So you just got a nice haircut, styled it to resemble a faux-hawk popularized by Nick Lachey, and are walking into an office hoping to land a new job. Who wouldnt want to hire you, you think to yourself. After all, the Club Monaco tie matches the Armani dress shirt, the black dress pants have a shine to them that would make Elvis proud, and the dress shoes are to die for. You shake the interviewers hand, speak with him for a couple of minutes and walk out the door. I nailed it you mumble under your breath as you get into your car Two weeks pass and youre yet to hear your phone ring. Reality sinks in and you ask yourself, what went wrong?
Scenario B. You just got out of the gym with your chest bulging out, biceps pumped up swimming with blood, and you quickly jump into the shower. You get out, sprinkle a dab of Jean-Paul Gautier, put on a fashionable shirt with matching jeans and head out to the club. One drink turns into two and two soon turn into three. A few women pass you by and throw you a smile, but your pockets remain numberless. Reality sinks in, and you ask yourself, what went wrong?
Perfectly capturing the daily occurrence of an Average Joe, the two scenarios have come to resemble the norm. One showcases our Average Joes professional life while the other resembles his much more personal and intimate life. Normally, the average Joe would shrug the instances off citing them as a bad day. Hoping to rebound tomorrow, he would style his hair to resemble Clive Owens instead of Nick Lacheys, and invest in Colgate white strips to develop a killer white smile. All of this materialism numbs him from his true mission individualism.
Lets face it, every other person has a faux hawk, and you can bet your last Colgate white stripe that every other person has the same Club Monaco tie, and the same black Armani dress shirt. More than likely, every other person has the same green bottle of Jean- Paul Gautier, and will inevitably spray it behind the ears just like you. Now unless you want your life to resemble an I Robot production line, I suggest you stop wasting your money on meaningless products and learn to understand yourself. Yes, learning to understand yourself is indeed a path less traveled, since self-enlightenment has become a 20 dollar product on a Chapters shelf.
Here are 4 tips you can use to spark the journey towards individualism:
1. Read, read, and when you are finished reading – read some more.
Let us destroy the myth once for all reading IS for everybody. The reason why you may not like reading is because you are not reading things that interest you. Ignore the advice that you have to read Socrates and journey towards becoming a philosopher king. Find books that interest you, and read them. Read slowly, read carefully, and most importantly – think critically. Youd be surprised what kind of things you could learn from means other than Facebook groups.
2. Understand that finding yourself is a life long journey
I am sure youve heard the phrase, Rome was not built in one day. The same could be applied to your journey. Understanding that learning is a life long quest is sure to help you establish a reasonable pace that will have you stand out in a crowd. North American culture is fixated around doing things quickly, hence why we fail to appreciate the art of patience. It is a costly mistake however, to assume you will learn everything there is to know about yourself overnight. It takes years upon years of self-assessment to feel comfortable in your own skin, and ultimately stand out.
3. Focus on one thing at a time
You cant be an entrepreneur while being a basketball player and the greatest bass player the world has ever seen. Understand that the more you focus on one thing at a time, the greater results you will achieve. An example of this rule is as follows: if you decide to learn everything there is to know about opening up a small business, then learn everything there is to know about opening up a small business. There are far too many individuals who wish to know about Mars before they fully understand their own planet. Rather than being specialized in one topic, you end up becoming an Average Joe who knows about nothing solid. Note: I am not advocating that you are ignorant in everything other than what you are interested in, but know where to focus your strength.
4. Be truthful to yourself – know your strengths, and understand your weaknesses.
Everybody has that voice inside of themselves that pops when a situation arises. Some call that voice a gut feeling, others call it an instinct, and my psychologist tried convincing me it was Schizophrenia. Whatever you think that voice is it is there and it exists. In order to understand yourself, you need to listen to that voice and realize your strengths and your weaknesses. Do not get suckered into the belief that you are only as strong as your weaknesses. Instead of aimlessly working on your weaknesses, improve further on your strengths and see where it takes you.
I bet you were expecting a how to guide in order to find yourself. But then I would end up being a hypocrite, and youd feel ripped off. Finding yourself is not about performing tasks a certain way (using a distinct type of toothpaste or having a specific type cologne) rather it is a mechanism of living developed through specific situations. The four rules will help you gain the most important thing of all – experience. It is only then when you will truly stand out in your professional and individual life. Ditch the average life and aim for an individualized one.
Written By: T.I.M Staff