is a complex place. The problem is that many people think the world is mostly black and white. There isn’t much room for shades of gray.
Living as if the world is like that is too simplistic. It’s too rigid.
Standing out in a crowd means realizing that there is more gray than black or white. The gray area is where you spend most of your time thinking and discussing issues.
It doesn’t mean you won’t take a side on an issue you find important, but you do take the time to consider all sides before making your opinion known.
5. Let fear make decisions for you
When you make a decision simply because you’re too scared to do it, you’re letting fear make the decision for you.
Fear won’t let you do things outside of your comfort zone or ones that involve a little bit of risk. Letting fear control your decision making will mean sticking to the familiar and the safe. Those are rarely paths to greatness.
6. Only do or say things because you’re “supposed to”
Are you doing things because you want to do them or because you think you’re supposed to do them?
People do all kinds of things like go to college, get married or buy a house because that’s what they think they should do.
Realizing that you usually don’t have to do things you’re “supposed to do” is freeing. It means living life on your own terms.
7. Avoid taking a stand on anything
If you want to be unremarkable, you should agree with whatever anyone else around you says. Don’t offer your own opinion or disagree with the consensus. Let majority opinion guide your own opinions.
Unremarkable people won’t rock the boat by saying something controversial. Even if they do disagree, they’ll keep their opinions to themselves so people will like them.
8. Don’t try new things
Imagine waking up several months from now and doing the same exact things you’re doing today. The things you’re doing haven’t changed and you haven’t tried anything new in all that time.
Sounds boring, doesn’t it? Someone who is always doing the same things from month to month isn’t going to stand out much. After all, there aren’t going to be any surprises.
9. Stop learning
If you want to be unremarkable, you should avoid new ideas and ways of thinking. Learning changes people. The source for a lot of personal growth comes from new information.
When you learn more, you connect information together. This leads to newer and better ideas. A lot of people who stand out from the crowd do it because they have made these connections. They have great ideas and demand to be heard.
photo credit: wesbs