How to Become Uncommon


Implement ideas

Take time to develop your ideas.

What ideas are you not sharing with others? Are you a fourth grade teacher with a system for keeping your students organized? Are you a retired gentleman with an idea for a duck call you know works? Are you passionate enough about the baby toy you created for your child that you would like to be on Shark Tank? Are you uncommon?

To write I must read and listen carefully to others. To prepare my articles about uncommon people today, I watched several YouTube videos. I read Chris Anderson’s book titled TED Talks: the Official Guide to Public Speaking, which is fabulous. I considered writing about Chris. He is renown as he is the Curator and “inventor” of TED Talks, which means he decides who speaks at their conferences.

Chris personifies the ultimate entrepreneur. During his 20s he played in the rock band REM (a rock band from the 80s. He jumped from business venture to business venture, some created winners and others failed miserably. His list of employment includes Los Alamos National Laboratories, known for nuclear physics projects for the government and wide variety of other entities. He applied his tech savvy when he became the editor of numerous scientific journals, most notably as the former editor-in-chief of Wired magazine. While playing with his children in the backyard with their remote control airplanes, he realized the power that drones bring to government and private industries. DIYDrones and 3D Robotics became realities. Plus, he’s a writer and speaker. He has a wife and five children.

Leads coworking Nod

Chirag Gupta

But many uncommon people are unrecognized nationwide. I thought about featuring Chirag Gupta, who started his own company before graduation from Northwestern University in Chicago. His current business, called NoD, is a coworking community space in North Dallas. He gathers various entrepreneurs for collaboration and community. They lease space from him where their businesses flourish. Chirag attracts people of all ages and cultures. He schedules tours for enlightening the public about the company’s energy and atmosphere. He writes, he speaks, and he teaches social media classes. Under age 30, yet he is uncommon. Down to earth, loves music and plays the drums. He understands the power of networking and cooperative efforts.

How does this relate to the fourth grade teacher with an idea to organize her students or the guy who wants to build a better vacuum cleaner? If you want to be uncommon, you need guts and not glory. You need to form your ideas regardless of the naysayers: pretend you work for Nike and “just do it.”

Words bring power to your ideas whether it is writing or speaking. You don’t need to be an extrovert, but you must pull words together to express your ideas. You must be willing to fail. If you don’t try, you can’t fail. If you try, you can refine your idea or find a different idea to move forward. After the fourth grade teacher watches the YouTube about Khan Academy for motivation he or she must articulate the idea to the right people for funding and implementation. Take Chirag’s advice, “You can read the news or be the news.”

Collaborating for fun and work at Nod.

Collaborating for fun and work at Nod.

What is your uncommon motivation? Are you passionate about your idea? Is the idea workable?

It’s September. A new school year started. You’ll be celebrating New Year’s Eve in five minutes. Start now to mold your idea, to nudge it, to polish it. Can you make progress by the end of the year?

Promise yourself today, right now, to start your plan. Do a little research. Determine if your idea is viable. Write a short proposal to share with friends and family for their input. Refine the idea and rock on! You can be any age to focus your idea into reality. You can become uncommon.



Finding Joy

Finding joy can be hard work, if you let worries strangle you. Joy comes from many sources, unexpectedly, in a great wave of happiness or in little dribbles. We need to look for joy each day.

Finding Joy

Finding Joy Is a Choice


Choices exist, such as eating too much or demonstrating self-discipline. Most of us experience darkness and light, yet we must handle both. Mei Mei Fox wrote a list of 40 Ways to Find Joy in Everyday Life in the Huffington Post, an excellent source for commentary. The suggestions won’t work, if you don’t choose joy. Number 6 on MeiMei’s list is, “Count your blessings.” That’s my favorite suggestion. Perhaps a good friend died recently. That friend would not want you to weep, but to remember the good times. We are fortunate to be alive!

Unexpected Joy

Recently my grand-daughter played her violin for me. She is a beginner and the sounds were…well, a little scratchy. I had no clue she would bring her violin when she visited or want me to watch her play. Seeing her standing tall, holding the bow perfectly with her long, blond hair shining in the light, brought tears of joy to my eyes. What happened to you today, which brought a smile to your lips?

Letting Go

Nelson Mandela died after living a painful, yet joyful life. His gentle demeanor changed history for so many. He encouraged peace, never holding a grudge. Perhaps you cling to an old grudge or recent heartache.

You are the one who must let go. No one can do it for you. I’m not saying you should not share sadness with special friends and relatives, but you feel much better not dwelling in the past. Talking is therapeutic, but you won’t find much joy in constantly being angry or sad. Let go of what you can. And share your woes wisely.

Celebrating Joy in Change

Sheldon Clay, Creative Director for Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis, wrote a tribute to his family’s new “integration” of various traditions, titled How One Family Celebrated Thanksgivukkah, which was published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. His family combined American traditions with Jewish and Catholic song, food and prayers at Thanksgiving. By opening your arms to celebrate change, your life can be vastly enriched. Be sure to read Sheldon’s tribute to the new joy in their family traditions.

Live in the Present

Take time every day to live in the moment. Keep your mouth shut when someone goads you to anger. Remember your mom probably said, “You get more with sugar than vinegar.” If you truly want joy in your life, be aware of your surroundings, letting go of worries, at least once a day.

John 16: 20 “…You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy.”

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