I Wear Hawaiian Shirts Everyday – Learn Why!

I don’t know when it became the norm to want to blend it and NOT stand out.

Maybe it’s because when you stand out, you attract attention. And it will never be 100% good attention. There will always be some people who do everything they can to bring you down.

I guess many of us can’t handle that negative attention.

So people decide… why not just take the easy way out and blend in? They think, I don’t want to bring attention to myself because I don’t want to have to deal with facing my vulnerability and faults that make me human.

Essentially, they are saying: I am afraid to open up and be myself. I am going to hide in this house with the door locked until I die.

But when you take the steps to STAND OUT, something incredible happens.

“You become your own force of nature. You inevitably attract some people, repel others, and as a result, orient the world you choose to inhabit.” – Identity Code

Your name starts becoming an adjective.

To say things like, ”that is such a  ‘Todd’ thing to do” or “What’s the ‘Todd’ way to handle this situation?”—as well as, “Stop being such an ‘anti-Todd!’”

Some of your best friends will be the ones that bring you down as you embark on this journey of standing out.

Take those friends aside and politely ask them to stop. If they are true friends, they’ll understand, and cut it out. There is even a good chance they will join you on your journey to stand out.

If they keep sabotaging you, then a friendship with this person is not healthy or helpful.

As you continue to stand out, your brand will become stronger and your confidence inescapable.

You will become loud. Not noisy, but your dreams and personality will be on display to the world.

People want to hang out with you and share experiences. People gravitate toward you and life starts to happen.

You become a leader and an influencer, and become successful.

So what do I do to stand out?

  1. I wear crazy Hawaiian shirts almost every day. Many people give me a hard time and look at me funny—but man, am I hard to forget.
  2. hawian shirtI am not afraid to dream big and try to become fearless. I tell the world daily about my lofty goals and open up and tell them about my hardships and childhood memories.

Some people join me in my crazy pursuits, and others open up right back to share that relationship…while others sit back with doubt, scared to express their weaknesses, only to watch us rise.

3. I go up to beautiful women, musicians, multimillion-dollar businessmen and celebrities, and treat them no different than I would my friend. I am real, honest, keep my integrity intact, and not afraid to say the wrong thing or offend them. 

Case in point? I once hitched a ride with Ben Affleck from Mammoth to LA airport, since the planes were not going out.


4. When I was awarded a scholarship and had the chance to meet Congressman Darrell Issa in-person at his office, I wore sandals. He never forgot me, and continues to tell this story to colleagues today.

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5. To try and win a free trip to China, I dressed up like a girl, made a funny video, and shared the video with the world to try and get them to vote for me. Many gave me a hard time and they laughed—but, surprise! I ended up winning!

Went to China with a friend, and everything was paid for. The company sponsoring the contest even threw a party for us in New York City. To top it off, news reporters wrote stories about me, and I got $7,500 in cash to spend however I wanted!


6. I don’t allow ANYONE to walk over me or my friends or family. I constantly look for ways to help my friends and family grow, face their fears, and go after their dreams. I stand up for what I believe in. I keep my integrity intact. I respect women and I tolerate no degrading talk—including jokes that belittle women or portray them as sex objects. My voice will be heard.


So what can you do to stand out?

Well, I don’t know you.

But one thing I do know is that it is going to take SMART (specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and timely) steps that are not going to come overnight. They take work. They require you figuring out who you are and what you stand for.

In 2010, after a devastating breakup with my first love named Jenni, I started down this path of figuring myself out. Jenni is an incredible individual, of whom I will always think highly.

And, because the breakup was a sort of call-to-action for the rest of my life, it was the single best thing that ever happened to me.

It made me confused. I couldn’t control my emotions, and I didn’t know who I was. So to try and figure it out, I wrote down a goal and took off on a 3 month backpacking trip by myself through Eastern Europe, reading books on identity, love, and self-exploration.

Check out a goal I physically wrote down in 2010.goal

Check out what I created after that 3 month trip:

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And look at where I am now! I consistently help individuals face their fears and go after their dreams.



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But this did not happen overnight. It took planning, work, and focus. This focus continued even after that 3 month backpacking trip.

Quick Disclaimer: The above goal is not SMART, and not a goal I would advise. This was when I had just started SMART goals. A better goal would have been:

“This upcoming summer, read The Identity Code while going on a 3 month self-exploration-themed backpacking trip through Eastern Europe in an attempt to figure out my purpose, write it down, and pursue it with passion.”

See? This goal is specific, it is something you can measure, it is something you can actionably do, it is relevant to my long-term goals, and there is a date to complete the task.

In Conclusion

Why not stand out? Why not make your name an adjective that people use to describe situations?

Why not be your authentic true self?

Become your own force of nature. Attract some people, repel others, be hated, and create your dream world where people will love you for who you are.

Don’t just copy what I do, because it won’t be authentically true to who you are. Instead, take action and physically start writing your goals down today! Who are you? What do you stand for? What is your mission in life? All these questions need to be addressed first.

What do you think? Can you relate? How far along the “standing out” journey are you? Please let me know in the comments below.

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Todd VanDuzer

Co-Founder & CEO at Student-Tutor
Todd VanDuzer is co-founder and CEO of Student-Tutor, an inspirational leader and speaker for high schools and companies across the country, an avid rock climber, adventurer, world traveler, and more. He is driven by the need to help others go after their dreams by setting lofty S.M.A.R.T (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and timely) goals while having someone to hold you accountable. Todd is preparing to embark on a 5-year trip around the world in his van to help challenge, motivate, and inspire students to take charge of their lives. Follow Todd via Instagram or Twitter!

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