Uncommon

Transitioning into this new month, I’ve shared some thoughts on how the coming days can be approached and lived differently. By exploring quite diverse ways from how we may have accepted them to be in the past or believed we had to compromise or settle for. 

In “My Declaration of Independence, yesterday I pointed to us having reached a place where  in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one to dissolve the chains of bondage which have held them back,… 

I realize some of these thoughts may seem  extremely uncommon, extraordinary and definitely counter to current trends. However I truly believe they are attainable. So how do “we” continue forward?

That’s where we’ll now pick up our discussion here on Becoming Today. 

Uncommon is defined as not common; unusual; rare”. For example using an uncommon word, or calling for uncommon behaviors. 

It’s also described as  being “unusual in amount or degree; above the ordinary”. Such as you’ve received an uncommon amount of mail today. 

Plus uncommon is also explained as “exceptional; remarkable”. The best examples of this interpretation are you and I….

The Collins Dictionary offers us this understanding, “If you describe something as uncommon, you mean that it does not happen often or is not often seen”. Synonyms include rare, unusual, odd, novel.  

Ewing Marion Kauffman  taught leaders, “It’s your right to be uncommon if you can”. And his foundation offers this explanation:

So whatever you’re dreaming now is the time for uncommon and like the video says we believe uncommon is you.

Let’s explore some commonalities between the uncommon. Qualities that we can aspire for and put into practice each and every day. These traits can assist us in inspiring, lifting up and supporting not only ourselves but all those we encounter. 

Way back when, offering us a millennial understanding , just after the turn of the century, which is an uncommon way of saying in the Fall of  2000, a Harvard Business Review article found there were four benchmarks necessary for uncommon leadership.

These included 

  1. Not being afraid to reveal their weaknesses. By being vulnerable they showed a leader could be successful by allowing others to see them as approachable and human. 
  1. Relying on intuition to choose the  appropriate timing and course of their actions. Their ability to collect and analyze feelings and information that is open to a wide range of interpretations helps to determine when and how to act.
  1. Managing people with “tough empathy.” Inspirational leaders empathize passionately, while maintaining an acceptance of reality allowing them to show that they truly do tcare about the functions and performance of others. 
  1. Vocalizing differences. Effective leaders celebrate, embrace and share what is unique about themselves.

Other studies over the years have also taught us about the importance of being approachable.

All of us need to feel connected and engaged in whatever task, job or goal we may be engaged in.  People should always be able to feel they are an integral part of any group or  organization. In creating an uncommon culture, our structure has to be constructed in an atmosphere of approachability. We must promote productivity, and the ability to achieve happiness.

Being uncommon or at least being open to uncommon ways of perceiving situations can definitely be rewarding. Irish author and philosopher Charles Handy noted that leaders with true vision, “Often use common sense, but they see the sense before it becomes common and that’s what can give companies and their managers the competitive edge”.

While you may not be managing a business or desiring to run a company still this applies. No matter what change you are trying to effect, vision is an absolute requirement. Having an extra -ordinary sense of that vision can result in being extraordinarily victorious. 

Now being uncommon does require having a  lot of common sense. Your goals and aspirations need to align themselves with achieving an improved reality. No matter what the situation or circumstances.

Common sense I accept as being an ability to be good, hard, informed, just, justified, level headed, logical, rational, reasonable, reasoned, sensible, sober, solid, valid and well-founded in our decision making process. Having common sense is not necessarily something you are born with, rather you must develop it and foster its growth. 

I know “they” say you can’t teach common sense. Perhaps due to my uncommon nature I say, why not? 

We should all strive to learn something new each day, and each of the concepts I assign to the label of common sense are abilities we all can and should learn. They can be developed, nurtured and embraced. So if you haven’t already, why not start to….. Go ahead.. I mean begin right now, I’m waiting…. (audible giggle).

Which brings us to our next aspect of being successfully uncommon. A good sense of humor. I’m not talking about performing stand up or being the Don Rickles of your generation, rather we just need to share a laugh. Laugh at ourselves when necessary and laugh with others whenever possible.

It makes others feel more comfortable and increases your own personal level of joy, moving us all closer to happiness. 

The Mayo Clinic also reports,laughing has numerous benefits for our health and well being. 

In the short-term these include: 

Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulating your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain. It also activates your stress response. A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response, and can lower your blood pressure.

Longer-term laughing can improve your immune system and relieve pain. Laughter may also increase personal satisfaction; make it easier to cope with difficult situations and help you connect with other people. All of which work towards improving your mood and lessening your chances of suffering depression or anxiety.

So let’s give you a head start on this part of our shared journey.Get ready to laugh…. Why did the chicken cross the road? Because she was uncommon!

Another function of the uncommon is being of service. As we recently spoke about, “Becoming A Giver”, is rewarding for both the giver and the recipient. 

Doing things uncommonly requires us to accept the leadership role and walk our talk, always making the effort to lead by example. Giving and receiving  are an integral part of life. 

All acts of giving, have the potential to create an impact on all those around you and the world. Giving without strings, doing so freely from a loving heart not only makes you feel good but as motivational expert Tony Robbins shares, 

“To truly feed your spirit, remember this: The secret to living is giving. No matter how busy or broke you may be, you have something to offer others. So many people miss the opportunity to know that their life makes a difference – but it does. Your life matters – and if you align yourself to be congruent with the truth that you’re here not just to “get” but to give, then other people will feel your authenticity and they will open up to you.

When you give back to other people and your community, it reminds you what you’re made for. Focusing on the needs of others has a way of motivating you to do more than you thought possible. You feel the benefits immediately. You become more productive. You find creative solutions to problems. You find strength when you’re exhausted. That’s because life supports that which improves the quality of life. When we contribute to our community, we become part of something that is bigger than ourselves.”

As you embrace the idea of giving and allow it to become a regular practice you should feel changes within, in your life and all around you, things should suddenly seem far more uncommon.

I know I’ve been talking about looking at things quite differently than society would suggest we need to. But that is why being uncommon is so necessary.

As we enter this time of Transformative Transition, it’s urgent that we begin to accept the possibilities of and work to achieve uncommon results. 

In My Declaration of Independence I asserted:

Therefore be it resolved from this moment on, that  we who are traveling along this shared path of “Becoming” committ to taking actions, deliberate and responsible initiatives to do our part to work for the well being of all. 

To support compassion, dignity, respect, mercy and understanding of all individuals regardless of their race, gender, color, creed, demographic or any other way the “dividers” try to profile and categorize us for their purposes of intentional disunity.

We refuse to submit blindly to disrespectful, unhealthy and abusive behaviors, attitudes and policies. 

We choose to pursue a course that enlightens, invokes and advances ‘’the process of coming to be something or of passing into a state”. Coming to be always, “Becoming”. Growing, developing and shifting into an attitude and daily practice of “Always Being Becoming”.

So what’s next on our uncommon path? Assessing our Rights and accepting our Responsibilities. That’s what we’ll discuss tomorrow, here on “Becoming Today”. 

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