In Action, Beliefs, Leaders

“I am in competition with no one.  I have no desire to play the game of being better than anyone.  I am simply trying to be better than the person I was yesterday.” – Unknown

I’ve had several eerily similar conversations with leaders over the past two weeks that really forced me to stop and think.  I used to be surprised when the same topic came up with a number of different people within a brief time period, but no more.  Now I just accept it as a reminder that virtually all leaders are dealing with the same things and that we all have way more in common than we think.

This time the topic was essentially competition.  Each of the leaders I was speaking to said basically the same thing.  When they get caught up in trying to replicate someone else’s success, or replicate someone else’s means or methods of success, they end up chasing their tails and getting nowhere.

How often do we do that?  How often do we see what others are doing and think “I better do that same thing or I must be a failure?”  We read about somebody, or listen to somebody speak, and we think that if we just make the exact same decisions and choices that they make, then we’ll be successful like they are.  So we try and do that – and fail miserably.

Each of us has our own path to follow.  We cannot spend our lives or our careers attempting to be someone else.  We have our own role to play, and trying to replay someone else’s will get us nowhere.  We have to learn our own lines and act our own part.

I’m not suggesting we can’t learn anything from others, or that every time we do something we have to reinvent the wheel.  We absolutely can and must learn from everything we see around us.  We’d be wasting a golden opportunity if we didn’t pay attention to our surroundings.

What I am suggesting is simply that once we’ve taken in whatever knowledge and learning we can, we have to take that knowledge and learning and make it ours.  We have to take everything we know, everything we’ve experienced, everything we’ve learned, and make our decisions based on what we think is best.

Our successes will never look like anyone else’s.  Our highest achievements won’t be the same as anyone else’s.  They will be our successes and our achievements, and we can’t get there by trying to be someone else.

You were made to be successful in a way that’s completely unique to you.  The best you is 100x better than your imitation of someone else.  So go find your own success, and it will be better than your version of anyone else’s could ever be.

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