How to Be Outstanding

Everyone wants to be extraordinary, but no one wants to be unpopular. Everyone wants to be a genius, but no one wants to be called a nerd. Everyone wants to be outstanding, but no one’s willing to stand out.

An Outstanding Peacock
Photo credit: Nina Matthews (Creative Commons)

Earning the attention you deserve will be the hardest, scariest, most grueling thing you do. But it will also be the most rewarding.

The typical tale of an outstanding person

I once met a girl named Patricia. She wanted to live life to the full. When everyone else was playing those “reindeer games” she was being Rudolph.

She was standing out.

This usually earned her a few rolled eyes and jokes cracked at her expense, but that didn’t bother her.

Then one day, Patricia stood up when everyone else was sitting down. She did the bold, courageous, amazing thing. And everyone admired her for it.

Suddenly, Patricia wasn’t the outcast, anymore. She was the leader. And there was a crowd of people standing behind her literally, ready to go wherever she would lead them.

The cost of courage

It takes courage to go where no one else has gone. It takes the heart of a pioneer and the mind of an engineer to set out for the Promised land and build the road as you go.

To do something this creative, something that’s never been done before, you have to be a little crazy. Fortunately, those who are, end up changing the world.

Of course, like all new endeavors, this involves risk. There’s a cost to doing great things. To be a leader in today’s world, you have to be brave enough to wander off the worn path and make a new one. And no one will be walking with you those first few steps.

So be prepared.

It’s lonely

There’s a reason why most startups fail and most books never get finished: Being a leader is hard.

Which is precisely why we need you to do it. Why we need you to do what so few are willing to do: to be different. To take the initiative. To courageously go where no one’s gone before.

So what are you waiting for?

“An engraved invitation?!” as my dad used to say to the parked cars at the green traffic light. Green means go. Time to be outstanding.