Don’t die a Copy!

After quite some time I felt like touching a topic that flourishes our inner beauty. A topic that many of us are aware of, but still find difficult to incorporate and maintain into our lives.

In this post, it will be all about individuality: the meaning, key characteristics, its importance and the benefits. If you want to know it all, keep on reading 🙂

Note: I asked a few people within my circle three questions regarding individuality. The questions, answers and a short analysis by me can be found at the end of the post.

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Please comment below, curious to know.

The Meaning

“The quality or character of a particular person or thing that distinguishes them from others of the same kind, especially when strongly marked.” – Oxforddictionaries.com

“The individuality of a person or thing consists of the qualities that make them different from other people or things.”- collinsdictionary.com

The dictionaries give a very straightforward definition, right?

Key Characteristics 

Even though the meaning is straightforward, the key characteristics are often forgotten. I feel, after having done some research and actively analyzed others around me, that there are four elements to individuality:

  1. Open-mindedness;

  2. Fearlessness towards difference;

  3. Confidence;

  4. Influence.

Importance

These four elements should be realized together, so if you have just one or two of these you are still missing on a lot.

Let’s dig a little deeper…

The very first step is to be open-minded. It takes a lot to achieve this first element. Why? Simply because we human beings are for the most part better talkers than listeners. We just want to talk and talk and talk, even though it is more important to listen and then also to understand.

I feel that being open-minded is a very good quality to have. It means that you can have a healthy and pleasant conversation with anyone, anywhere and anytime. You are open towards new ideas instead of pushing your own opinion unnecessarily.

However, it does not mean you don’t have an opinion; rather, you have a very strong opinion with various underlying arguments, but still you are able to listen and appreciate different view points.

Believe me, it’s a quality! 🙂

Then, there is no fear to do things differently or even to break away from society-defined “norms”. An individual person is willing to listen to various view points, as said before, but will never change his or her own values and principles.

Look into your own society and think… Who really is different? Who really is happy for others and who really is doing things 100% as they would want to do?

Breaking away from the norm will make millions of mouths talk and try to bring you down, because you are being different. But you are fearless and rebellious in order to thoughtfully live your life on your own terms and conditions.

I live by the saying: ‘If I don’t take anything from you, I really don’t take ANYTHING.’ 

However, at all times you remain kind and humble, which brings us to the third element: confidence.

Being confident in yourself, you automatically become happy for others, as you are satisfied and in complete harmony with yourself – no one and nothing can either make or break you.

I have never understood the negativity we carry along with us all day: why can’t we keep things simple, be happy for one another, and have a desire to see others shine bright? This is because there is lack of confidence.

If you are a confident person, you aren’t affected by anything someone says to you; rather, you remain in complete harmony, because you have a build-in filter, if I may call it that 🙂 Negativity just does not go through and, most importantly, positivity doesn’t make you sit high in the clouds as you don’t need any kind of justification in the first place.

When you achieve the three elements mentioned above, there is a great sense of self-understanding, self-love and, pure harmony and happiness. This leads to a role as influencer.

Now, you have attained a position in which you can influence others, people look up to you – you are an example, an inspiration. Even though many won’t say it to your face, they are unconsciously and consciously trying to be such achievers too.

Who do you look up to? I would love to know, comment below 🙂

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Always, always and always look at yourself first, treat others the way you want to be treated and, without exceptions, be kind and humble. Kindness is no weakness, it’s a strength which only, and unfortunately, a minority holds.

I personally live by the saying, ‘Kill them with kindness!’

Don’t compare yourself to others, you are the best version of yourself and definitely keep working towards a better you. Being the best version of yourself does not mean that you are the best (notice the difference?). Instead, it should motivate you to truly become an individual.

An individual who has his or her own opinions based on arguments (facts), who is mature enough to have a healthy conversation without controversy and, most importantly, who is truthful and honest with him or herself 🙂

Individuality allows you to be true to yourself and to maintain the real you without exceptions. However, before you can be true to yourself, you have to love yourself.

To love yourself, I would recommend reading Mastery of Love by D. Miguel Ruiz. This book will teach you in-depth what loving yourself means, what benefits it has and how to maintain it all.

I will be doing a post on it soon.
More like this? Read Personality is Key! and Fashion meets Confidence!

 

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Let me know what you think of this post 🙂 What is your take on individuality?
Please share.

Don’t forget to read the various thoughts shared below! 

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Love, Ankita! 🙂

Questions, answers and analyses 🙂

Note: The analyses are not personal 🙂 It’s a way for other readers to get a better understanding of the various answers and perspectives. Thanks to all who were willing to participate in this.

Priya C.

1. What is individuality?
Every person itself is an individual. But individuality means being independent. To do whatever you want to, to wear whatever you want to wear, and to be yourself. In one line, I would describe it as “being who you want to be.”

2. What does individuality mean to you?
Individuality to me, means taking my own stand and living life on my own terms (keeping my religion and way of upbringing in mind, of course). Not keeping myself busy with what others (outsiders) might think.

3. How do you apply individuality to your life?
I think the answer would be almost the same as the second question. I find it important to take my own stand when and where required. My aim is to not keep myself busy with what others think, but sometimes, most of the time unaware, it does happen.

I really like to point out what Priya mentioned about keeping in mind her upbringing when living your life on your own terms. I feel that upbringing and culture play a huge role in the individuals we eventually become. Thanks for sharing this important factor! However, taking your own stand is always required, there shouldn’t be any exception here. One should be confident at all times 🙂

Gaurav S.

1. What is individuality?
A persons character or quality. That separates him or her from the others.

2. What does individuality mean to you?
I believe every person is individual in his or her own way and that make them special and different from others.

3. How do you apply individuality to your life?
Every person is different in their behavior and their impact in your life.

For example we have different kinds of friends: the joker who makes everyone laugh; the drama queen who makes drama over the smallest things; the referee who keeps everyone or actually tries to keep things under control, and so on…

It’s good to read that Gaurav mentioned the fact that many of our relatives and friends have a certain impact on own lives. However, it’s always in our hands how much of it we take with us – after all we shouldn’t forget what we stand for. Good point Gaurav, thanks! 

Pankaj D.

1. What is individuality?
Quality of a person that distinguishes them from others, specially when strongly marked

2. What does individuality mean to you?
Being yourself no matter what the worlds thinks about you. As Reba McEntire says; be different, stand out, and work your ass off.

3. How do you apply individuality to your life?
I succeeded because I was different from others. If I followed others I wouldn’t be there where I am now

A good advice from Pankaj here: follow your own heart because no one is going to work for your success and you shouldn’t come to a point where you blame others for failure. Everything that happens to you is yours and only yours. Thanks for this piece of advice! 

Ps. Follow pankajj91  for beautiful capture! 🙂 

Nikita S.

1. What is individuality?
Individuality basically defines the character of an individual person or it differentiates between 2 characters of the same kind.

2. What does individuality mean to you?
Individuality to me is being yourself, trying to make your own decision and always trying to give your point of view.

3. How do you apply individuality to your life?
I do not get influenced by people that easily, I always have strong opinions when it comes to me and I never pretend to be someone else. I am always and everywhere just being ME.

Embracing yourself is, of course, a very important factor in achieving individuality, which Nikita pointed out. ‘I have strong opinions when it comes to me‘: the second (in bold) part of this answer makes me think: 1. One should always have a strong opinion; 2. One shouldn’t be affected when another has to say something about them. By ignoring it, it shows your confidence and harmony that no one can influence and is shows that the ‘talker’ is just seeking for your attention 🙂 I hope you agree Nikita and thanks for sharing this as it gives the subject more depth.

Akrit A.

1. What is Individuality?
Individuality means the fact that one person can distinguish himself from others, whether it be character, knowledge or experience. Individuality means that each and every person is unique in it’s own respective way.

2. What does individuality mean to you?
Individuality means for me the power and will to be able to do things in your own way; being independent, rather than seeking others to help and/or accompany you. In the end individuality will contribute to distinguishing yourself from others and having a distinguished character.

3. How do you apply individuality in your life?
The way I apply individuality in my life is rather simple. It simply embodies the fact that I am able to do certain things on my own without being accompanied by others and the fact that this doesn’t make you upset but rather satisfied, which will enable you to build an own persona.

Akrit’s second question makes me think of what once a very good friend of mine said, as we were sitting in the restaurant: It’s so brave to see these people just do what they want to do. ‘Why can’t many of us just sit alone in the restaurant eating what we want, why do we seek for company and, if there isn’t any, we just let our desire go…’ This really determines your character as Akrit pointed out. Instead of ‘running’ behind people, choose your own path and the ‘right’ people will accompany you.

Ricky S.

1. What is Individuality?
Individuality is having independence in thought and action: the willingness to follow what you as an individual think is the best path. It does not imply a rejection of others’ opinions; rather, it exemplifies a confidence in your own steadfast approach.

2. What does individuality mean to you?
To me, individuality means having conviction in my own opinions and the wherewithal to defend and apply them as appropriate. It represent coolness in the head, allowing me to push aside everyday noise to focus on that which I consider most important.

3. How do you apply individuality in your life?
I have rock-solid conviction in my own ideas and thought process. My own individuality is something that has developed over several years and still continues to evolve. It represents clarity in my mind to rationally arrive at what I deem the best course of action, based on my own assessment and opinions, but also incorporating information gained externally.

In this last answer he starts by saying that there is clarity in his mind and with that his actions are well thought out and based on his own assessment, opinions and externally gained information. It is very important to hear the voice of near and dear ones, because you don’t want your individuality to become arrogance. At times, you need various perspectives for which listening is highly recommended. 

 

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