What's Your Mark?

What sets you apart?

I'd like to think I've always been a non-conformist. Some mistake it as aloofness … some, indifference … or simply introversion.

For how does one draw the line between self-confidence and conceit? individuality and eccentricity? authenticity and faked sincerity?

The differences can be very subtle … almost unnoticeable.

So to make one's mark in this life—choosing between fitting in and standing out—one has to do a bit of both. Here's a quick list of ways that have helped me balance between fitting in and nonconformity in my personal life:

  • Respect other people's beliefs especially when they're not your own. We won't always agree, and so we must accept each other's unique ideologies. To each his own. Stand by your own truth, sure, but never try to force it down anyone's throat.
  • Give credit where credit is due. Stop seeking validation other than that which is freely given. It's better to deserve honor and not have it than to have honor and not deserve it.
  • Consider others better than yourself. One may find it (egotistically) painful to admit, but you're not the only person who's really good at something and has an opinion on everything. We all have abilities and useful ideas that are just as important as yours. Strive to be accepting of others, and they will be accepting of you.
  • Be more genuine than sincere. It's inspiring to meet a genuine soul. See a genuine smile. To be shown genuine concern. And receive genuine care. Not faked. Or forced. For while one can appear friendly and pleasant, or smile, worry, and "seem to" care sincerely, one can also be sincerely faked. And forced. And people can tell.
  • Do the right thing with no eye on a reward. Doing the right thing may not always yield the outcomes one desires or expects. But then again, we can never expect good results when we do the wrong things, can we? It just doesn't happen. So don't count on it.
So how are you "fitting in"? What's your mark? What sets you apart?

“If you celebrate your differentness, the world will, too. It believes exactly what you tell it—through the words you use to describe yourself, the actions you take to care for yourself, and the choices you make to express yourself. Tell the world you are one-of-a-kind creation who came here to experience wonder and spread joy. Expect to be accommodated.” —Victoria Moran


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