Do people call you eccentric or different?
Maybe they get angry with some of the things that you do. Maybe they don’t agree with them. You begin to question yourself and wonder if there’s something wrong with you.
But many great people in history have had so called “flaws” that have actually sky-rocketed them to success. Perhaps you might identify with some of these.
1. You get obsessed with things easily
Obsession can be dangerous if left unchecked. It’s great to love something, but when you begin to lose sleep, relationships, and your health to it, that’s an issue.
But obsession with something can also be a powerful force. Nobody ever achieved something by “kind of liking” it. They believed in it with all their heart. They knew that if anybody was going to make it happen, it had to be them.
And so you to are obsessed with something. Perhaps it’s music, writing, a hobby, a passion, but that obsession will drive you to success.
2. You rely on other people for support in your goals
There is a large movement in society today to be an individual. Yes, it’s great to “be yourself” and chart your own path. But that doesn’t mean you don’t need the help of others to get there.
Getting to the top is great, but what if nobody is there to celebrate with you when you finally get there?
It’d be a very lonely place.
Every single great person, from Martin Luther King Jr. to Richard Branson, needed and accepted help. And you doing the same is a great thing. You propel yourself to success but you understand others will help you get there.
You don’t default to them and assume that they will do everything for you, but you let them give you some speed – whether that’s as a business contact, an intimate relationship, or otherwise, you understand people can and are necessary to help you.
3. You are stubborn and refuse to quit. You are OK with failing . . . a lot.
Unsuccessful people hit a road bump or fail and give up. Successful people keep failing and keep going, because they know it leads to the reward at the end. About inventing the lighbulb, Thomas Edison is famous for saying, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
So go ahead – be stubborn. Keep trying until you get what you want.
“But you failed, doesn’t that hurt?” people ask.
“Nope,” you respond. “It just means I need to try something else.”
4. You may have introverted tendencies
In Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, Susan Cain talks about how society is extravert focused – big open offices for working, bars for meeting people. These are all great for extroverts to shine, but not introverts.
And so when an introverted person needs time alone to work, or is quiet and listens in a conversation compared to being a chatterbox, or prefers reading a book at home to going out, they are thought of as weird, depressed, or anti-social.
Or, maybe after they go to a party and then need time to re-charge (as socializing, talking, and the outside world is a HUGE drain on introverts), they decline social invites and their friends get mad at them.
There is nothing wrong with being an introvert, and some amazing people belong to that category. Abraham Lincoln, Bill Gates, and Albert Einstein are just a few (see more here).
So go ahead – read that book. Just make sure to get some outside air once in a while. Introverts thrive in extroverted environments sometimes BETTER than extroverts at times, if they’ve had time to recharge in their own world.
5. You follow a different path, and care less about what people think
Society pushes you to follow a specific path – elementary/high school, university, 9-5 job, marriage, 2.5 kids, work 40+ years, retire around 65, live until somewhere in the 70+ range and then pass on.
You see people posting to Facebook, Twitter, etc. for validation. You think, “What’s the point? Why do I need to constantly tell people what I’m doing?”
And you don’t agree. You want to go become a monk for 3 months. You want to just scrape by in terms of salary and travel the world. You don’t want to ever get married.
Good. Carve your own path, and don’t listen to anyone else. There’s only one person you can make 100% happy 100% of the time:
Nobody great ever became great by doing exactly what others did.
6. You put yourself and your time first in a manner some might call selfish or weird
Continuing on from the above, the actions you take may make people think you are a bit strange – not going out all the time, not getting a specific job, not taking the swankiest apartment, saying no to helping a billion people so you have time to yourself.
The most valuable asset you have is not your money, but your time. Time is gone once it passes, so go ahead, be selfish. If someone is not deserving of your time and energy, leave. If something is not deserving of the time either, don’t do it.
7. You are OK with making others angry, sad, or unhappy with you
And so as you follow a different path and put yourself first, people become upset with you. Maybe you make your Mom sad by not being at home as much as you travel the world. Maybe you leave a relationship behind to continue a business. Maybe you hold your boundaries on a deal you agreed upon with a business partner and demand terms be met.
Well keep going.
You don’t intentionally want to make people unhappy, you just hold your personal boundaries and know there’s nothing you can do to force people to feel great about your choices. And you are OK and accepting of this.
8. You see the positive in everything and shirk most of the negative (or aren’t as affected by it)
Assuming everything is OK when things need to be taken care of is unhealthy.
For example, not having a place to live and running out of money living in hotels and saying, “Oh I believe it will come to me if I just think of good things” is ludicrous. It’s the same as not having a job and needing an income. Or, being single but wanting to date.
However, what is healthy is to focus on all the opportunities and positivity that is out there:
“I don’t have a place to live, but I can put time into finding one, and I have money to support myself for now.”
“There are tons of places to look for jobs. I’m qualified and highly educated, so if I send out some CVs and ask some of my contacts I’m sure I can find something.”
“There are hundreds of people around me every day, I should try talking to them. Or, I can sign up for online dating services. There’s lots of people out there looking for someone just like I am!”
If all you think are negative thoughts, all you get are negative emotions. Successful people process challenging or negative situations and may get sad or angry, but are quick to turn the situation into a positive and take affirmative action.
Some say you should be chained down by misery and problems. You say you should take decisive action but continue to enjoy life. You understand that it’s worth learning how to be happier.
9. You over-prepare a tiny bit
On a trip, you bring medicine just in case. For a business proposal, you have an alternative idea or budget in case your boss shoots it down. If the restaurant is closed, you know of another one nearby.
You might be a bit anxious, and you’re OK with thinking on your feet. But you prefer planning in advance to deal with possible situations.
People say you over-complicate a bit, and sometimes this is true. But most of the time you have the last laugh when things go over smoothly because you had the foresight to plan. And foresight, is the name of the game when it come to success.
10. You move slower than everyone else
People rush to get a billion things done in a day: see 50 travel sites, talk to as many people as they can, go to 10 parties.
You don’t understand this.
Not only does moving slower allow you to do things better, but you enjoy life more and aren’t running around with high blood pressure all the time.
You accept you can only do a finite number of things during the day, talk to a certain amount of people, and do a certain amount of stuff and work to the best of your ability to accomplish these goals.
You believe in quality over quantity, and it shows in the rich fabric you weave in the story that is your life.