50 Self-Improving Ways To Actually Be Unique And Stand Out From The Crowd

Flickr, Marco
Flickr, Marco

There are over 7 billion people on this big, beautiful blue marble that we call Earth. With that amount of competition, it can be easy to get lost in the crowd. So many of us are overlooked for the job, don’t get the girl, fail to KEEP the girl, become outwitted or frustrated at this game we call life, or simply cannot seem to find the slight edge needed – that one spark necessary – to swing momentum in our favor.

Before I dive into this list of ideas, I want to let you all in on a little secret. If you allow the small victories to add up, big things will start to happen. Make a concerted effort to become aware of and act upon the seemingly menial actions that everyone is capable of, but most ignore, and others will take notice.

Some are unexpected, others are just plain old school, but they all have one thing in common: a positive and unique impression left on those around us is contagious and uplifting in ways that you may not realize until much later. Effort is usually the key missing component.

1. Purchase stationery and find legitimate reasons to hand write “Thank You” notes. They go a long way.

2. Learn how to cook. We see this advice often, and why do you think that is?

3. Rarely complain and don’t sweat the small stuff. Patience is a turn-on and actively teaches us how to deal with stress.

4. Travel to an uncommon place because YOU want to go there. It says more than you think.

5. Learn a second language. Heck, learn a third.

6. Stay late when there’s work to be done.

7. Genuinely compliment an article of clothing if you admire it, whether on a man or woman.

8. Dress to impress more often than not.

9. Drive stick shift.

10. If you are truly passionate about something, do not be bashful about it, and continue to nurture that activity daily.

11. Buy CDs; and vinyl if you’re classy enough to own a record player. Album covers are an extension of the musician as much as the music. It may be the next “lost art”.

12. Pay attention to pieces of information that people offer, whether they’re aware of it or not, and make a mental note to use it in the future. Timing is everything. Gift ideas, for example, are tossed around all year.

13. Show up to a first date with flowers.

14. Make every bed that you use (hotels excluded).

15. If you are a morning person, keep it to yourself, but appreciate and utilize that gift.

16. Pull over and help change the tire for the lady in distress. Do it.

17. If someone is in a bind, and you can help, earnestly offer your services.

18. Stay current on something – be it politics, sports or fashion – as it will help to keep you balanced.

19. Step outside of your comfort zone for someone else.

20. Have a great karaoke song in mind at all times; something that you can pull off and fits your personality.

21. Learn how to play an instrument after college.

22. Be kind to salespeople and experiential marketers. They deal with jerks all day.

23. Go to the show or concert, even if you can’t find anyone to go with you, and engage strangers.

24. Fix something that needs repair without being asked. This applies to everything from the creaky door to the problem employee. People love problem solvers.

25. Introduce yourself to the new neighbors within the first week.

26. Do all the dishes in the sink.

27. Put the phone away and listen to who is talking to you. Conversation is something we choose to ignore too often.

28. Return phone calls promptly. The person on the other end might need you more than you realize.

29. Shine your shoes.

30. Check the fluids and tire pressure of all the cars in the driveway. Top off and inflate as necessary.

31. Over-tip the waiter, waitress, barber, mechanic, bartender or any other service industry employee, especially around the holidays. Don’t do it for future preferential treatment (even though that might be the case), but rather for the impact it might have on their morale.

32. Make a consistent effort to remember names.

33. When meeting someone for the first time, think to yourself, “This person knows nothing about me,” then make your best first impression.

34. Firm handshakes and eye contact 100% of the time.

35. Be kind to all children. They’re little sponges and will absorb whatever vibes come their way.

36. Keep the bathroom clean for any and all guests who enter your home.

37. Be on time consistently, and be cognizant of others’ schedules.

38. Detail your mom’s, sister’s or girlfriend’s car without her knowledge.

39. If you have the opportunity to surprise a loved one, put in the effort to make it happen.

40. Train your dog not to beg, and feed her quality food.

41. Volunteer somewhere. It’s good for the soul.

42. During a themed event, it’s a lot more fun and memorable to go over-the-top than to underwhelm or not participate at all. See: ugly Christmas sweaters and Halloween.

43. Fandom is a marriage. Winning a championship is even sweeter when you were there during the hard times. Resist the urge to be a fair weather fan. Loyalty is meant to be unconditional.

44. Be mysterious and deliver quality results. Invoking curiosity in others is attractive.

45. Take risks. The bigger, the better.

46. Accessorize subtly. People notice and remember the little things adorned as much as the larger, loud items.

47. Read more.

48. Eliminate boredom from your lifestyle and vocabulary. The mind is too powerful for that.

49. Work harder than the other guy.

50. Finally, take care of yourself. It’s a habit that you’ll get used to, appreciate, and notice it spilling over into other parts of your life.

An apparent theme to these 50 items is the pursuit of being a better, more interesting individual. No matter your lot in life, wake up each day with intentions to improve while helping others do the same. The rewards on the other end are infinite. TC mark

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Brendan isn't really sure where this is all headed, but he'll write about it along the way. Austin, TX by way of ... Read more articles from Brendan on Thought Catalog.
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