Dare To Be Different

“If you want to be successful in life, simply watch what most people would do in a given situation, and then do the total opposite—nine times out of ten, you’ll receive greater rewards.”  —Earl Nightingale

Dare to be Different

To show up and shine, whether in your personal life, your family life, or your career, you have to dare to be different. The reason? Anything worthwhile requires effort. To stand out from the crowd, you must swim upstream. And let’s face it, swimming upstream is much harder than floating downstream. That’s why the word “dare” fits so well with “different.” It takes guts to stand out. But not just guts. Effort. Push. Drive.

3 Questions to Help You Stand Out from the Crowd

Is there an area in your life you want to see improvement? An area where you want to stand out from the crowd? Then ask yourself the following three questions and you are guaranteed to show up and shine!

1. Why do I want to get better in this area?

Thought: Most people float downstream because it’s easier. It takes strength to swim against the current. Determining your “why” before diving in gives you strength for the swim ahead.

Action Step: Write down your “why” and put it in a place where you’ll regularly see it.

2. When you do get better in this area, what positive effects will it have on your life?

Thought: Your “why” is your mission. It’s the reason you dare to be different. This question is your vision. It’s the results you will achieve by being different.

Action Step: Write down the answer to this question as well. It’s important to read your mission and vision together.

3. What one thing can you do this week to get 1 percent better in this area?

Thought: Massive change is the sum total of lots of minute changes over time.

Action Step: Don’t think Top 10 List. Don’t even think two or three things. Focus on improving in just one area by just one percent each week. Do this and within a matter of a few months you’ll be shocked at how you stand out from the crowd.


Questions: Which question is most important to you as you dare to be different? Are there any questions you would add?


  • http://zechariahnewman.com/ Zechariah Newman

    Great question Kent. I would say the last one is most important to me. It is an area of struggle as I can be a big picture guy and get overwhelmed instead of focusing on today. Thanks for the wisdom buddy:)

    • http://www.liveitforward.com/ Kent Julian

      Absolutely. Big is little and little is big. It’s the little stuff that leads to the big stuff.

  • http://www.yourbestmoment.com Elyssa

    This is such a great practical process – thank you for outlining it! The one that is the most important for me is #3. I agree with Zechariah – I tend to get overwhelmed by the number of directions I can go to meet my goals. BABY STEPS is my key! Getting 1% better is completely doable and I can break it down in bite-sized chunks. I love the image of the rubber ducky! In a society that usually says “different is bad” that little guy makes different look cool. :)

    • http://www.liveitforward.com/ Kent Julian

      That 1% also has a compound effect to it!

  • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

    Having a strong personal “why” is crucial. It allows us to persevere through any challenge and encourages us to keep going. Great post!

    • http://www.liveitforward.com/ Kent Julian

      “Why” is definitely a first-step and as you said, it’s what keeps you in the game!

  • http://artistssuitcase.com kentsanders

    Thanks Kent. The 1% difference is such a key principle. I am such a perfectionist that I keep forgetting to focus on the small steps consistently, instead of setting huge goals and then being disappointed. Great post.

    • http://www.liveitforward.com/ Kent Julian

      Love, Love, LOVE thinking 1%. Makes every day an opportunity to succeed!

  • Karen ODonnell

    Great post, Kent. The ‘Why’ is critically important……AND 1% of difference overtime is HUGE….I would even add, ‘what is the one thing I can do today?’ (not just this week)

    If I were flying from Florida to Toronto, one degree of difference, over time, I could end up somewhere in the Pacific.

    The little things I do TODAY will move me forward beyond my expectations for the end of the year. (and keep me out of overwhelm thinking of a massive change)

    same way to eat an elephant — one bite at a time!

    thanks for your inspiration today, Kent!! (and always)– Keep it coming!!

    • http://www.liveitforward.com/ Kent Julian

      Will do, Karen :)