This question was asked recently on Quora.com, and I knew I had to put my answer up here, too.
Learn how to relate to the other generations who were born before you.
The question itself implies that youth can stand out TO somebody. I would imagine it’s talking about older people. That’s not a bad thing. Indeed, one of the common criticisms I hear about today’s youth is that they feel entitled to operate in their own bubbles and not try to adapt themselves to the ways and thoughts of older people.
To be honest, it’s often a lack of exposure that keeps young people from being able to relate to older people, even if they wanted to. So as a young person, you’ve got to make this a priority. To stand out to anyone, you need to find that golden balance between being interesting and being interested. People feel grateful when someone has taken an interest in their lives. That’s a timeless truth for human beings, and it’s why Dale Carnegie’s book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” is still a giant in the personal growth category, almost a century after its 1936 publication. Those early personal growth books weren’t just about financial success. They were manuals for achieving a balanced type of wealth that included success in relationships, the pride and satisfaction of helping others, and of course, success in business and career, too.
This idea of being interested in others doesn’t just help you make friends with them or influence them when you need them. It also puts you in the intereviewer’s seat. Asking good questions allows you to pull from someone else’s wisdom and apply it to your wisdom. It helps you understand how they think, why they do what they do, what motivates them, what their needs are, and how to collaborate with them.
Learn how to relate to other people intentionally. Help people feel important in their own world. Decide what kind of group you want to be a part of and help the whole team succeed by being generous with your talents and your sincere questions. Then, you will be respected and appreciated, and they will miss you when you’re gone, not just because of who you have become, but also because of what you have done, and the difference you have made with your life. In the meantime, you will definitely stand out from your generation.
Here’s To Your Greatness!