Seth Godin rocks. No two ways about it. If you haven’t seen this TED talk from 2003, it’s definitely worth viewing.
The word “remarkable” often goes unnoticed, because the word itself really isn’t remarkable. It doesn’t mean “good” or “great,” even though it has a positive connotation; it simply means “able to be remarked” or “able to be noticed.” When we remark something, we notice it, but I think the ability to notice something is much more difficult than you or I would think. In order for us to notice something, it needs to be different–it needs to stand out, but in this grand continuum of diversity in which we live, it needs to be more than just a little different to be remarked. With innumerable sources for stimulation within our world, it becomes easy to blend in and ever more increasingly difficult to stand out. It takes a little bit of work to be remarkable.
And people want to be remarkable; they want to be noticed. Human beings require attention and love, but in a world where it is hard to stand out, it might also become difficult to advocate for the attention that we need. It might be difficult to be “remarkable,” despite how much we innately need it.
But many people, some might argue that most, are not remarkable. Here are three reasons why–three reasons that are totally within your control.
You’re scared to take a risk. And being remarkable takes risk. Taking a chance provides us with two possible outcomes, success or failure. While there is a continuum within each of those outcomes, and while there is an area of uncertainty that is subject to the beholder, there are ultimately those two outcomes. The chance of succeeding is, oftentimes, just as great as the chance of failure, and that chance is far too high. So what do we do? We run from the risk, in order to avoid failure. However, by not taking the risk, we rob ourselves of the prospect of success, as well, and the prospect of being remarkable.
You’re scared to be vulnerable. In order to be noticed, you need to be vulnerable. You need to allow yourself the opportunity to open up to others, in whichever way you see fit. Whether you are composing a musical piece, writing a book, or fighting in the center of an arena, you need to be willing to put yourself out there, and let others see this vulnerability. Without allowing others in, without being vulnerable, it is impossible to be noticed, and impossible to be remarked.
But maybe it’s simpler than that; maybe you’re just scared to be noticed. Being noticed could mean several things: It could mean being noticed for your positive qualities, but it could also mean being noticed for your faults. And we don’t want to be remembered for the places we fall short; rather, we only want to be remembered for the places where we succeed. In order to be remarkable, one must be comfortable with faults, and comfortable with those faults being completely raw and visible. In order to be remarkable, we must own every fiber of ourselves, even the parts of which we do not feel proud.
Remarkableness is not innate; it is within your control, and it is something that you are capable of bringing upon yourself.
So own it. Take a risk. Be vulnerable. Be noticed. Be remarkable.