How to be remarkable

From this week’s Guardian:

1. Understand the urgency of the situation. Half-measures
simply won’t do. The only way to grow is to abandon your strategy of
doing what you did yesterday, but better. Commit.

Remarkable doesn’t mean remarkable to you. It means remarkable to me.
Am I going to make a remark about it? If not, then you’re average, and
average is for losers.

3. Being noticed is not the same
as being remarkable. Running down the street naked will get you
noticed, but it won’t accomplish much. It’s easy to pull off a stunt,
but not useful.

4. Extremism in the pursuit of
remarkability is no sin. In fact, it’s practically a requirement.
People in first place, those considered the best in the world, these
are the folks that get what they want. Rock stars have groupies because
they’re stars, not because they’re good looking.

Remarkability lies in the edges. The biggest, fastest, slowest,
richest, easiest, most difficult. It doesn’t always matter which edge,
more that you’re at (or beyond) the edge.

6. Not everyone
appreciates your efforts to be remarkable. In fact, most people don’t.
So what? Most people are ostriches, heads in the sand, unable to help
you anyway. Your goal isn’t to please everyone. Your goal is to please
those that actually speak up, spread the word, buy new things or hire
the talented.

7. If it’s in a manual, if it’s the
accepted wisdom, if you can find it in a Dummies book, then guess what?
It’s boring, not remarkable. Part of what it takes to do something
remarkable is to do something first and best. Roger Bannister was
remarkable. The next guy, the guy who broke Bannister’s record wasn’t.
He was just faster … but it doesn’t matter.

8. It’s not
really as frightening as it seems. They keep the masses in line by
threatening them (us) with all manner of horrible outcomes if we dare
to step out of line. But who loses their jobs at the mass layoffs? Who
has trouble finding a new gig? Not the remarkable minority, that’s for

9. If you put it on a T-shirt, would people wear
it? No use being remarkable at something that people don’t care about.
Not ALL people, mind you, just a few. A few people insanely focused on
what you do is far far better than thousands of people who might be
mildly interested, right?

10. What’s fashionable soon
becomes unfashionable. While you might be remarkable for a time, if you
don’t reinvest and reinvent, you won’t be for long. Instead of resting
on your laurels, you must commit to being remarkable again quite soon.