People seek to be unique in superficial, unproductive, and some-times painful ways. The most common way in which people seek to stand out is with displays of material goods: a large house, expensive cars, and stylish clothes are typical examples. Memberships to exclusive groups — country clubs, fraternities, MENSA, gangs — can provide both a feeling of belonging and uniqueness. Young people are especially likely to resort to drastic methods such as body piercing and tattoos to “mark” them-selves as different.
The search for uniqueness is a natural, good, and important part of being human. Uniqueness can be demonstrated in substantial or trivial ways. Most people wish to be seen as special or different in the eyes of others; some people also wish to prove to themselves that they have unusual talents or other attributes that make them stand out among the crowd.
There are a number of ways in which one can distinguish oneself in a substantial manner: achievement, kindness, character, hard work, and endurance are a few. The fundamental distinguishing characteristic of these attributes is that they are non-transferable; you can give another person your car, your house, or your clothes, but you cannot give them your character or your work ethic.
The most important way an individual can develop uniqueness is the way they create value. There are an infinite number of ways of creating value, and each person has unique capabilities to achieve their goals. One person may seek to create great art; another may develop a small business; another may raise a family, but there are an endless number of different ways of achieving these goals. We may both seek to raise happy, productive children, but we may have completely different methods of achieving that goal. You may believe that firm discipline is the key; I may believe that tolerance is paramount. Uniqueness is demonstrated both by what you seek to achieve, and how you reach that goal.
On becoming unique in substantial ways that help you to create value.