The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Imitation Is Limitation - Strive to Always Be Original

"It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation". Herman Melville, American short-story Writer, Novelist and Poet.

Choose to be who you are. Success is a word that is attractive. Most people, young and old, want to succeed in all their endeavours. Being success driven sometimes leads to imitation especially among the young who want to talk, walk, and work like someone else who may seem to be in a better position.

Now, I have this to tell you. John L. Mason asserts that it is better to be an engine and not a caboose. Remember, God created us all different. You have your own strength that needs to be exploited, and this does not need to be the same as that of your friend. Even those you admire have their own weaknesses, after all. Before you admire someone's "good life", first of all, ask them about their journey. You will be surprised.

You do not need to be approved by the public to be able to achieve. You need to be approved by you. Only the inside of you can stop you or not. It does not take the public, it does not take your past, it does not take your religion, it does not take your friends, but you. Others come to supplement what you have inside you.

Today, my call is to bring you back your originality. Have you been imitating someone? We all sometimes do, but let me give you some tips to take you through the week.

When you imitate another person, you limit your own potential and you will die a photocopy of someone else. If you choose to be someone else, who will you be? Parents make a mistake when they try to compare a neighbour's son/daughter with theirs by indicating how the other is better in a certain field e.g. mathematics. The child grows up with no self-esteem but rather imitates the neighbour who is after all better than him. To the parents, your child is an original. Help him stay one.

Let us now start on our journey to success/accomplishment without imitating that other person. According to William Mathews, the first law is concentration. To bend all the energies to one point, and to go directly to that point, looking neither right nor left. Remember what Samuel Johnson, the English author said "almost all absurdity of conduct arises from imitation of those who we cannot resemble".

Have a purpose. Billy Sunday observed; most men fail through lack of purpose than lack of talent." If your method is hit or miss, you will usually miss, because "if you're not sure of where you are going, you'll probably end up somewhere (Robert Mager).

Do not look at other people for direction. Have the passion, which is the spark of your fuse. We all have the potential to be passionate about what we do. Everyone loves something and that is where your passion is. Ignore it; you will ignore a big part of you.

According to Philip Baker, super achievers refuse to believe that their culture, heritage, net worth, etc, controls their life. Only desire, decision, and determination are important.

The same author asserts that to be a super achiever, refuse to bow down to the victim mentality. This is the mentality of all super achievers. Their common thread is that their problems simply build stronger determination to overcome. Choose an attitude of responsibility and learning.

"You will become as small as your controlling desire; or as great as your dominant aspiration". James Allen.

Choose to grow, chose to be responsible, always try to be honest in all you do, and choose to reject rejection by following your heart and not the crowd. What people think of us does not matter, what matters is what we think of ourselves.

Of course, this does not mean that life will be very smooth, but remember before victory, there is always a battle. Storms don't lust, "the ability to maintain such enthusiasm when all is dark divides between life's leaders and responders". Philip Baker.

In conclusion, M.R Kopmeyer in his book thoughts to build on says that "Nothing in the world will take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talents. Genius will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. Press on.......!"

The writer is an educationist, author and publisher.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2013 The New Times. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.