I've come to realise more and more the important distinction between copying and being original. Of course we can all learn from others who are successful and have travelled further down the road so to speak.
Role models are great, but comparison however can be dangerous.
I've met people who've become obsessed about modelling their lives on those they have deemed to be more successful than themselves - without actually realising it. At the extreme, this excessive modelling can result in stiff superficial clones with little confidence or originality.
It's actually amazing how visible this can be from the outside looking in, yet the person involved has a blind spot.
It's a bit like an expert looking at a fake watch, they know it's not the real thing.
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
We are original, there is only one of us and our fingerprints are unique. Yes, we can become conditioned by life's experiences and challenges, but we must retain our originality to be truly authentic.
Original is best. We don't 'have' to do what everybody else is doing. Each of us has a unique blend of gifts and talents for the purpose of using them to navigate 'our' journey in life. That applies to business, family, community and wherever else we spend our time.
Being original means facing the crowd as we are. It means being able to say with conviction:
"I am comfortable with others, because I am comfortable with myself"