Winner on Board: Flaunt Your Individuality
You see the funniest stuff out on the road; just ask me.
Last week I pulled up to a red light and what do I see in front of me? A ‘70s Mustang rocking a red-eyed skull on the bumper and a mini-van with a Jesus sticker on its bumper in the next lane over. I laughed at the juxtaposition of the devilish Mustang and the saintly minivan, but once I stopped chuckling I had a thought. These people obviously have different priorities, but each was brave enough to wear a bit of his personality on his bumper without the fear of looking to others on the road. Each was able to flaunt his own individuality, no matter how corny or ill-begotten it was.
Part of being a successful person is not being afraid to be yourself in front of others. Have you seen the movie “Harold and Maude”? Okay, too obscure. How about “Dumb and Dumber”? Regardless, each movie features two people at odds with society, weird in their own way. In the case of Harold and Lloyd of “Dumb and Dumber,” you’re talking about two unapologetically stupid guys. Now, I’m not promoting stupidity, but rather the ability to be yourself at all costs, to drive around in a van that looks like a dog, to put on a powder blue suit and wear it like a rock star. Once you’re comfortable in your own skin, nothing can stop you. Not even the gas man.
It may seem like individuality runs counter to success, that in order to get anywhere you’ve got to play the game like the winners before you. Whether it’s putting on a stuffy suit for a job or acting like Zach Braff on a date, some guys seem to think winning requires conformity. While this may be true to some extent (when’s the last time you saw a CEO with a Mohawk?), there’s room for individuality in every endeavor.
Do you want to be just another guy in the crowd? You’ll find plenty of drones in college, at work, basically anywhere you go in life. But does a conformist bore make a success? Hardly. If you’re not willing to put it all on the line, to make your own decisions, to go against the grain now and again, you’ll be just another cubicle worker, just another guy on the second string. If mediocrity is cool with you, feel free to turn in your inner game right now. You’ll never reach your full potential if you’re too afraid to be yourself.
When you’re living by someone else’s rules, following someone else’s moves, you’re denying all that you can be. Got a great idea you think could help your company, team, relationship, etc.? You can kiss it goodbye if all you’re willing to be is a yes man, a clone. Your talents will truly shine if you throw caution to the wind and start wearing that Metallica tie you’ve always wanted to. Once you realize you’ve got something no one else has, you’re unstoppable.
So, next time I see you out on the road, I want to see a bumper sticker, a skull, something. I’ll take a damn Beanie Baby in the back window if it has to be that away. Did I just reference Beanie Babies? Yes I did. Do you think I care what you think? No. Cause I got inner game, baby.
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About John Brhel John Brhel is a freelance writer from upstate New York that enjoys picking apart life's idiosyncrasies and listening to Huey Lewis & the News.