march to a different beat

march to a different beat

To do something, act, or behave in a manner that does not conform to the standard, prevalent, or popular societal norm. My brother's eschewed the idea of a full-time career and has had every oddball job you could think of, but then he's always been happy marching to a different beat. Look, I respect the fact that you like to march to a different beat, but do you have to make a point of doing everything in a contrarian way?
See also: beat, different, march, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

march to a different beat

Also, march to a different drummer. Act independently, differ in conduct or ideas from most others, as in Joe wanted to be married on a mountain top-he always marches to a different beat, or Sarah has her own ideas for the campaign; she marches to a different drummer. This idiom, alluding to being out of step in a parade, is a version of Henry David Thoreau's statement in Walden (1854): "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer." It came into wide use in the mid-1900s.
See also: beat, different, march, to
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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