It seems that several times a week the media carries stories about people who are experiencing difficulties because they are “different” from the norm. They can be bullied, ostracized, belittled and ridiculed. Life is difficult for them.

Others just might feel different because they don’t join the popular cliques, play the favorite sports, or follow the path of the thundering herd. Internally they just feel a bit more alone. When I was in grade school, high school college and law school I had numerous friends. I was a jock, involved in the speech team, photography club, and was very active in my fraternity, both in law school and in college. However I never isolated myself within one group. And occasionally I felt a bit like an outsider.

A funny thing happened several years ago. I met Brian Tracy when I was lucky enough to share the stage with him at a conference. During one of the breaks Brian approached me and asked me if I had felt different or like an outsider during my younger years. I admitted that I had. His response almost floored me.

“Looking back on that, isn’t that wonderful?”
And in reflecting back I realize that he was correct. It would have been very easy for me to have “joined.” It was my choice not to do so. And by changing my perspective on this situation and looking at it from that angle I realized that there was no negativity that could attach to my decision. It meant that I was strong enough to stand alone, pursue my own path, and to be my own person. I was a leader, not a follower. The reflection on these thoughts brought a smile to my face.
And why would you ever want to be part of the thundering herd? Take a step back and take a good look at the average person. By retirement age the average person is forced to live on Social Security. The average person is not successful, they merely trudge through life. They don’t know their purpose and their passion. Basically, they exist. They fail to reach for the brass ring, to take major risks and to live the life of their dreams and they appease themselves by believing that this is their role in life and they are basically stuck.

What hogwash!
And why would anybody ever want to join those ranks? You should desire much more in your life than the average, and you should pursue it with a vengeance. The belief should be that your life is yours to do what you really wish, to pursue your dreams and to rise to the top of your potential. There are way too many people who feel that those who live at the top of the mountain did so at the expense of others, that it is lonely up there, and that they are better off huddled in the masses.
Anthony Robbins states that it is not lonely at the top, it is just not as crowded. And having met, interacted with, and studied innumerable successful and truly wealthy people I find that almost everyone, with rare exceptions, are willing to help others to assist them to grow, to learn, to become fulfilled. So it is my opinion that the masses are wrong.

If you find yourself in a position where you feel you are different, that you don’t fit in quite as well as everybody else, that you are not part of the “in” crowd, then step back and look at it from this perspective. Change your view and change your belief.
Those of you are different for whatever reason, who stand out from the crowd, please realize how strong you are by following your own path. Realize that you are not going to be influenced by the rhetoric and garble of the masses. And see that your difference gives you the opportunity to take steps and risks where others won’t, to succeed, to follow your own passion. In short you should rejoice and proclaim “I am different! How cool, how wonderful is that!”