Lessons from the 4 Leaf Clover: Be Different, Not Better

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You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. Be unique.

“There are two kinds of men who never amount to much: those who cannot do what they are told and those who can do nothing else.”

Cyrus Hermann Kotzschmar Curtis

The other day I stopped to look down at a patch of clovers as I usually do while walking my dogs. This one particular patch, though, was fascinating. There were a few clovers that were GIGANTIC compared to the other clovers around them. I wish I had taken a picture of them. It was one of the few times I regretted not taking my phone with me.

Although it is remarkable how large those clovers were, the fact is they’re still just 3 leaf clovers like all the rest. They’re not… “special.” What I was looking for was a 4 leaf clover. Even if it was the smallest clover in the group, if it had that one extra leaf I would have picked it out of the crowd and put it in a very special place.

What an amazing lesson nature gave me with this little patch of clovers! It doesn’t matter if you’re taller, bigger or stronger than the people around you. Unless you develop the personal habit of going the extra mile – doing more than what is expected of you whether you are compensated or not – you will never be considered special. Don’t worry about what others are doing, just focus on yourself. Develop your unique skills and talents. Figure out what it is that gives you a sense of purpose and pride.

It doesn’t matter if you come from a long line of 4 leaf clovers. Or if all your best friends are 4 leaf clovers. It doesn’t matter if you’re so close to a 4 leaf clover that you’re basically attached to it. Unless you grow that extra leaf for yourself, you’re not going to get picked!

Even if all the bigger 3 leaf clovers tower over you, and cover you up so no one can see you; they will all be pushed aside in order to get to you because you have become something special. You’ve become someone that inspires others. Even without the promise of any sort of reward, you put in the extra time – the extra effort. You went that extra mile and grew that extra leaf – developed those extra skills and talents! There will always be a special place for those who do more than what is expected of them.

“Always go the extra mile because you’ll never find any traffic there. Everything you could ever want is all there on that extra mile.” Brian Tracy

You may be asking, “What if I do all that extra work, and put in all that extra effort to go the extra mile and it’s not worth it. What if I get there too late and all the rewards are already taken? What if there’s nothing in it for me?”

The best way to answer those kinds of doubts is with questions that will give you more clarity: “What else am I going to do with my time anyway? What other great purpose am I working on? Why not give it a try?”

Being the best is great, you’re the number one. Being unique is greater, you’re the only one.” Anonymous

If you’re worried that others are more special than you, or that there will be “No Vacancy” when you finally arrive – I can assure you that those worries are unwarranted. There is always room for another 4 leaf clover! I’ve found probably over a hundred 4 leaf clovers in my lifetime, but I still look for another one every chance I get. No one spots a 4 leaf clover and says, “Oh, I’d love to pick it but I’ve already reached my 4 leaf clover quota for the year.” There really is no need to compare or spend even a second thinking about what others are doing. All you have to do is develop the habit of always going the extra mile, and be uniquely, unapologetically you.

I hope this inspires and encourages you. Namaste 🙂

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