Darren Hardy, bestselling author and success mentor to high-performers all around the globe, was raised by his football coach father. As an outcome, he learned to become a self-reliant superachiever at a young age. His father didn’t give him a lot of rules and/or restrictions, but he simply gave him a philosophy to live up to — Be the Exception.
This simple but powerful mantra completely changed his life. As Hardy writes, “This philosophy guided me in starting my own company at age 18. Before my 19th birthday, I was earning a six-figure income. Within 5 years it grew to more than a million dollars a year. Thirty years later, it is still my guiding force.”
Times have changed, and gone are the days when all we had to do was just show up and do regular work in regular hours. The “average” of yesterday has become mediocre today. I know this is a harsh truth, but if we choose we can use this truth to liberate ourselves and our inner genius.
In today’s world, if we want to make a difference, we have to embrace what makes us different and express it authentically. As I have said before, it’s a disservice to our greatest gifts by becoming a copycat of someone else. In other words, be original if you want to create a lasting impact on this world.
We are all geniuses, and we can either forget this fact or use it to our advantage. Whether we believe we’re born to fit in or we’re born to be brilliant, it’s a choice that we make for ourselves, and this single choice dictates how we lead our lives.
We have to stand up and stand out if we are willing to choose disruption over compliance. As Simon T. Bailey instructs, “… when everybody is zigging, you choose to zag. When everybody is saying, ‘It’s got to be done this way,’ be willing to stand up, be the odd person out and walk the opposite direction. That’s where your freedom is.”
Say no to what doesn’t work for you, and yes to what makes you feel aligned and fulfilled. This is how you inch towards making a difference.