Being Uncommon

By August 30, 2013 6 Comments

Look around. The world is full of common people. Everywhere you turn you can find the ordinary. Most of the time there’s nothing wrong with the ordinary, or average. However, for myself, I fear being average. I don’t want to be average because no one remembers average. My goal is to be an uncommon individual, raise uncommon children, and educate uncommon students and athletes. Recently our character education word of the week for football was uncommon. Our goal is to build uncommon young men and football players. This week I am going to share three things with you that will help our young people be uncommon people and uncommon athletes.

Tony Dungy is a coaching, marital, and parental role model of mine. The three points I am going to share with you this week come from his book, Uncommon. I highly recommend it.

The first step to becoming uncommon is realizing that what you do when no one else is watching matters. The word to summarize this statement is discipline. Discipline yourself so others won’t have. Wake up when you’re supposed to wake up. Work when you’re supposed to work. Train when no one else is around. What you do in empty gyms matters when the lights are on and the gym is packed. Study hard without having been told to. Those little things matter. If you can discipline yourself to do the right things in the classroom, while studying, and when training without having someone there to help motivate you, you’re on the right path to achieving greatness. Uncommon people realize that you can’t cut corners and you can’t just do the right things only when being watched by others. Being uncommon means you do the right things all the time no matter what the circumstance or who is watching.

Secondly, you must listen to the voices of those you trust, not the voices of the crowd. First you need to ask yourself, “Who do I trust?” Hopefully it’s your parents, teachers, and coaches. And the overwhelming majority of time it is. These voices truly have your best interests in mind. The voices of the crowd are full of skeptics, which are average. These skeptics are dreamers gone bad. They want to get you to join the crowd, but with the crowd lies mediocrity. They’ve given up on their dreams and told themselves they can’t do it. So they want to tell you that you can’t either. Mediocrity loves company. Don’t join in. The voices of those you trust will lead and inspire you in the right direction. It’s hard to ignore the crowd because that’s where most people are. However, if you can focus on the voices of those you trust you will avoid temptation and follow the uncommon path, which leads to success. Being uncommon means you ignore the crowd of doubters and tempters.

The third point is that what is down in the well comes up in the bucket. Fill your bucket with hard work and positive things. When the test comes, whether if it’s in the classroom, on the field, or at the office, you better be ready. What you did in preparation matters. You cannot expect to pull greatness from the well on test or game day if you didn’t fill the well with great things in preparation. School, sports, and life don’t work that way. If you want to be great you have put in the work. Everyone wants to get good grades, win games, and make money. But few people are willing to put in the preparation that those rewards require. Our society is full of the average who want above average results but are not willing to give uncommon effort. Don’t be a person who wants and wishes for great things but doesn’t work for it. I believe everyone has it in them to fill their well with greatness. In order to be an uncommon person you must give tremendous effort and preparation in everything you do.

I want to close with a quote from Dr. Seuss used in Uncommon, “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” The people who truly love you will support you in your efforts to becoming an uncommon person. Those who don’t support you don’t matter. Cut the doubters, the negative from your life, and focus on filling your well with the positive.

Thanks for reading, have a great week, and be an RGP today!


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