I often talk about going against the grain, challenging the status quo, and doing things differently. Occasionally I’m asked, what does that mean?

I see the answer as pretty simple. The way I see it, you’ve got roughly three solid options to choose from. There are more, but let’s start with these three.

The first option is to simply attempt to say or do something unique, original, and different.

The second option is to take something that isn’t unique or original and doing it differently, or doing it better. This means taking something you didn’t come up with and making it your own. Add your own voice to the mix. Not copying but spinning the idea to improve it and make it better.

The third option is the hardest.

Just be yourself and let your true self shine through.

This is the hardest of three because many of us aren’t sure exactly who that is. We spend a great deal of time and energy trying to sort that out. We might read self-help books, or attend a Tony Robbins seminar. That might be a good start.

But don’t give up there. The real magic happens when you truly start exploring.

Option three requires the most soul-searching, the most risk-taking, the most cliff jumping, and edge teetering exploration. It’s the scariest of the three options.

There’s something awesome about edge teetering exploration though. The more you do it, the more you get to see the real you.

The more YOU get to see the real YOU. Come out and play!

Of course, there’s always a fourth option…

The fourth option is to simply do what (nearly, mostly) everyone else is doing. Follow the crowd – Obey the rules – Question nothing. Live a life of mediocrity and compliance within a system that continuously lets you down over and over again.

Three to one.

Tough choice.