In the comments of my previous post on doing something different, Cassandra brought up an excellent point. Sometimes people do not know the difference between being different with a purpose and simply being "a bit nutty".
I like to leave things to the imagination when I write. I don't like to have to spell it out and I hope we can have a better discussion in the comments. Sometimes, however, it can be constructive to go a little more in depth. This is one case where I think it can be more useful.
I've devised a couple of short lists. One list shows you what it means to be different with a purpose. The other shows you a few things that will make you different, but more on the "nutty" side as Cassandra put it.
Different with a purpose.
- Challenging the status quo for the express purpose of improving things.
- Changing your usual routine and adding some healthy, useful habits in an effort to break up the monotony in your life and job.
- Taking on a new direction in your life because the direction you are heading is full of problems and failure.
- Understanding that it is impossible to be everything to everyone, tossing aside that desire to please everyone and go with the flow.
- Realizing that it (your project, your job, your goal, etc.) is not working and changing course because you must in order to be successful. This isn't giving up, it's quitting at the right time.
- Rebellion against the status quo for the express purpose of making waves.
- Changing continuously in an effort to make sure no one knows what to expect, even you.
- Taking on a new direction in your life simply because you are bored. It's true that you might need to go in a different direction, but there should be a better reason than simple boredom.
- Believing it is possible to be everything to everyone. Always trying to make everyone happy instead of just your most loyal of friends, customers, or fans. Note: This isn't really different. This is like far too many people out there.
- Doing the same thing over and over again. Failing time and again, thinking all along that this time there will be a different result. See the definition of insanity if you've got time.
I'd rather be a making a difference than just grabbing attention any day.