There’s constant pressure on us by friends, family or our peers to be someone else. It all starts from the point of improving oneself in relation to the competition. While some level of competition is good, things get to a head when this is replaced by a craziness to improve something which doesn’t actually need any changing.
While we are always taught to be better at what we do and keep improving constantly, there always comes a time when a line has to be drawn. That is the time when it has to be recognized that there’s only a certain level of excellence which an individual can reach. That excellence maybe exhibited differently in different individuals. If that is changed too much, then things can only get worse for everyone involved.
Every individual has different skills and his or her own strengths and weaknesses. While lessons to improve the weaknesses can be taught till forever, each individual implements the lessons and achieves success or failure on his or her own terms and conditions. Joining the bandwagon and being someone else is never a true guarantor of success.
While there’s always a tendency to compare individuals, one may never necessarily know the true picture. You may compare one child who scored 95 out of 100 with another who scored 65 out of 100. To you, the one who scored 95 is brilliant while the one who scored 65 is horrible. You feel that the one who has scored 65 is not regular with his studies.
But if you were to know that his parents cannot afford his education, he doesn’t get more than 15 hours of electricity per day at his home and he has to work daily to support his family, wouldn’t you react differently? Things are not always as simple as they seem.
On another note, a lot many people are taught or even themselves try to copy their idols. If MS Dhoni had tried to copy Sachin Tendulkar, would he have been successful? If Apple had tried to copy Nokia’s phones and not carve their own path in the world of mobile telephony, would they have been successful? If Google had tried to copy Yahoo, would they have been successful?
The point I am trying to make is the fact that each of us can be successful by being different if we put in the effort. While copying others can give short term success at best, product and strategy differentiation is key to achieving long term success.
The quote below sums up my thoughts quite beautifully.
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.