The ‘Stand-Out’ Principle
By Paul Shearstone
Think for a moment about all the people you know that Stand Out from their peers.
Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky and Tiger Woods may come to mind. Singers like Madonna, Paul McCartney, Pavarotti, Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald. Actors like Tom Cruise, Betty Davis, Merrill Streep: so many names – so many standouts.
The question then becomes, How is it or what is it about people like these, that make them stand out?
A simple answer might be, Jordan or Gretszky scored more points and personally won more games and awards than their teammates. Although that may be true, one might argue sports statistics are simply a byproduct or outcome from the practice of Standing Out. After all, actors and singers do not score points; nevertheless, they do win awards – when deemed Outstanding amongst their peers.
How about the people you actually know, that also standout? Who comes to mind? A former teacher, a coach, your parents, a scout leader or perhaps your favorite boss? The fact is, everyone can recall people they know [and do not know] who unquestionably Stand Out. Moreover, the important issue here is that one need not be famous or infamous to differentiate one’s self or Stand Out.
The trouble for many people is they misinterpret what they see in exceptional individuals. Simply put, standouts make it look easy. At times, effortless. In reality, however, few things in life are ever easy, least of all, effortless. Should we be surprised then, to expect failure from those with this unrealistic belief? No.
Granted, some of us are blessed with more natural talent than others and so for those fortunate, the road to ‘standout status’ is far less difficult. The irony, though, is that, more often than not, the more talented individuals put more time, effort and dedication into their discipline compared to others. The Biography Channel confirms this with almost every episode. Therefore, perhaps we might begin here, to better understand, the fundamental ideology of the ‘Stand-Out’ Principle.
Stand-Out Principle #1: Goals
A motivational speech would not be a motivational speech, if it did not talk about the importance of Goals. There… I’ve said it! We’ve all heard it before. Many believe, ad nauseam. But regardless of how many times some may tire of hearing it, the importance of Goal-Setting, as it relates to Standing Out, can never be diminished.
Whether it’s a Stanley Cup, an Academy Award, a certain income or the next sale, standout individuals without exception – that bears repeating… WITHOUT EXCEPTION – have goals. They’re goals are Clear, Specific and Defined. Exhaustive studies done over the last couple of decades on the highest achieving, highest income-earning men and women from around the world bear this fact out.
On the flipside, those without goals exist in a vacuum in the pursuit of nothing. Their chance to Stand Out is often realized only in their lack of achievement.
Stand-Out Principle #2: Purpose, Passion & Dedication
A Goal can never be a Goal unless there is a purpose for it. So too, there has to be a reason. Simply put, it has to mean something for the individual or there can also be no passion.
Standouts are driven by Purpose. They understand that Passion walks in lockstep with Purpose. They believe that purpose, passion and dedication are intrinsic to each other. Each one fuels the next drawing strength that serves to keep the individual ever focused on: a) the goal, b) the reason for it, and c) the benefits from it. There is nothing mysterious about this process, but there is nothing easy about it either – unless and until one believes in it and makes it part of who they are.
Stand-Out Principle #3: Attitude & Behavior
Clearly, there is no difficulty in having a great attitude and good behavior when things are going well. Even the least accomplished among us find it easy to be more positive when they are in their comfort zone. That said, herein is yet another hallmark difference that separates the standouts from the rest.
Standouts are never surprised by negative events or situations that interfere with their goals. In fact, they expect them – and often have a plan to overcome them. It is all part of the ‘learned discipline’ or as alluded to earlier, the practice of Standing Out.
Individuals like these, maintain a Positive Attitude, which determines how they react to adversity and change. They behave in a winning way regardless of how adverse the challenge is. That’s not to say they can’t be disappointed or have feelings of emotional setback. They do. After all, they are human.
The important point not to be missed here is that in times of challenge, they are never alone unlike others without direction or goals. They have a direction. They have a purpose. That never changes, even in the face of adversity. They remain steadfastly dedicated to their mission albeit fueled at times by hope, but the net result is they draw upon the strengths they possess or in simpler terms, the Stuff of the Stand-Out Principle – Positive Attitude, Positive Behavior, Purpose, Passion, Dedication and Goals.
What does all that do for them? It makes them more successful … It makes them Stand Out!
WISHING YOU HEALTH & HAPPINESS. MAJOR (R) KHALID NASR