Outliers vs. Exemplars

An outlier is defined as: “a person or thing situated away or detached from the main body or system, or a person or thing differing from all other members of a particular group or set.”

An exemplar is defined as “a person or thing serving as a typical example or excellent model.”

Outliers and exemplars tend to be a thorn in research data’s side. However, outliers that are simultaneously exemplars are often granted a uniqueness of being that makes them seem “something more.” Instead of them being seen as a standard of excellence that we all can strive to achieve, they are given special status that puts their achievements a little too out of reach for most, and therefore let the rest of us off the hook for aspiring to be better. Let us not ignore the main ingredients of greatness: Behavior and Action. Talent, genius and/or luck can certainly play a part, but we remember those who take talent, genius and/or luck and back it up with right action and appropriate behavior. We all have control over our behaviors and actions. We too can apply that to getting stronger, smarter, wealthier, healthier and wiser. When we do that on a daily basis, we create luck by design. That’s exemplary!

The Discomfort of Focus

The conditions in which we do our best work are rarely the perfect conditions. We often do our best when the conditions are less than ideal. In comfort we relax – In discomfort we focus. Feeling at ease in discomfort is when our focus is most intense, but let’s not confuse that for feeling comfortable under duress.


Standing ovations are seen as the pinnacle of appreciation. If you are the recipient of such acclamation, but are unable to see or hear, does the appreciation translate? Conversely, what if you are in the audience and lack the ability to stand or applaud. Does that negate the depths of the appreciation you might feel in that moment?

All too often, we get caught up in the lie that our senses are the only accurate receptors of how and what we feel. There’s something more to us in the cellar of our souls.

I Before Me, Except After See

The paradoxical foresight mantra of the day: I aspire to be a servant leader and truly give my all in service of others, which means that included in my giving must also be taking moments for myself. If I refuse to include self-care in my pursuit, I am certain I will be unable to see my aspirations come to fruition.

Joy is not a Laughing Matter

The amount of teeth we display when we smile is not an accurate measure of joy. Joy is not gregariousness. Joy is not vivaciousness. Joy is not measured in the heartiness of our laughs. Joy is not superficial.

Joy is a deep feeling – not a behavior. Joy is a profound awareness of our raw gratitude. It’s not written in our faces, it’s a grounding force.

Such is Life, Such a Gift

Alas, when we reach the summit of the highest peak, there’s a brief moment of exaltation, closely followed by a crushing dose of perspective in the form of a 360-degree reveal stretching miles in every direction of all the other mountains we’ve yet to climb. Then, reality dawns in form in our inevitable descent, during which time we get to ponder the next mountain we’ve identified to climb. Such is life – Such a gift.

(Super)Model Citizens

Supermodels sell without speaking. Aspiring stoics can learn from this idea that if we speak less and model more, we can create more lasting positive change on those we interact with. Our egos will not like it, because we won’t be able to take credit for the sale, but there’s really no commission greater to be earned than living well for the sake of actively doing good.