Saturday, December 13, 2008

Curious about Individuality: We Are All Unique and Individual. How Do You Make Use of Your Individuality?

Individuality Definition: The quality or state of being individual or constituting an individual; separate or distinct existence; oneness; unity. The character or property appropriate or peculiar to an individual; that quality which distinguishes one person or thing from another; the sum of characteristic traits; distinctive character; as, he is a person of marked individuality.

If a man is not faithful to his own individuality, he cannot be loyal to anything.” - Claude McKay, Jamaican writer

Most marketing gurus and books about marketing suggest we discover and use a USP (Unique Selling Proposition) which points out the advantages of how we are different from everyone else. In other words, what is our brand of individuality?

I started focusing on this when it was pointed out to me that so many marketers use the same techniques and approaches as every other marketer who is known for being successful. We also read the same self development books, listen to the same self improvement CDs and even learn and repeat the same affirmations.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I do it all too. BUT, I am working on using the good parts, yet making them work for me in a unique way, so that I don’t sacrifice my individuality. For a fact, I feel that by paying attention and modifying the best of the best lessons, I am more of an individual than even before.

I submit to you – and I do practice this myself – that you and I should never stop being individuals by following what everyone else tells we “should do and be.” Be you. Stand up for what you believe in.

Let me share some of the great quotations I found this week:
  • What is genius but the power of expressing a new individuality?” - Elizabeth Barrett Browning, English poet
  • It is a blessed thing that in every age some one has had the individuality enough and courage enough to stand by his own convictions.” - Robert Green Ingersoll, American lawyer
  • The artist makes things concrete and gives them individuality.” - Paul Cezanne, French artist
  • The old man, of whom we know how he has become what he is, is more of an individual than the young man; for it is only in the course of an eventful life that men are differentiated into full individuality.” - Erich Auerbach, American writer
  • No one should part with their individuality and become that of another.” - William Ellery Channing, American writer
  • I hope that my painting has the impact of giving someone, as it did me, the feeling of his own totality, of his own separateness, of his own individuality.” - Barnett Newman, American artist

A few more with a different slant:

  • I know now that most people are so closely concerned with themselves that they are not aware of their own individuality, I can see myself, and it has helped me to say what I want to say in paint.” - Georgia O'Keefe, American artist
  • The best thing you've got going for you is individuality.” – Richard Thompson, British musician
  • In terms of an identity, an identity reflects an individuality, by definition. And, if there is a quality present, it is recognizable and it can be named. If you can't name it, it means you don't recognize it.” - Robert Fripp, English musician
  • The four cornerstones of character on which the structure of this nation was built are: Initiative, Imagination, Individuality and Independence.” - Eddie Rickenbacker, American aviator
  • It was not always easy because I was always an individual and found it difficult to be one of a group. One person who was very supportive was my father. My mother was great but my father really recognized my individuality and supported me in that.” - Sharon Stone, American actress
  • American poetry, like American painting, is always personal with an emphasis on the individuality of the poet.” - Diane Wakoski, American poet

Let’s all plan to work on our individuality in 2009. Don’t be afraid to be “different” from others as long as you are growing and risking – and never hurting anyone else on purpose. Let me know how you feel and are doing.