Are you unusual by embracing your definition of ordinary?

“If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.”

 Jim Rohn

What is the “unusual” that you are willing to risk? For me, it seems to be out of the ordinary to avoid social trends and fads in today’s world. For example, not being current with all that is going on in social media, the latest shows, “binge-worthy” series, the hottest games, or other distractions. (Wordle anyone?)

There is nothing wrong with these things, and I don’t judge those who find them entertaining or value additive. (My wife might disagree here on the passing judgment part…) But, for me, when seen through the lens of opportunity cost and marginal incremental value, spending my most finite and precious resource, time, on these things isn’t a worthy investment. Instead, I would rather read a book, study a new trend or topic, or very specifically choose a TV show or movie that aligns with my interests and spurs creative thinking.  

I recognize that my perspective is probably pretty unusual and a bit extreme. That’s okay, it feels perfectly ordinary to me, and that’s what matters.  

Embrace your ordinary, even if it makes you unusual to those around you. If you do this, you aren’t settling for anything.

If you really want to drive change don’t try and fit in…

“Avoid the crowd. Do your own thinking independently. Be the chess player, not the chess piece.”

Ralph Charell

It is amazing how much of our lives we spend trying to conform to one expectation or another. How much time we spend trying to “fit in” instead of focus on how we can “stand out.”

When I was in 3rd grade I moved to a new school and made the decision to have everyone call me by my first name “Jon” instead of the nickname “Dusty” which I had gone by my entire life. My reasoning was that there wasn’t anyone else with my name and fitting in was more important than standing out.

After one year of going by my first name, I realized there was more value in standing out and being different than there was in trying to fit in and being like everyone else. I’ve gone by “Dusty” ever since.

Fitting in doesn’t drive or create change, that only comes from those who are willing to stand out. So if change is your game, find a way to stand out…

person in red top standing on road while looking to the mountains
Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on


“The great revolution in the history of man, past, present and future, is the revolution of those determined to be free.”

John F. Kennedy

Freedom to be right…

Freedom to be wrong…

Freedom to worship…

Freedom to choose…

Thank God for our Freedoms…

Freedom… It wasn’t, and isn’t, free at all…

Gifts for your children…

“The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.”

Denis Waitley 

I had a conversation with a friend the other day and we were discussing the things that we desire to instill in our children. The ‘gifts’ as it were that they will carry forward into life and will become part of their unique and special selves.

As I have reflected on this, and observed behaviors from other parents and children, it occurred to me that much like your own personal growth and development where you make choices on what is most important to focus on at a given time, the same is true with your children’s growth & development. At certain ages and stages you must instill certain gifts and beliefs or they will miss the importance of these lessons and will likely struggle to gain them later in life as they will be much harder lessons to learn as they grow older. It is our responsibility as parents to teach them and guide them so that as they grow up that they have a strong foundation to build upon.

I really like this quote because at foundational level these gifts of ‘responsibility’ and ‘independenc’e can serve them well throughout life. To that list I would add humility, service, respect, curiosity and a love of God. It’s not a complete list yet, but one that I am definitely going to be thinking more about. What would you put on your list?

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