Embracing Remarkable

Lately I’ve been preoccupied with a few questions.

What is it that makes someone remarkable ? Is it a cultivated talent? Is it teachable? And, most importantly, do children have that capacity? And if they do, how do we embrace it?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines remarkable as, “worthy of being, or likely to be noticed, especially as being uncommon or extraordinary; different”

After hours of contemplation, I have finally come up with an explanation that makes sense, AND my tired brain actually understand.

1. When you tap into the God-given talent that makes you individual and unique,

2. AND you nurture and cultivate that talent, it becomes art.

3. You become a remarkable person.

4. You become an artist of YOUR talent .

Being remarkable isn’t reserved for the super successful or the famous. It is available to everyone; even children. The best part is that being remarkable does not require perfection.

The problem with perfect is that once you hit it, you’re done. How do you top perfection? Remarkableness has no ending.

You Were Born To Be Special

All children have an amazing aptitude or brilliance ingrained in them. It is that something that makes them a little bit different. It is hard-wired. They are born with it.

In some children, that brilliance is easy to see and easy to appreciate. Their contribution is admired and people smile when they see it. When they shine, we feel that flush of pride and gratitude. We think, “How did I get so lucky?” “They are perfect!”

What if your child has an amazing aptitude AND is an out-of-the-box child?

What if the artist living within in your child leaves you feeling frazzled and worn out? How can they possibly have a streak of brilliance hidden somewhere when it seems like all they do is drive everyone to their limits? Contributions? Flush of pride? You’ve got to be kidding me!

A Diamond in the Rough

Maybe your child is a diamond in the rough. It may take more cleaning and polishing and work before that brilliance begins to shine. The diamond, even in its polished state, is never perfect.

Lara Honos-Webb, author of the book, The Gift of ADHD , presents the possibility of viewing those things we consider a problem as a gift.

“The shift is much more radical than simply finding strengths. It’s about actually seeing… (insert your challenge here)… as a gift. The very behaviors, traits and expressions that get labeled as symptoms can, through a different lens, be seen as strengths that have an important contribution to make to our communities and culture.”

Seth Godin, author of the book, Linchpin , tells us that,

“You have brilliance in you, your contribution is valuable, and the art you create is precious. Only you can do it, and you must.”

What is art? It can be anything! Play can be art. Work is a chance to express art… when it’s yours.

Creating the Shift

How then, do we create a shift in our thinking about our out-of-the-box children? We begin by rethinking the labels. We begin looking at the symptoms, problems, or issues in a different light. Honos-Webb offers us a new beginning….

1. "Daydreamer” becomes “the gift of creativity.”

2. “Hyperactive” becomes “the gift of exuberance”

3. “Outbursts” become “the gift of emotional sensitivity”

4. “Poor social judgment” becomes “the gift of interpersonal intuition.”

5. “Antsy to be outside” become “the gift of ecological consciousness.”

Shifting how we view our children won’t change their issues, but it will change how we feel about them. It doesn’t give them carte blanche to run wild.

Instead, it gives us an opportunity to peek at the remarkable potential hiding in our children. It frees us to cultivate those gifts; guiding them towards healthy outlets.

We need remarkable people; people who view their work as art. We need to quit training kids to conform, and instead embrace their quirkiness; recognizing it could be that exact behavior that turns up as an adult to be their greatest strength.

What Coffee and Remarkable Kids Have In Common

I live in the country between two towns. If I head into town, in either direction, I will pass several Starbuck’s. Great marketing strategy, right? It’s convenient, and no matter which Starbucks I go to, I can be assured of the same cup of coffee. The coffee is OK; it’s standardized.

Now, If I will travel to the heart of town, which is always out of my way, I come across a one man coffee drive-thru. He has turned making coffee and coffee drinks into a work of art! He takes great pride in creating unique combinations for his drinks.

Guess where I go if I get out of the house without my morning cup of coffee???

I go out of my way to find the man who’s created a toasted marshmallow latte in honor of fall!

Are we going to standardize our children, or allow them to become truly remarkable?