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For the last couple of days I have been mulling over how change, or value exists on the edges outside the bounds of mediocrity.
It all started with a conversation I was having with my husband about baseball players and this special kind of surgery that pitchers get so they can be better than everyone else who hasn’t gotten this special surgery. And how players like Barry Bonds, who used steroids, before steroids were illegal in baseball, get into the Hall of Fame. While others, who are arguably as good, like the redheaded hitter whose name starts with an M but is alluding me at the moment, who also used steroids, because he had to in order to be at the edge where all transformation happens and the real competition takes place, isn’t in the Hall of Fame.
Okay, okay, I went and looked him up. His name is Mark McGwire
Then I got an email from Ash Ambirge from the Middle Finger Project. While her blog is not for the easily offended, I love her candid approach to life. She knows who she is, what she does and who she does it for…So Ash is talking about not wanting to join “your” tribe in this email. (technically, it is a post that she delivers as an email) While she agrees that Seth Godin’s book by the same title was good and valuable…the value came because it was cutting edge when he wrote it. Now tribes are the norm, yes, everyone wants to belong to some group – cause, hey, face it no one wants to be “weird” all of the time.
Being different is not easy.
It can be painful.
But it is the place where true transformation, beauty and innovation begin.
Seems to me that wading through the middle is the hardest place to be. Discovering who you are and what you have that is different is the beginning of breaking out. Everyone is different even in a crowd that appears to be the same.
The question then becomes how do you determine what makes you different.
I think that can best be answered:
Know Your Passion
Some call it “your superpower”. I think that word is becoming much like the tribes concept, though so we will stick with passion.
Knowing what you are passionate about and how to share that passion with others pushes you to the edge of the crowd, it is the launching point to exceptional-ism. Will you pursue exceptional-ism or will you make excuses? That is up to you.
When I think about the exceptional people I know of; the Albert Einsteins, Nicoli Tesla, my sister, Gretchen. The thing that sets them apart is that they pursue excellence in a particular area. Though I know you know about Einstein and Tesla, let me take a moment and tell you about my sister.
Gretchen has always been particularly good at organization. She sees how things fit together. She likes order in life. When she leaves a place, one finds they are more comfortable in the space than when she arrived, not because she has left, but because she has left her touch on the place.
Simple things, for example; for years I lived with a lamp between two chairs. The lamp was big and it was not possible to see the person sitting in the other chair. She moved the lamp to a much more convenient place. While this might not seem like a big deal to you, so she moved the lamp. It illustrates her ability to look at a situation and make a small adjustment that had a huge impact. While it was inconvenient to keep looking around the lamp, it had never occurred to me to move it.
I suspect that were she to do this exercise coming up (watch the video) Her sentence would go something like this:
My name is Gretchen, I provide guidance to disorganized people so that they can feel comfortable in their surroundings.
Adam Leipzig (gotta love that name) explains how to find your passion in 5 minutes here:
At the end he gives a quick tip for your “elevator” speech…
What about you? Did this help you discover your passion or did you already know what it is?
Questions or Thoughts?
Do leave your passion sentence below – I’d love to know what your super power is! Ash might have a cow about me using that term, but oh, well some days you just gotta own who you are.