What if the cheetah never knew it could run that fast? What if the possum never discovered it’s ability to play stone cold dead. What if penguins never experimented with sliding on the ice instead of waddling across it?
Animals utilize every appendage, every idea, every resource possible to find a way to get what it desires. Whether it’s breaking free from a trap, catching it’s next meal, making itself attractive to a mate, or hiding from a predator – animals will find a way.
When we acknowledge ways of operating, the modes and the styles we are capable of, our eyes open to new possibilities. You see, style is not just about fashion. Style is your way. It’s your method. It’s what separates you from others and makes you unique. You are special. And there is a specialty that lies within you.
For example, as a stylist, my personal specialty is color. My business card reads Color Specialist. While I am licensed to cut hair professionally, and I possess all the rights and all the freedom to provide the service of cutting hair, the specialty I found within me is with color. Early on in my career I discovered a delight in pursuing excellence in all things color-related. I fixated on learning all I could about corrective color and became known as an expert in the salon. This soon became my point of difference amidst the many talented stylists that I worked alongside. I had found my way.
(Side note: I do not mean to go all preachy about this, but I think it’s important. I really love the fact that if you read about Jesus and the work that he did, the Bible continually stated that he “went on his way”. He did not set up as a celebrity somewhere, give his followers a club name, and build himself an empire (that seemed to come after he was finished doing his good work). He simply “went on his way”. This tells me two things: 1. he had a way, and 2. it was his.)
I digress…anyways, as I honed in all my continuing education on color trends and techniques, I also developed an ear in listening and communicating about all things color. Choosing the right words became extremely important to the success of my work. What was strawberry blonde to one guest, was light copper to another. To one, the word “copper” is terrifying, and to another it is exhilarating! It became invaluable to learn how to use a language that made my guests feel comfortable and understood – so we would often agree on pictures, instead. Potatoes, Poh-tah-toes.
This was my way. As a good steward of my craft I had to become willing to change my language, willing to find a common understanding for unity in order provide the best service. This became my style of operations, my style of communication, and my style of professional excellence within my craft.
Listen, anybody can get a license to perform a service. Anybody can preach, teach, mentor and lead. But it will be your way, your style, and your point of difference that determines the effectiveness, the success, and ultimately, the legacy, that you will leave people with.
Your style may be in communication, in reconciliation, in argumentation or in the ways you use your voice. Your style may be in hospitality, in how you invite others into relationship. Your style can also be how you write, how you wear fashion, how you paint or how you sing.
But, before you can start projecting your style confidently into the world, you must find it first! You gotta dig a little bit, uncover a few things, and define who you are and what you believe! And all in all, your style must absolutely be yours! Listen, fashions are trendy and your ways of operations will change, but your style, your way, has the opportunity to leave a legacy.