Look at all great people you admire. They are all unique. You can pick two highly successful actors who will play the same role in two completely different ways. Two great architects would approach a same building with two uncomparable ways.
I can find one thing that is common in all great achievers. It is that their work and their words are irreplaceable. If you remove them from history, you will not find another person to replace them.
That quality of being irreplaceable is what I also aspire. While I am on this path, I thought there are certain helpful points to note down.
1.) Don’t have a role model
There are many times when you see someone else doing great work; and you want to be like them. Don’t.
Your life is really fun when ‘YOU’ live it. It starts spoiling when you put someone else in your place to live your life. Problem with the role model is that we start looking at things through their perspective, and pay less attention to our unique way of seeing.
You are shaped by your background. Your actions and personality must respond to that background just like a well designed building must respond to its context. If you model yourself after someone else, you are trying to put a great building in a place where it doesn’t belong.
Of course, it is important to learn from great achievers. But we don’t need to become like them. It is not about the person. It is about the qualities that they had. Once we learn their great qualities, we can apply them in our own way.
2.) Refine yourself over and over
I have noticed my transformation in last 5 years. It becomes clear that my work in chess, architecture and even my learning attempts in music have become more refined.
When it began it was all a vague idea. There was room for many possibilities. But as I am progressing, I notice a concrete pattern emerging. I notice a way in which I do things and bring ideas to material world. That irreplaceable pattern is already starting to form but there is still a lot of refinement to do.
The key to achieving irreplaceable personality is to do things over and over. Every Time you do it, you put one more piece of yourself into it. With each repetition, you see your work gaining a new element of yourself which was not there before.
It reminds me of a quote by Bruce Lee:
“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”Bruce Lee
An architect must design hundreds of buildings before he can achieve his unique style. A musician must create hundreds of musical patterns to discover his own music. A blogger or a writer must write hundreds and thousands of pieces to develop a writing style.
True power is not in a great thing done once. It is in a small effective thing done thousands of time. It generates a momentum that is just unmatched.
3.) Don’t settle for less
Only thing that can stop you from stretching yourself is your tendency to be comfortable. I have seen many average people apparently doing good and I have also thought, “Well, it seems good. What is wrong with that? I can also do that easily and lead a comfortable life.”
The tendency to be comfortable can stop you from working hard. It can bring down your ambitions in an instant. We feel that we don’t need to stretch anymore, we are happy with this average level. That is the end of progress.
Note: don’t settle for less doesn’t mean be unhappy with what you are now. Happiness should have nothing to do with your amount of success. We don’t stretch ourselves to be happy. We push to know our true potential, to see how far we can go.
If you are reading this, you probably have everything you need to be happy. Happiness is not our ultimate goal. This blog is about expanding. It is about growth.
Check this out: Why you need to seek ‘growth’ instead of ‘happiness’.
Remember that you are already unique. No One can do things exactly the way you do them. It is just that your uniqueness has not been refined to the level that it is irreplaceably unique.
For example, I know that my writing is good, inspiring and unique. But I haven’t yet refined it to the level that people must visit my blog for a certain solution or an idea. An idea that they can’t find anywhere else? Or maybe I have. I don’t know…
All you have to do is work over and over on something that you really like. Do not settle for less and just keep refining your art. You can and you must take inspiration from other great achievers, but you don’t need to become like them. Their ideas are all you need. Here are some questions to get you moving.
- What is the surrounding that I have grown in? What unique perspective did it give me? What are great qualities I admire in myself that are the result of the way I grew up?
- In current life situation, what are my strengths and weaknesses?
- If my work was irreplaceably unique, what would it look like? What kind of a personality I would have?
- What is one thing that I want to do it over and over and gain complete mastery?
- Do I try to become like someone else? Do I really need to do that? What if I decide today to live with ‘Who I am’ and move forward with that?