embrace the real you

There’s an Aesop fable that I came across recently. Here’s how it goes:

An Eagle swooped from out the sky, 
And carried off a sheep. 
A Raven seeing him, said: "I
Could do that too if I should try. 
His meal comes mighty cheap." 

Of all that well-fed flock was one
As fat as fat could be. 
The Raven rose, and lit upon
Her back. She seemed to weigh a ton--
So very fat was she. 

And, oh! Her wool was wondrous thick: 
It would have made a mat. 
The Raven's claws are caught, and stick! 
He's played himself a pretty trick--
To fly with one so fat. 

"Ba, ba!" "Caw, caw!" cry bird and beast. 
The shepherd comes at last: 
Sir Raven who would find a feast
Is from the woolly one released, 
And in a cage kept fast.

A lot of people in the pursuit of success, try to copy others. They try to write speak, create and market in an exact way that their favorite thought leaders, authors, and influencers are currently doing it. 

Don’t do that. Just do what aligns with you best, both professionally and personally. It doesn’t serve the gifts that we have been bestowed upon to copy someone else. 

If you’re a raven, act and behave like a raven, don’t try to become an eagle. Be the best damn raven you can be. Otherwise, you’ll feel miserable and set a trap for yourself and get caged. 

Wherever you are right now, be the best that you can be. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “If you can’t be a pine at the top of the hill, be a shrub in the valley. Be the best little shrub on the side of the hill.”

Stay away from being a copycat of someone else. Become a sponge and learn from other people, but act on your own instincts. Embrace and hone your own uniqueness. 

Don’t take the “IKEA template” approach and spend your precious time building the exact same thing as someone else. You may not like the final result. Instead, create your own recipe. You may borrow the ingredients from others, but you’re ultimately cooking based on your own preferences and taste. 

It’s like gathering clay from different sources, but then molding it on your own to make your own unique creation. 

Also, remember that shortcuts and “hacks” always lead to negative consequences. Success is an evolutionary process, not an event; it takes grit, dedication and hard work. You have to cultivate mastery in order to attract the same level of success that your role model or favorite thought leader is enjoying right now.

Ultimately, it’s all about expressing your unique self and giving your best today, and focusing on getting better every single day. Just stay on your path and take consistent actions. 

Live your own truth, not someone else’s. Life is short and you are a unique miracle that the world has never seen before and will never see again. Make your time count and leave your unique footprint on the minds and hearts of people that come across you and your work.