Ways to Distinguish Yourself #203 – Focus on the edges

Ways to Distinguish Yourself #203 – Focus on the edges

By Rajesh Setty on Tue 04 Aug 2009, 4:04 PM – 10 Comments

A knife is sharp only at its ends.

Your house key or car key is simply a piece of metal if the ends are flattened out.

Your pen will fail to work if the tip is broken.

You will probably your next email with your “fingertips”

In most cases, edges are what matters.

When it comes to distinguish yourself, edges matter a lot as that’s what people notice.

You can play it safe and be in the center and probably get moved to the sidelines. Someone else will take the risk, go to the edges and finally end up in the center stage.

At the center you follow what is popular. At the edges, you set a new trend.

At the center you follow the rules. At the edges, you create new rules.

At the center lies the common. At the edges, you explore the uncommon

At the center, you are with the known. At the edges, you start getting familiar with the unknown.

At the center, you comply. At the edges, you create.

At the center, you try to conquer. At the edges, you try to contribute.

At the center, you are safe but not going anywhere. At the edges, there is risk but that’s where you see the world of possibilities.

All the best!

Hat Tip: Arun Nithyanandam

Photo Courtesy: xjara69 on Flickr


Note 1: Here are links to the other 200 articles in the series

Rajesh Setty: Best of Life Beyond Code – Distinguish Yourself #1 – #50

Rajesh Setty: Best of Life Beyond Code -Distinguish Yourself #51 – #100

Rajesh Setty: Best of Life Beyond Code -Distinguish Yourself #101 – #100

Rajesh Setty: Best of Life Beyond Code -Distinguish Yourself #151 – #200

Note 2: The first 25 entries in the series have been packaged in a ChangeThis manifesto that was published on September 07, 2005. You can download that manifesto here:

ChangeThis Manifesto: 25 Ways to Distinguish Yourself (PDF, Free)

Note 3: My latest manifesto on ChangeThis was published on August 6, 2008. This is a photographic manifesto featuring 15 of my mini sagas (stories in exactly 50 words). Here is the link:

ChangeThis Manifesto: Mini Sagas – Bite Sized Lessons for Life and Business (PDF, Free)


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10 Comments so far, Add Yours

JudyH  on August 4th, 2009

Edgy. Maybe it’s about time for me to move away from the comfortable center and create some edges of my own.


Rajesh Setty  on August 5th, 2009

Judy, thanks for visiting and sharing.

At the edges you see a panoramic view of the possibilities in the world.

All the very best.



Seth Godin  on August 5th, 2009

the knife riff is brilliant!

Rajesh Setty  on August 6th, 2009

Thank you Seth for the kind comments.

Have a great evening there.



Ramesh Natarajan  on August 6th, 2009


Excellent advice.

There is also another zone between the “center” and “edge”. I don’t know exactly how to explain it. But, there are folks (may be just me? :-) ) who are neither at the center nor at the edge. (or) They are constantly jumping between edge and center.

You’ve given all the strong reasons and motivations for me to give an attempt to constantly stay at the “edge”.

Rajesh Setty  on August 6th, 2009

Hi Ramesh,

Just checked your website. Cool stuff there. You are definitely on the edge but not giving yourself enough credit :)

Have a great evening.



robe1221  on August 7th, 2009

I am not at the edge of the knife, and I know that the center is comfortable and easy to wake up to in the morning. My question is, how to get to the edge?

I can only imagine to take more risks, follow my gut, test myself, and put myself into check if I am following something else.

What are some suggestions from other people?

Diana Daffner, Author – Tantra for Busy Couples  on August 14th, 2009

Great metaphor. There’s a process of self-growth called “Focusing,” developed by Eugene Gendlin, whose latest approach is actually called “Thinking at the Edge.” Dr. Kathy McGuire calls her approach “Creative Edge Focusing.”

Although being at the edge is not a new concept, your post is a good reminder to stay alive and open, and to stretch ourselves beyond our comfort zone. Thanks.



9 Reasons Why Many Smart People Go Nowhere | Life Beyond Code  on March 31st, 2010

[…] Please read: Ways to Distinguish Yourself #203 – Focus on the Edges […]

Invincibelle Column » 9 Reasons Why Many Smart People Go Nowhere  on April 1st, 2010

[…] In school, following the rules helped them get great grades. In the marketplace, following the rules to the dot will help them lead a “successful” life at best. In average cases, it will lead them to lead a mediocre life. At the center, you are safe but there is no premium.At the edges, there is less safety but the chances of getting a premium is high. In a “safe” or sandbox environment there was no need to take big risks. In fact, taking risks would not be rewarded. Please read: Ways to Distinguish Yourself #203 – Focus on the Edges […]

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