I have no idea how to tie up the title to anything I want to post today. I heard that phrase uttered earlier—I don’t even know by whom—and it just stuck to me.
Generally, I believe most of us are programmed to aim to stand out, to rise above the crowd, to be different (in a positive and “socially acceptable” way), to gain desirable attention. I’ve seen this from as early as kindergarten, courting praise and attention from our teachers and coveting those gold stars.
My experience with this doesn’t follow the more traditional path. I’ve often felt that I stood out a bit too much when half the time, I really just wanted to blend in. I’ve been a literal example of “a head above the rest” since the fourth grade and my other less common traits also sprouted pretty early. So, to some extent, I wanted to keep a layer of normalcy and ordinariness about me.
Regarding many things, I’m perfectly happy to be a middle-of-the-roader; but, there are areas and situations where I know I won’t be satisfied with mediocrity. In some instances it’s all about the end result. Luckily, more often than not, it’s more about the effort. Did I give it my best shot? Did I dare risk myself? If I can answer either with a yes, then that’s a pretty good sign that I struggled against the herd and I guess, strove to assault the commonplace.
Standing out doesn’t mean outstanding. Different can sometimes mean just that, different; neither good or bad. Making an effort is honest but what comes out of it, well…
While striving is great, it’s not an assurance of something wonderful at the end of the effort. The effort itself though, is pure gold.