10 Common Traits of Uncommon People

Guest column:

Craig Hysell shares his thoughts about uncommon people. He owns a unique training facility for body and minds in Hilton Head, South Carolina.

Family Pyramid

Craig Hysell and his Family


4 Common Traits of Mediocre People:

  1. They have no idea what they want to do with their life
  2. They have no idea how to do what they want to do with their life
  3. They have an idea but are afraid to try
  4. They have an idea, they “tried” it and “it didn’t work” so they quit

Mediocrity is easy. It’s comfortable. The pursuit of commonality and the avoidance of adversity, criticism and the unknown are the surest possible way to die without expressing your full potential. Or worse, to die feeling like a failure. Is that you?

10 Common Traits of Uncommon People:

  • Uncommon people believe they have a purpose, know their “Why” and live their dream.Think about that. Do you know why you’re here, do you have enough stamina to live your most passionate calling and do you know what conviction(s) you will fall back on when things get hard? To establish these answers, you must accumulate life experiences and then sit down in the quiet and think. There is no timetable on this accumulation and introspection. It could take years or decades. It is constant.
  • Uncommon people are not absent of fear, they just do not let fear make their life become absent.Fear exists for all of us. But fear is crap. It is not real. It exists only in our minds. When you face your fears daily, you conquer fear. You realize that fear is indeed nonsense. It is the main control mechanism for commonality. You must not let fear, any and all fear, hold you back from pursuing your purpose.
  • Uncommon people practice self-mastery. Uncommon people work relentlessly at mastering their mind, body, emotion and spirit (the four pillars that make up your life). They harness these things through daily study and practice. They understand that without a strong mind, all else will fail. They are patient. They enjoy The Process. They are positive. They structure the development and awareness of these four pillars- their emotional content- into a daily practice. They reflect upon these four pillars daily.
  • Uncommon people are self-reliant. This does not mean that uncommon people do not ask for help: on the contrary, being part of a team is vital to growing and sharing larger success. To be self-reliant is to trust that your critical eye, your logic, your reason and your wisdom are tools enough to help you continue to grow. This is not absolutism. Absolutism is folly. This is the ability to understand what is worthless to you and what is not, no matter what the crowd may think, and pursue this relentlessly.
  • Uncommon people have an unwavering discipline. You cannot learn anything worthwhile if you are not devoted to it fully. Uncommon people are disciplined with work, with rest and with play. They make time for all of it and they are fully present at each exploration. This is a lifetime pursuit.
  • Uncommon people are obsessed with the cultivation of their purpose. Uncommon people do not complain about trivial things. They are focused on where they want to go, paying attention to each deliberate step along the way. Silly things like the accumulation of stuff and then complaining when the stuff isn’t just right or gossiping about others is not part of an uncommon person’s life.
  • Uncommon people are extremely durable. Uncommon people remain undeterred by setbacks, failure or defeat. They recognize these things as learning tools and nothing more. They do not falter or waver for long. They do not wallow in self-loathing. They possess supreme confidence in their ability to continue forward. No matter what. They are fully accountable for everything that happens in their life. With accountability comes control and with control comes the ability to change.
  • Uncommon people inspire change.Uncommon people inspire others to follow suit. They show what is possible and make it possible not only for others to come with them, but for others to improve upon what they have provided.
  • Uncommon people act. Uncommon people understand that you are what you are. Best to link your actions with your dreams and your purpose. Best to ask of yourself often, “Is this the best I can do?” Otherwise: a thought without action is simply a wish.
  • Uncommon people do not care what others think. Find your voice. As soon as you begin to talk, others want to talk over you, critique you, tell you how you should do things, twist your voice or use your message against you. Uncommon people persevere through this. They learn to ignore what others might think and realize that you cannot be all things to all people. Uncommon people speak their mind and follow their heart. Their honesty is clear, concise and principled, attracting others who are like-minded. And things begin to expand, slowly at first and then… BOOM!

You must have fun with the practice of becoming uncommon. It’s serious business to be sure, but BE something you love and enjoy,

You must practice “un-commonality” daily. You must be patient. You must shut out negativity and seek the mentorship and guidance of others who have been there before you. You must look long and hard at yourself and those around you. Is this who you want to be? You must be accountable for everything, and I mean everything, in your life. It’s all up to you. Any thought to the contrary is commonality in devious forms.

Hilton Head

Craig Hysell – owner of Conviction Training Facility

Listen. Observe. Act. Adapt. Evolve. Repeat.

“Un-commonality” should be a lifetime pursuit. There is no timetable save this: realize that you are going to die one day and you have no idea when that day will come. There is no time to waste. Meet your death with the satisfaction that you gave this life all you had to give. That will be enough to die well, perhaps even unafraid.

Thank you, Craig Hysell, for allowing me reprint a condensed and slightly revised article about uncommon people. Craig’s Conviction Training Facility in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Be sure to visit his website and his uncommon blog.



Tools for Finding Peace

Jack worries about finances.  Susan is concerned about her mother’s health.  “The Little Drummer Boy” pounds on your head from allergies and stress.  You need to find peace for your chaos.  Many already know stress-reducing practices, but may need a reminder that peace comes from a variety of “tools.”

Quiet time is important

Quiet time helps you find peace.

Quiet Time

Find a little quiet time every day, even if you must hide in the bathroom temporarily.  Meditate on the good things in your life.  Concentrate on creating new traditions, especially if the old ones are, well…old!  Find quiet time for prayer.  Others may find respite with reflection.  Maybe a 20-minute nap will bring new peace to chaos.


Music helps soothe emotions.  If you are a jazz enthusiast, make sure you have a CD in the car to provide a little peace on the way to the shopping center.  If you like the classics, attend a concert.  Plenty of places have free or low cost programs.  Sing in the choir.  Whistle in the shower.

Power of the Pen

Journaling daily can help you express your feelings.  Write a long email to a friend in another part of the country.  Set a time to send e-cards to old friends or one of encouragement to someone with a serious ailment.  “I’m too busy” is not an option.  Make appointments with yourself to complete tasks.


Take the dog for a walk or go to the gym.  Deep breathing provides a short-term solution with immediate benefits.  Stop procrastinating about shopping with the massive crowds. Shopping can be invigorating and will bring peace when you find the “perfect” gift.  How about playing  a quick game of basketball with the kids, if you have a hoop nearby?  The kids need for you to be calm.  A little physical exercise produces endorphins to help you cope.


The holiday season is not about you and your chaos.  It’s about helping others, whether for family or community involvement.

If you can’t think of any local agencies in the immediate area, look at www.bedstart.org, a Plano organization you can help on Saturday mornings, especially if you have a truck and a strong back.  Are you purchasing some new bedroom furniture?  Doug Nickols and his group need your old bed for people who are sleeping on the floor.  Check their website for additional information.

I asked Doug his definition of peace, knowing how difficult his life must be, as he works full time at Thermal Edge, yet finds time to manage Bedstart.  Think about what he means:

“When generously invited in, one can only say “Peace to this house” if your peace exists from the material distractions, social stratification and tedious formalities of this world.

The Soupmobile helps feed the homeless on a daily basis in downtown Dallas.  At Christmas, they provide a warm bed, food, gifts and love to 500 homeless men, women and children at the Omni Hotel.  You will find a new sense of peace if you volunteer time and energy helping Lon Ricker, who coordinates the event for those who have no place to go on Christmas Eve.  Please read more about the Soupmobile’s amazing achievements.  Lon is the Director of Development.

Here is Lon’s method of creating peace with his seasonal chaos:

“Give it all to God, ’cause worrying about it isn’t going to help,” —paraphrased

from Phillippians 4:6-7 

Don’t let chaos control your Christmas season.  Use your own “tools” to inner peace and the world around you will be far less chaotic.