It’s much easier to fit in than to stand out.
To stand out, you need to walk a path less travelled, a path that is hard to follow. You’re faced with many obstacles, resistance, adversity, stumbling blocks, traps and even enemies. The road less travelled is long, but in the end, it is worth it.
Those One in a Million kind of people are the ones who usually take the paths less travelled. We write books about them, make movies about their stories, we quote them on social feeds even years after their passing.
The path less travelled makes for an exciting story, because it is about an interesting person.
Are you One in a Million?
Here’s my thoughts on what makes you One in a Million.
1. Your history
When you’re a child, you don’t get to choose where you live, where you go to school, the clothes you wear, sometimes you don’t even get to choose your friends. Your parents make those decisions for you. Your childhood is determined by others. You have to live with whatever you’re given. Although you don’t have much decision-making power during your childhood, you will continue to reference your childhood throughout your life, because it is where your story started, and it gives you that grounding from which to build your future. For some that grounding is good, and others are not that lucky. Whatever your childhood, you decide how you will let it define you. You get to decide what you will make with your history, whether you will use it as a steppingstone to the future you desire for yourself or use it as an excuse for not achieving your goals. Some people are ashamed of their past, where they lived, and how they lived, especially if they grew up in poverty, as orphans or in an abusive household. Often it's the people with the most difficult childhood, that are able to write the most amazing stories. You can decide to use your difficult history to inspire future generations. Be proud of your history, for what it taught you and how those lessons helped you become the individual you are today. Your history, whether good or bad, will help make your story amazing, it's all about how you decide to write it.
2. Your story
When you turn eighteen, things change, you now have more choices. Your parents no longer decide for you. You decide what you’re going to do with what you’ve been given. You write a new story. What will you do with what was given to you during your childhood? Will you use it as a steppingstone to build something meaningful? Will you let your childhood define you positively or negatively? You decide. Your story is yours, and unlike your childhood, where you had no choice, you get to write this and determine how it ends.
3. Your passion
What stirs you into action? Is it a specific cause e.g., pollution and saving the environment, the abuse of animals or children? Are you passionate about your field of study? What riles you up, what keeps you awake at night and inspires you to rise early in the morning? Whatever you’ve answered, that is your passion. Never take your passion for granted because many people do not know what their passion is and go through life just surviving. Your passion gives you purpose.
4. Your principles
You cannot be a One in a Million kind of person if you have no principles. What are the things that you refuse to tolerate? What are the thoughts, opinions, suggestions and ideas you flat out say ‘no’ to? Why do you say 'no' to those things? Whatever your answer is, those are your principles - your ingrained belief of right versus wrong. Your principles will always guide you to make a decision that is right for you.
People value people with principles. They may not like hearing 'no', but they will respect you. If you say yes to everything, your yes loses its value. When you use your principles as a guide for the things you agree to then you give meaning to your agreements and partnering with you becomes invaluable to your connections. Let your principles be your guiding light.
People talk about being unique a lot, it has become the new trend. Although 'be yourself' has become the latest marketing message of many brands, being yourself is not easy and definitely not popular, especially if you a vocal about your beliefs and those beliefs are contrary to the popular belief. For some, being yourself, will require you to be a misfit. And this is not easy, because all humans have a desire to belong.
If you value your history and use it a benchmark to leap your forward into the future you want, so that you can write your story, on your terms, using your principles as a guiding light to keep you on track, then you are One in a Million.