By ERIC KLUMP
Society tells all of us what to do, buy and be. But when we think about it, what makes us … us?
What if you applied an X-factor to the decision-making process?
First, let me clarify. This discussion of an “X-factor” does not relate to the network reality show of the same name. I do not think that you should go out and sing in a warbling voice.
I got my idea about the X-factor from the British motoring show “Top Gear.” It uses the term to demonstrate how one car beats out another by having a “special something.”
The show says a car like an Alfa Romeo or a Chevrolet Corvette can look bad statistically, but may actually be the best choice because it provides an emotional connection that makes you appreciate it more.
This idea can go beyond cars, and relate to many aspects of our lives. It is vital to our individuality.
However, society and our need to be accepted push away these connections. We narrow our gaze to the clothes, brands, music, cars — the everythings — that are deemed popular.
Consider Apple’s new iPhone 5 versus any Android phone. Both brands perform the same basic functions and offer hundreds of thousands of apps that give owners a myriad of options.
Nevertheless, many people will upgrade to the iPhone 5 simply because it is an iPhone.
I have a hard time believing that the iPhone is for everyone, and doubt that everyone who buys an Android device does so to spite Apple.
People in either camp might want to switch sides, but do not because they feel pressure to stick with the popular choice.
Listening to our inner voice and embracing the X-factor can help ensure our happiness. More importantly, it will truly set us apart from one another.
I encourage you all to seek out items that provide your personal X-factor satisfaction. Listen to your own music, in your preferred car, wearing your clothes of choice.
Klump’s X-factors include a British racing-green Mini Cooper S Clubman, blaring house music, hot green tea, long-sleeve oxford shirts with the sleeves rolled up, khaki cargo shorts and brightly colored Nike high tops.