What’s your differentiator?

Oh he’s trying that out. Maybe I should too. Oh she’s wearing that? Then I guess I should try it too. Oh he is reading that? Maybe I should pick up a copy too.

 How often do we see people stuck in this cycle of thoughts?

 Were we humans built to be the same? Why not have robots instead then? The beauty of nature lies in the fact that each flower is different and each leaf has a unique pattern. And that comes so naturally. Then why do we humans struggle to find our one “USP”? Or sometimes, even if we do have them, we tend to overlook that and build on something that’s so not us, only because someone else is doing so.

 The world is getting competitive by the day, and the irony is that people are trying to cope with the same using traits they observe in others, not their own unique ones. Especially today, with people so unsure of themselves, uncertain of what’s right and what’s wrong, it seems easier to just follow the crowd; sometimes at the cost of compromising on your own personality. It’s time we look deep within ourselves, self-reflect and understand who we truly are. It’s ok if we aren’t like others around us or if we have to deal with a little criticism as long as we are true to ourselves.

 Let’s take few examples to understand the role of differentiators –

 Let’s start with babies. Each baby is different. Each one starts walking at a different time, talking at a different time, each one laughs differently and cries differently. Because babies are innately establishing differentiators. They haven’t yet been taught to ape others. They are just being themselves. But as the child grows and goes to school, a child wants to wear what his classmate is wearing, or buy something he/she has bought. Where is this coming from? Us, adults! We have taught them that being different is risky, or in some cases “bad” and unacceptable. We, as adults, need to establish differentiators. Only by doing so and accepting our children the way they are, we are showing them that being different is not just ok, it’s great!

 Another common example we see is about the professions we choose. Everyone wants to be at the desk, doing mundane jobs. How many of us consider being a guitarist or violinist or a kathak dancer by profession? Everyone wants to earn a lot of money, own a house. How many of us are okay spending their whole life in a rented house? Same thing goes with regard to marriage and kids. It is unsettling to see one’s friends getting married and one not finding a suitable person.

 Key question here is – Is everyone, who is doing what others are doing, happy? Is it out of choice that they are doing this? Would they really want to do all of this Or are they doing it because everyone else is doing this and they are scared to be different?

 However, being different for the sake of being different isn’t the goal. Accepting who you are, loving yourself even if you are a little different from others is essential. Because we are in a world where this is no right or wrong for every action; it’s about what works for you and what doesn’t. The minute you embrace your own personality, qualities and values, you naturally tend to carve out your own path, establish your own “differentiator” and eventually stand out!

 If you want to lead a life different from others, and without having to worry about keeping up with them, it’s time to find your differentiator. Then it won’t be about catching up with them or matching up to them, it’ll be about moving ahead and making your own mark.

 This blog is based on the following article: