You are really weird.

Growing up, we are taught to fit in. Being the weird kid is a sure way to become separated from your peer group. We continue this belief as we get older. Most people stay in their comfortable lives not taking the risk to be different.

You aren’t going to do anything significant without moving out of your comfort zone. Most people pretty much do what they are expected to do. People don’t want to be different because it is perceived to be too risky.

Many businesses wonder why they grow to a certain level then stop growing. They are just like every other business. Nothing makes them stand out.

Hugh MacLeod is an artist and an author like no one else I know. He is famous for drawing cartoons on the back of business cards. His language can be a little strong, but that is what makes him weird. It is also what makes him memorable. He is knocking it out of the park because of who he is. His is selling his art for hundreds of dollars. When he wrote his first book “ignore everybody” it was an instant best seller because he had such a strong following. People like him because he is unapologeticly weird.

Another example is Lady Gaga and is certainly an example of someone who is very weird. She has created a brand for herself that is shock. It works for her because that is what gets you to first notice her. She is actually a very talented singer and musician. She skyrocketed to stardom because of her weirdness.

I’m not suggesting you use foul language like Hugh or dress like Saturn to get noticed. I am suggesting that you find something that is unique about you and expand it to the point of being weird. Ask yourself what makes you unique. What do people remember about you?

If you can’t find how you are unique take time now to find it or determine how you will be different. No matter where you are in life. If you are a student, if you are just starting your career, if you have been in the same job for years, if you are retired, what do people say about you that makes you like no one else? If people aren’t talking about how you are different, they aren’t remembering you.

How will you be picked for a scholarship before someone else? How are you going to be promoted? How is someone going to select you or your business over all other businesses? Why would anyone be your friend?

This where I tell you how I have found success being unique? Well, just because I write about it doesn’t mean I have succeeded at it yet. It doesn’t mean that I don’t know what to do.

What I believe makes me unique is that I am a stereotypical professional looking white guy. I am also an introvert that loves speaking in front of groups of 5 or 6 or groups of hundreds. I wear a tie almost every day. I am emotional and really enjoy good “chick flick” movies. I enjoy going shopping (even if all I do is window shop). One of my favorite stores is Bed Bath and Beyond. I also play the Tuba.

Some people may call you strange. If so, do you really care? No question that they will remember you. When you are weird you are closer to being your authentic self. You are closer to enjoying what you do because you are able to be yourself.

“What is right for one soul may not be right for another. It may mean having to stand on your own and do something strange in the eyes of others.”
– Eileen Caddy

What makes you unique, unlike anyone else? What are you going to do to make yourself unique?

27 thoughts on “You are really weird.

  1. Excellent post! I really appreciated reading this one (not that I don’t enjoy the others), as I really connected with your message. In my own small way, I’ve tried to practice this as a teacher.

    • I’m sure you will understand what I mean when I say that what makes you weird is what makes you so effective. No one goes through your class without remembering you forever and the change that you place on the lives of kids.

      • How kind! Thanks so much, and thanks for offering your wisdom through your blog. Clearly it has been very effective for many people!

  2. Thanks for the reminder that being different isn’t bad, and in the big picture is what makes each of us stand out in the crowd. And yes, I too would like to be a millionaire and…!


  3. I read “Ignore Everybody” a couple of months ago; it was a real pleasure. I really enjoyed reading your blog today. I blogged about a similar topic recently. Check out quotes by Architect John Ruskin, he was a proponent of individuality and self-expression merging with labor.

  4. I am so glad you featured on fresh pressed as it gave me an opportunity to stumble into your blog. I have enjoyed the few that I have browsed thus far and look forward to reading more in the future.
    I throughly enjoyed this topic, I have a difficult time understanding why we would want to be carbon copies, but to each his own. I have nearly mastered the art of being me, but with the constant flux of situations, maybe other can just try to be individuals.
    Like you, I write for me (mistakes and all), but I invite others to share in this journey with me.

    • I’m so glad you stumbled on my blog. It sounds like you are closer than most people to being you. Congratulations.

  5. Nice to hear confirmation that it’s OK to be weird — and, especially intriguing to find that you believe that ‘when you are weird you are closer to being your authentic self.’ The one thing that prevents me being as weird as I would like to be is that I’m not keen on upsetting other people through misunderstandings, which, sadly, happen all the time if I really let myself go :)

    I do find it odd that you claim to be an introvert… who can speak in public. Isn’t that a contradiction in terms?

    P.S. Weird + Ladygaga = :)

    • Thanks for your comment. Yes I am an introvert who enjoys speaking in public. I get my energy from being alone. Then I enjoy using my energy by speaking in public. I have always been a fan of Weird Al. Thanks for the video suggestion.

  6. This is a topic I’ve been thinking about recently as well. It started after a discussion with my children about being themselves and not conforming to what everyone else does. And it hit me that I was still working on that myself. I actually just started reading “The Art of Non-Conformity” by Chris Guillebeau. I guess I hope to help my kids find their own individuality sooner than I did. :-)

    • I am with you Serena. It is especially hard for kids to accept being different. Especially the age our kids are. Kids are brutal. I have heard of that book but I haven’t check it out yet. I’ll have to find it.

      Thanks for your comment and for your support as a early follower of this blog. You are doing great things.

  7. Excellent! We all have our own personal weirdnesses that make unique – like you, I’m a big BBB fan! And when I recently looked back at some of Lady Gaga’s first vids, I was struck by how normal they now look. Artists start by breaking the rules and giving us a view we can’t take in – sometimes, even one that disgusts and repels.

    Interesting to think that Renoir, Degas, and other impressionist painters were so reviled by the Salon (read: the establishment) that they had to develop a separate location to show their paintings.

    BTW, love MacLeod – Nilofer Merchant, my former CEO, included several of his cartoons in her book The New How to great effect!

    • Great to know another MacLeod fan. He is a really neat guy. You provide a great reminder about how Renoir and Degas were received.

  8. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed. I like your voice and look forward to “hearing” more.

    • Thank you. I am so excited (and a little overwhelmed) to be freshly pressed. I’m so glad you like my voice. I am looking forward to sharing more of the same.

  9. Congrats on the Freshly Pressed and I really like this post. Makes sense on a fundamental level…

  10. I really enjoyed this entry. This was me throughout all of my years in school, and I still am this way today. Nowdays when people tell me I am weird, I just say “thank you”.

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