Being Different

by Josh Hanagarne on March 10, 2011

boat

No need for everyone to ride in this one

As a child, and then as an adolescent, I thought the worst thing that could happen was being different. As an adult there is nothing I prize more highly in myself and my friends. Routine and comfort have their consolations, but they don’t make my heart race and get me out of bed in the morning.

Being different today means, to me, that you:

  • Are always trying to be better at something
  • Learn for the sake of learning
  • Ask questions that could lead to uncomfortable answers
  • Do not steer your life with other people’s opinions
  • Read books
  • Challenge yourself
  • Take pride in improving
  • Exercise
  • Stand more than you sit
  • Eat as much as you need and no more
  • Spend less than you make
  • Pay down your debt
  • Value experience over book learning (or at least as heavily–I’m not as good at this one as I want to be yet)
  • Have the courage to disprove your own hypotheses, not everyone else’s
  • Take as much pride of ownership in your body and mind as you do in your possessions
  • Create things just because it is fun
  • Know how precious time is and live accordingly
  • Are your own hero

Some I do well at, others need improvement. Some are important to other people, some aren’t. I’m getting better at them all and that’s the only point that really matters to me.

I know what I want. I know what makes me happy.

Do you? If so, it is my sincere hope that you’re acting on those things and you’ve got a smile on your face today.

Josh

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeff March 11, 2011 at 12:19 am

Sometimes you’re fortunate to the awareness of what you want and that you’ve taken great steps to get there, not knowing.
I relate to much of your blog, Josh. I finally wrote my story recently, and understood the connection better:
http://www.voicesofthepast.org/2011/02/23/you-dont-have-to-be-a-king-to-find-your-voice-my-story/

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Josh Hanagarne March 11, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Thanks Jeff.

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Todd March 11, 2011 at 6:48 am

Isn’t it funny how when we’re young, we want to be like everyone else, but as adults, we just don’t give a crap?

I do know what makes me happy, and I pursue it each and everyday.

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Josh Hanagarne March 11, 2011 at 1:10 pm

And if you never catch up with it, you’ll always have something to look forward to.

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Heather March 11, 2011 at 8:44 am

I’m REALLY WEIRD! I didn’t give a crap as a KID! But I reckon that’s what happens when you’re raised by lapsed Catholics who were more into art, jazz, and education for education’s sake than fitting in. One thing that ALWAYS makes me happy that almost no one else notices—WEIRD HAIR!!!!!!!!!! Good books, too!

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Josh Hanagarne March 11, 2011 at 1:10 pm

I agree. You are.

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Conor Ebbs March 11, 2011 at 10:13 am

Hey Josh,

Powerful words, thank you for sharing them.

I don’t want to wait until old age to stop keeping up appearances. It’s rare that sheep escape the field, or even try to. Learned helplessness, explained away as “living the easy life”.

Easy is not worth it in my book. Challenge breeds experience, imagination breeds growth, difference breeds progress.

Conor

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Josh Hanagarne March 11, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Thanks Conor. Much appreciated.

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Isabella March 23, 2011 at 10:34 pm

Being different can have it’s challenges too. I completely agree that people need to be themselves, or the most authentic type of themselves that they can muster, as I think that we all have different versions of ourselves depending on what situation we find ourselves in.
I have tried to be myself and thus was different my whole life and it’s proven to be a lonely one. And it’s hard to be really happy when you feel alone and unaccepted, well for me anyway. As a child I was picked on and at times tried to mold myself to others standards. Then I broke free and let myself be.
But not that that’s going to stop me from being me, being different. I will find my own happiness and also hopefully someone who will appreciate the different me.
Sorry, didn’t mean for this to sound sad and depressing. But it touched me and I just wanted to share. Plus it’s late and I tend to ramble when I’m tired….:)

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