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This morning I woke up to hear the news that Tim Duncan, center for the San Antonio Spurs, retired today after nineteen years in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Typically, if the player is quiet throughout their career or if they are not known for being over-the-top or boisterous, it’s easy to forget about them or pass them off as a nothing player. However, Tim Duncan is the exception to this rule. This quiet man of few words is causing a stir normally not given to such a person. Without a doubt, the impression he will leave on the NBA will say more about him than the words he actually said throughout his career.

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In life, we are all the exception to a rule of some sort. Whether it is being an “A+” student in a class full of “C” students, an employee going on their third employee of the month award in a year or a noted pillar of the community in an area where it’s known that its citizens lack the care for their surroundings. As I reflect on my life, I find that I desire to be more of the exception than I am the rule. Of course, it could be my naturally rebellious spirit that is shining through or my desire to be memorable in the lives of those I meet that drives my need to be the exception. Whatever it is,  I have to be willing to accept the consequences. I have to be willing to accept the stares, the behind-the-back conversations, the cheers and jeers, the ups and downs of being an outlier.

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Did you know you were made to stand out – that one of your purposes on this earth is to be exceptionally you?  You’re not meant to be like anyone else on this planet regardless of similarities. Even identical twins are not to be like their siblings. You are made to be exceptional. That is the rule. The rule of life is to be exceptional – to be your greatest version of you. Whether it is like Tim Duncan, the master of exuding quiet strength, or if you are like a firecracker – loud, boisterous and with actions designed for all to see, you are born to be exceptional.

Until next time, accept that you’re born to be exceptional, not the rule. You’re not standard – you never were meant to be standard. Why? Because you were already born exceptional. I will leave you with the famous words of Marianne Williamson. May it inspire you to live an exceptional life.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us. – Marianne Williamson

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