An Original is More Valuable Than a Copy

When Michael Jordan was at the top of his basketball career, every young boy in America wanted to “be like Mike.”  They would practice his shots, floating down driveways across the country to make the classic dunk shot seemed so effortless.

It’s a great way to start.  Whenever we learn something new, it’s good to watch somebody who’s doing it and learn the basics.

But at some point, it becomes a detriment.

Only one person in the world can play like Michael Jordan:

Michael Jordan.

Only one person in the world can be you:

You.

MJShaquille O’Neill never tried to play basketball like Michael Jordan.  If he did, he would have failed.  He needed to be the best Shaq he could be.  If he tried to copy anybody else, he would rob the world of the unique contribution that only he could make.

That’s true for you as well.

There’s only one of you. 

Anytime you compare your skill, talent, personality, looks or technique with someone else, you tend to end up on the losing end.  You watch somebody’s success and assume that if you’re going to be successful, you need to do it like them.

Stop it.

It’s the key to failure and frustration.

John Ortberg, author of “The Me I Want To Be,” says that we do ourselves and others a disservice when we try to be like someone else.  He suggests the need to become “youier” – more like ourselves and less like others.

As John Mason said, “You were born an original. Don’t die a copy.”

You are a gift to the rest of us – just the way you are. 

Originals have more value than copies.

So do you.

Senior Consultant at FranklinCovey; Author of "People Can't Drive You Crazy If You Don't Give Them the Keys"