I think today, and perhaps always, we tend to compare ourselves. I suppose it’s natural, a competitive spirit inside us but it’s important to cut against it. Break the cycle. Because if you look and really pay attention, the greats are all originals.
I’ve been hyper-observant my entire life and tend to pay close attention to people, things, trends, idiosyncrasies… and I can assert that true greats are original. They’ve found themselves. There’s a tone, vibe, look, feel or flow about them that IS uniquely them.
And if you want to be great, it’s time to stop trying to learn and do what others are doing and instead lean in to you. Who you really are.
Who are you?
Bob Dylan. Steve Jobs. Jerry Seinfeld. Tom Brady. Gretzky. Walt Disney. Oprah. James Dyson. J.K Rowling. Taylor Swift. Bill Murray. Elon Musk. The Beatles. U2. Jordan.
There is no mistaking a great. They are always originals. They’re unique in their way and they cut their own path.
Whether it’s a singer, athlete, business magnate, inventor. They always have that special thing and way about them. And yet, when you look around or look on Instagram, it appears to me that so many have completely lost who that is and are trying to be something else — a shallow shell in the hopes of gaining more followers or to make a quick buck.
But true greats — don’t mimic.
A few years ago I read two books, one was the Inner Game of Tennis and the other was The Untethered Soul. Both in their own way focused on “I” — in other words, who you actually are and how you harness that.
Greatness comes from that place. And it’s a worthy adventure to get to know oneself a little better and perhaps know a little less about everyone else.
Who are you? What’s your way? Identify that and work to become a master it. It will over time seep from your pores and permeate everything you do but you have to start by stopping being someone else.
“Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” - Oscar Wilde
Greatness starts by identifying yourself and then amplifying it. And honestly, that’s really who everyone wants to know anyway.
Originals earn the most admiration.