Victus Spiritus


There's No How To Guide For "Being Remarkable"

22 Apr 2009


Many of us have seen similar suggestions throughout motivational reading.

One of my favorite marketing gurus Seth Godin does in fact just this in his post How to be remarkable.  While Seth makes some wonderful suggestions for defining what "being remarkable" is:

"4. Extremism in the pursuit of remarkability is no sin. In fact, it's practically a requirement. People in first place, those considered the best in the world, these are the folks that get what they want. Rock stars have groupies because they're stars, not because they're good looking.

5. Remarkability lies in the edges. The biggest, fastest, slowest, richest, easiest, most difficult. It doesn't always matter which edge, more that you're at (or beyond) the edge."

Even Seth has to admit that there is no manual or accepted wisdom to being remarkable:

"7. If it's in a manual, if it's the accepted wisdom, if you can find it in a Dummies book, then guess what? It's boring, not remarkable. Part of what it takes to do something remarkable is to do something first and best. Roger Bannister was remarkable. The next guy, the guy who broke Bannister's record wasn't. He was just faster ... but it doesn't matter."

So what Mr. Godin has really given us is a list of the attributes in common to remarkable people.  When I first read this post a few months ago, I got caught up on Seth's comment on Extremism.  When I was twenty years old I was pretty extreme about a number of things, but as the years have gone on, I find that the incredible energy and motivation I had back then has for the most part left me.   Does that mean that I have nothing remarkable left to give to the world?  NO WAY!

Given my recent discovery of rational blog analysis (I'm not just reading for fun, although I do enjoy it) and writing, I know there are great opportunities just waiting for me to suggest solutions to.  It so happens this post further crystallized my ideal job:  Idea Engine.  I alluded to it in my earlier post, When energy meets ideas, brilliant new companies are born. Although it would be nice if I could increase the perceived value of those ideas (calling all energetic people).

There's another message from Chris Guillebeau, an enthusiastic social entrepreneur, that also is asking his readers to make "The Decisions to Be Remarkable".  This is something that I find more rationally appealing.  Of course I'm biased because one of Chris' suggestion resonates quite strongly with my own motivation for beginning this blog:

"4. Find work that you love and do it well. Depending on who you are, this requires up to two big changes in your life: first, you have to find work that you love, and second, you have to do it well. Do it better than expected and people will be amazed."

Yet another suggestion was given by authors of Blue Ocean Strategy. In this business text W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne lay out a framework for building value innovation into any business strategy.  The silver bullet of value innovation comes down to "being creative" and reinventing the market space.  This excerpt from my informal squidoo introduction page The Profit Prophet captures my frustration with the promise of the book:

While there were a number of logical methods introduced to build a successful strategy for future business, I'm still left wondering how their proposed strategy translates into "building a new market". I believe the strategy is flawed due to one simple reality, there is NO STRATEGY to building a new market. There are best business practices, and rational development tools but NONE of these systems will directly translate into building a new market. It's like trying to capture human creativity, and recreate it with a simple business system.

Although I don't believe anyone can follow a "how to guide" for being remarkable, creative, or innovative.  Each of us may choose a path that pursues a remarkable way of living.