I was speaking with one of my clients today, and she said something absolutely amazing. We were discussing a particular niche celebrity that we both like, in particular because this celebrity works in a space that my client is pursuing as well. So I made some comment along the lines of, “Oh, so you want to be the next…”
Her response was as immediate as it was powerful: “No, I don’t. I want to be me.”
She’s not living in anyone’s shadow. She’s not trying to follow a trail someone else has blazed. She might work in that space and she might not, but she’s absolutely right – her life, in whatever form it takes, will look nothing like anyone else’s.
We can take our cues from those we respect, and model behavior after those we admire. But we are amalgamations; if we’re diligent, we take the best of many and combine it in our own way. No one is an island and we are influenced by our environment, but we should never strive to model ourselves 100% after one person. We shouldn’t even model sections of our lives (our careers, our love lives, our parenting styles, etc.) after someone amazing in that sphere. We should strive to draw our inspiration from a myriad, to get the best of them and leave the worst behind. Mix in a healthy dose of original thought and we might get somewhere worth going.
I’m taking that lesson from her, and I’m happy to have learned it. It humbled me a little, put me in my place. And now I have a little of that mixed into my own journey, and I’m stronger for it.