We have many names for those we admire. The way we idolize people says a lot about how we see ourselves. When we put certain people on a pedestal, we draw a line between them and us. We basically say ‘they are better than me.’ Some of us aspire to become like “them”, imitating them because we too want to be seen as an idol to someone else.
Doing this completely undermines the powerful message a high performing individual carries into the world. Every single person who has reached a high level of achievement is a testimony to the immense potential that lives inside of every one of us. This message is not about being the same as them, it’s about finding out what our own superpower is so that we can become our own version of genius.
The world does not need a second Elon Musk or another Oprah. The world needs people like you and me to step forward in boldness and use their purpose as a tool for enlightenment and betterment. Mother Teresa did not try to walk in someone else’s shoes. Gandhi was not fooled by another person’s experience. Steve Jobs did not seek to become like someone else. They did find inspiration in others’ paths, but they used that inspirational power to create and walk their own path.
This shift in perspective is a hard lesson to learn when you are deeply embedded in today’s influencer-driven society. We see “role models” being presented to us on our screens, and we aspire to live just like them; be just like them. This is the biggest crime and insult to our lives because it means that we turn inspiration into identification.
Religious folks might argue with me on this, but I am convinced that Jesus did not seek to inspire people to imitate him or to bow to him because he was ‘above’ them. He simply asked for people to recognize their own ‘divinity’ and be LIKE him in their own way: as loving, as forgiving, as caring, as daring. There’s a big difference between imitating a person and being inspired by their openness, willingness, courage and adoration to become free and unapologetic.
The success and the impact we see around these people tends to blind us from that truth. We think that in order to reach that level of success, we must behave just like them. But that is far from the truth. Our truth is defined by our own gifts. And since everyone’s gifts are different, the path is different for everyone. If you believe you have to follow the path most walked, you will find yourself as a follower to an idea that was not born from you. Allow yourself to be inspired to walk your own path, find your own level of genius, your own level of success and your very own level of infinite happiness.