“If you want to stand out, don’t be different, be outstanding.” – Meredith West
Meredith shares great wisdom with us here. Unfortunately, though, most youth of our times, and sometimes even adults, have yet to discover the wisdom here–for their role models are steeped in mediocrity, and they preach to the younger people the joys of laziness, the silliness of going all out when they can get by on the bare minimum, and the desirability of not pushing themselves at all.
And although the very meaning of the word “outstanding” is quite obvious, many adults I know feel that the mere fact that they are employed, makes them worthy of a raise. Likewise, there are students I know who think that they should receive an “A” on a paper or an assignment just because they turned it in. And there are far too many parents who reward their children simply for doing the bare minimum amount of work. It is often here, in their childhood, that most of these individuals develop the unrealistic expectations that follow them throughout life.
And to be outstanding is no easy task for any of us, especially when something does not come naturally to us. It is frustrating to work hard to be outstanding at something, and see little progress, when it obviously comes easily to others. However, it is not important how easily something comes to others, or how little work or such a poor job others may do. What matters is the quality of the job that we do on the task at hand. And if we want to be outstanding, then we have to do work that stands out.
Of course, we do not have to be outstanding at everything. And perhaps we choose to not stand out at all, that is up to us. Hence, Meredith’s first three words, “If you want.” But if you do wish to be outstanding, then you must make sure that you stand out.
Aspire to stand out in some way today.
Questions to consider:
What do you consider to be outstanding? In what things have you reached outstanding levels? How does it feel to do so?
Why are so many people satisfied with doing the bare minimum to get by? How does that help them?
In what things might you become outstanding if you were to increase the amount of effort that you give to them?
For further thought:
“You can be very, very good at anything you do, but excelling does take work. In societies in which we expect life to just fall into our laps somehow, we’ve lost the respect for the value of developing ourselves, but if we’re going to excel, not just succeed, we must develop ourselves past the ordinary. Reading a book a week on a topic of our choice will make us one of the best-read people in the field within a year. Then you can solve problems and devise ideas and plans much more easily and effectively than if you never had tried to develop your abilities.” – unattributed