We all have role models and idols in our lives. We look up to industrialists, sportsmen, actors, leaders and even family members as a source of our inspiration. We want to achieve the heights, consistency, success, fame, wealth or personality of these idols. We do everything that they do, the way they do to reach where they are – and here is where we all go wrong!
We keep wondering, why is it that in spite of doing everything the way they did it I didn’t become as successful as they did? The answer is simple – “you can copy all you want, you will always be one step behind”. Trying to ape the way Amitabh Bachchan mouths his dialog or his mannerisms can only make one a duplicate Amitabh Bachchan. If every batsman wanted to be like Sachin Tendulkar, we would’nt have been privileged to see a Rahul Dravid or Virat Kohli”.
So what is it that can help us be as successful as our idols?
The realization that though the destination is same, our paths can be and will be different. We don’t have to imitate what they do, we have to follow how they go about doing it. It’s not about what these idols and role models did well. It’s about what helped them do it well. For everything that do so well effortlessly, they put in a lot of effort preparing for it. So instead of focusing on the results, start focusing on the inputs and the process. If at all you want to copy your idols, copy the commitment, preparation, perseverance, discipline and effort that they put in.
Some of us in our community took fancy to volleyball. We all started as amateurs learning from a few experienced players. A friend of mine learnt fast and soon became one of the accomplished players. She is better than most in all aspects of the game, except for her serves. She could just not get her serves right; they would either not have enough power for the ball to reach the other side of net or not have the direction for the ball to stay in play. She tried practicing by looking at the stars in our team, copying the way they held the ball, they way they tossed it and they way they hit it. But nothing seemed to help her. Anything she tried, it hurt her shoulder and hand. Until, one day she changed her approach. She stopped trying anyone else’s style. She started focusing on what way of hitting the ball did not give a jarring pain in her arm and shoulder, which part of her hand was stronger to strike the ball. Having realized the limitations and strengths of her body, she worked on her strong areas and eventually started serving better and consistently. As long as she was trying to do it the way others did it well, she was not able to succeed. The moment she started working on her strengths her performance went a notch higher.
It is good to have idols and role models. They inspire us, they motivate us and they set a benchmark for us. Learn what they do, how they do and what keeps them going. And STOP at that. From here on it’s all about
Know ThySelf: Identify your strengths, understand what works for you, and realize your limitations. Some students get up early in morning and some stay up late in night to study. Each one has a different natural time where learning is the best in least time. Similarly, know what comes naturally to you and use it to your advantage. What works for someone else, may not work for you. Find out your most effective way of doing things. Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.
Be ThySelf: not a copy of someone else. We have our unique qualities and that’s what make us different from others. Focus on our unique abilities and leverage them to take them towards your goals. We don’t need to act or behave like anyone else. When our natural being becomes our act, the effort becomes effortless.
“To know what you want, you need to know what you really want. To know what you really want, you need to know yourself and to know yourself, you need to be yourself.” – Mike Dooley
Achieve ThySelf: by knowing and being thyself. Reach your goals, claim your call to fame and success in your own style, and before you know, YOU may be a role model for many others who aspire to be as successful.
“Be the FIRST YOU than a SECOND SOMEONE”