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How to effectively stand out from the crowd

Bill Abbate

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Do you have the familiar issue so many of us deal with today? You know the one where you never seem to have enough time. Too much to do and too little time to do it in. How are you supposed to get anything done?

What if there was a simple solution to this hurriedness? There is. It may sound counterintuitive, but it works. It’s called pausing. Slowing down to catch a mental break.

Oh no, you say! Not another article on mindfulness!

Well, not exactly, but kinda. It is not about mindfulness in the traditional sense of the practice, but it is about becoming more thoughtful.

Before we get to that, let’s discuss something even more important – your effectiveness - doing the right things.

How effective are you?

How much of your hurried daily activities will make a difference in your life a year from now? How about in five years? If whatever you are doing doesn’t meet these criteria, how important is it really?

You say, “Yea, but you never know what might be important. It could be one email, text, or post that could change my life forever. What if I miss it?”

That is one way to look at it. You can believe everything in life could become so important you can’t overlook anything. That reminds me of someone buying a single lottery ticket hoping it will change their life. Then doing it again and again and again, endlessly getting the same results. What are the odds that will work for them? If that is how you prefer to live your life, have at it. It is your choice, after all.

Let me give it to you straight. There is a better way to live. It’s called being decisive. It is doing what matters that will ultimately make the difference.

“Either you run the day or the day runs you.” Jim Rohn

The reality is to be effective we must let many things pass by each day. But that is missing the point. The issue is not so much what we let pass but on what we choose to focus.

Every person’s life is full of distractions. These distractions could be from your own desires and activities, or they could be from outside influences. Nonetheless, a distraction is still a distraction. And that distraction will keep you from doing something meaningful unless you find a way to deal with it.

A way to begin dealing with distractions is to add one thing to your calendar each day that will positively influence your life a year from now. Then, keep the appointment with yourself. Can you do that? Sure you can! If you want to.

Being thoughtful

If there is one piece of advice that can change your life, it is this – learn to pause. Not for the sake of doing nothing but to think. To let go of the thousand things that “need to be done now!” When you stop the frantic activity and think about what is most important, you can set your life on a new course.

You have chosen a course through life, haven’t you? How is it going? How often do you stop to correct your course? A pause can give you time to consider such important things.

The most productive and effective in today’s society are those who learn to pause and be mindful of what they are doing, what they should be doing, and the many things they must stop doing or ignore. If you are not pausing in this way regularly, you may as well be controlled by the wind. If you do pause regularly, great! I bet you are heads and heels above those around you. If you are not, why not?

Stand out from the crowd

Let’s now get to the crux of this article. Do you know how to get noticed in life? On your job, at home, or anywhere you put your hands and mind to work? If you want to know the secret to getting noticed so you can stand out from the crowd, do one simple thing: choose something important as you wade through the distractions of life. That something we just discussed that will make a difference in one or five years.

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” Robert Louis Stevenson

When you have whatever it is, do it beyond good. Do it beyond the ordinary. Do it in an exceptional way. Find a way to add value to it and make it stand out from any previous work. Do it in a way they will notice you and remember you. Make an impression they will never forget.

“When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” Paulo Coelho

If you could do one thing right today, what would it be? Not everything, but one thing. What one thing could you do that would make a great impression on someone? Would it be to polish that report just a little more before sending it out? Adding some information no one had thought of? Producing something of such quality no one can forget it?

Give it that something extra. That is what will set you apart.

Some words of wisdom to remember:

“People forget how fast you did a job-but they remember how well you did it.” Howard W. Newton (1903-1951)

That is what life is about, isn’t it? Being remembered. Standing out from the crowd. All it takes is doing that something extra others are not willing to take the time to do. If you happen to run into someone else that thinks this way as well – great! Don’t see them as competition; see them as someone that will help you raise your standards even further. There is plenty of room for people who want to stand out from the crowd. Most will not do it or will not do it for long. The competition is slim, so welcome it when it is there.

“Don’t wish it were easier. Wish you were better.” Jim Rohn

Final words

Thank you for sticking with this article. I hope it will benefit you in your life.

Why not live an exceptional life? Remember these simple things, and you will live a life separate from the normal or average. To summarize:

  • Work on becoming as effective as possible.
  • Cut through the distractions.
  • Pause and be thoughtful about what you do each day and give priority to the one thing that will make a difference in your life.
  • Make corrections in your life course as often as you are able.
  • Stand out from the crowd by doing something so exceptional it will be noticed, appreciated, and remembered.

There you have it. I wish you much success in all of your endeavors in life and leave you with the wise words of one of our country’s most beloved and renowned Presidents:

“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.” Abraham Lincoln

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Semi-Retired-Leadership/Executive Coach -Personal & Career Growth Expert -Editor and Leadership Writer at Illumination -Author

Richmond, VA
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