Can you stand out by blending in?

How To Be Unconventional Without Doing Unconventional Things

One of my favorite quotes is this:

If you want to be an anomaly, you have to act like one. ~Gary Vaynerchuk

I get it. If you want to live a 1% life, you’ll have to be a 1% person. And that means wherever you go, you’ll stick out like a sore thumb in one way or another.

But recently, I’m trying to argue the opposite side, especially for some of my favorite things. I think for this quote, it means that while the end result is being an anomaly, the way to get there might not be as unconventional as we think.

I do see this when I look at my own life. I don’t think I do a lot of unconventional things. I think I do a lot of conventional things for unconventional reasons and in unconventional ways.

The what is the same. What’s different is the how and the why.

Here are 10 of those things.


1. I document my entire day on my Instagram story with a fixed framework.

It starts with a morning selfie…

…and ends with a report of what I’ve accomplished that day.

It’s mostly a mini TV show for my family to watch back home, but it also keeps me accountable.

2. I don’t eat breakfast before I leave the house.

It makes me faster, more awake and I can be sure I’m actually hungry when I eat, which is usually 1.5–2 hrs after I woke up. I might have coffee though.

3. I walk a fair share of my way to school each day, instead of taking the bus.

It makes me happy to be outside.

4. I always take the stairs, never the escalator.

It motivates me.

5. I always sit in the same spot at school.

My friends keep joking they dare not sit in it when it’s empty out of respect. Knowing where you belong is a good thing. This is one less decision I have to make, it lets me get to work faster.

6. I never start my day with “What do I have to do?”

By the time I get to work, I already know it, and my tasks are sorted by importance. It keeps me working on the right things in the right order. Writing on Quora is the first thing each morning — Medium second :)

7. I only check my emails once a day.

Your inbox is just a bunch of other peoples’ requests. So it shouldn’t take a lot of your time away from what’s important. This forces me to be fast in processing my email. I use Inbox Pause.

8. I always listen to one song on repeat while I work.

The song changes depending on the task, mood, etc. but 99% of the time there’s something playing. Right now it’s this:

It keeps me focused. I use ListenOnRepeat.

9. I don’t have a fixed end to my work day.

I’ll stay however it takes to finish the work (or I feel it’s enough or I need to rest). It makes me feel like I live up to my own expectations.

10. I write down 3 things I’m grateful for each day at night.

People say you should be creative with these. I don’t care. Writing down the same things over and over again shows me it’s the simple things in life that make me the happiest. It makes me feel content with what I have.


To the unsuspecting outsider, my day looks boring as hell. But from the informed inside, it’s a rollercoaster ride right down an erupting volcano — and I’m having the time of my life.

What you do and what people think of it doesn’t matter. What matters is why you do it and how it makes you feel.

As long as you remember that, you’ll do just fine, anomaly or not.

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” ~Mother Teresa

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I write more here. This started as an answer on www.quora.com.