Looking back on childhood, copying people was all the rage. We would look to see who was doing the most fun thing and mimic them. As a child, I didn't analyze it then, but looking back, it was flattering when people copied you.
Yesterday, I was reading through some content and I saw that someone had clearly copied 4 concepts from a broad variety of my content and put them into their own single article for a newspaper. This person is an adult. This person should know better. And as I thought through that, I started to feel flattered - just as I would have done as a child - but then I felt something else.
There was a brief flash of anger that came and went in the time it took me to blink, but that wasn't the prevailing emotion. Indeed, I thought about it overnight and this morning it was clear. Now, I don't know whether I should feel this or not, but I felt sorry for this person. This person who should know better. This person who couldn't write their own original content and be proud of it; they had to read through lots of mine and cobble something together based on the musings of someone else.
That made me think about how, as adults, copying other people - in whatever they do - surely can't be a good thing. How can we be ourselves in authentic ways if we don't create and then follow our own path? How can we find what truly makes us happy if we chase the dreams made by, and for, someone else? And how can we respect someone who doesn't respect themselves enough to determine their own priorities and work hard to make them become reality?
So with a mixed emotion of flattery and feeling sorry for this person, I'll sign off with the reminder that you should always set your own direction rather than copy someone else's path. Be yourself in authentic ways and make your life amazing by determining your priorities and then going for it, whatever stands in your way. If you start the day determined but fall at the first hurdle, you'll never get there. Pick yourself up and try again. And again. And again. You'll get there.
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