Have you ever caught yourself saying, “I want to be like ________” [insert name of celebrity, athlete, corporate power broker, friend.]
We all do. We all use others for comparison or contextual reference.
Last year, I caught myself explaining a project as wanting it to be something like a cross between Oprah and MarieTV with a heavy dose of nature and animals. After I wrote that in a Facebook group, I later wondered if I was doing myself a disservice by using other people as reference points.
Todd Henry, author of The Accidental Creative, has a saying:
“Cover bands don't change the world.”
If you're into music, you know what he's talking about.
I didn't mean to say I wanted to be Oprah or Marie Forleo, I was talking more about trying to emulate their platforms as I work to create something I've dreamed of since I was a kid watching ZOOM in the 1970s. But still…..
All too often we look for the map to reach whatever life destination we're aiming for.
We search for the golden ticket that will make some dream magically come to life.
We mimic others in the hopes of capturing their success and making it our own.
You have a life story that's your own. No one else can tell that story.
If you don't tell YOUR story by living the life that's right for you, the world will be deprived of your story, your talents, your gifts.
[Tweet “Be original. Paint your masterpiece. “]
You have a unique perspective to share, even if you haven't yet figured out the whole purpose thing. Like I said in my post The Power of Purposeful Action, your purpose will be revealed as you take action on your interests and step out of your comfort zone.
I've experienced some stuff that I did not enjoy, that I would not care to repeat, that I wouldn't want any other person to go through. The worst of those experiences were not remotely due to any fault of my own.
But without those experiences I wouldn't be the person I am today. In hindsight, I can see that I'm strong as a result and maybe more willing to be brave in the face of uncertainty than some others might be. Also in hindsight, I can see that those experiences have made me more independent than, perhaps, I should be.
But it's those experiences from a life of living that make originality possible.
Our Life Is A Gift
History is a gallery of pictures in which there are few originals and many copies.
Alexis de Tocqueville
I'm original, you're original, because no one else has experienced our life with our respective combination of interests, talents, skills. We need to use that originality to tell our own story, to paint our masterpieces.
Don't let your life be a pale imitation of someone else's.
Are you painting an original or just making a copy?
I'd love to hear from you. Leave a comment below.
I am definitely guilty of trying to imitate people I admire. Thanks for the reminder to be true to myself.
I’ve been there, as well. It’s human nature, I think, to compare ourselves to others and there’s no question we learn by modeling. We just have to move beyond that,