I’ve never known whether it was a good thing or a bad thing for people to think you look like someone famous. For several years, however, people will approach me and say, “You look just like Mahatma Gandhi.”
I’m going to say it’s probably not great for me to look like Gandhi. It creates expectations that won’t be reinforced when the person gets to know me. Gandhi was a wise, charismatic leader who led the fight to liberate India from the British Empire. He became the icon of Martin Luther King in the civil rights movement.
I’m certainly an admirer of the great Gandhi, and I’ve spent a lifetime trying to teach principles that are liberating to myself and those around me –but after that the similarities between myself and Gandhi get to be much fewer.
Imitations of Great People Don’t Turn Out to be Great
Being like someone else has its serious downsides. I really don’t want to be like someone else from the past who was famous. I have profited by reading biographies of everyone from Benjamin Franklin to Steve Jobs, but I couldn’t and wouldn’t like to be a clone of the most admired person in the world.
Succeeding in Life as the Real You
The most exciting prospect you have is succeeding in life as the real you.
I am a total believer that you as a person have talents and abilities that are so unique that nobody in the history of the world will have the capabilities that you have. If you succeed in life as the real you, you’ll be able to make a difference that nobody else could have ever made. Literally no one else can do what you do, because they aren’t you.
Yet we go through life thinking that we were never quite enough–not smart enough, not tall enough, not good looking enough. We never were quite in the right place at the right time. Our sense of ethics keeps us from doing what others have done to achieve what they have. We discount the package that we came in, the way we look, how we come across. We see what we lack rather than use what we have.
Exploding our Self-limiting Personal Myths
Many of the myths that hold us back are those beliefs about ourselves that were imposed on us early on–by family, teachers and kids in the schoolyards. It is hard to give up self limiting myths because they keep getting reinforced by those around us–as well as ourselves
Here are Some of Our Personal Myths
- I’m Not Smart Enough–Mindset Vs. Mindpower.
You are most probably much smarter than you need to be to succeed.
IQ continues to be controversial, not because of what it measures, but because of what it doesn’t measure. You have intelligence factors that are unique to you that never make the test. The average IQ in the western world, if you believe the data, is about 100 points. If your IQ falls into that range, you’re smart enough to succeed in a great many fields.
It’s not really about IQ. Psychologist Carol Dweck has spent her entire career studying attitude and performance, and her latest study shows that your attitude is a better predictor of your success than your IQ.
Dweck found that people’s core attitudes are key. They fall into one of the following two categories: 1) A fixed mindset, 2) a growth mindset. If you have a fixed mindset, you can knock the top out of the IQ tests, but you’ll never succeed. If you have a growth mindset you can learn what you need to learn and ally with people who have the skills and abilities you don’t have. You can combine your brain power into the IQ of those around you.
- Nobody Gave Me the Opportunity.
Welcome to Today’s World of nobody but you will create your opportunity. For someone who succeeds in today’s world, there is no more important area to change–and you have to change in order to survive. To a corporate recruiter, you’re a possible hire based on whether the ‘bot pulls up your resume. To the entrepreneur you’re someone he or she needs for right now–this stage in the company’s development. To the investor, you’re an expense on the corporate financial statement that needs to be eliminated.
At best, if you don’t know how to create your opportunity you’ll be shoved into a job you’ll hate and endure intermittent unemployment until you get to the point there’ll be younger, less expensive employees to hire.
Make yourself indispensable. If everyone can do what you do, someone will end up doing what you do–it’s a fact. Find an indispensable niche and fill it.
- I don’t Look the Part of a Successful Person
You really look the part–all you have to do is act the part. People will take you as seriously as you take yourself. If you believe this myth that you have to look a certain way, take a look at the people who hold the most important positions today. In politics they’re old and white, although that’s changing a bit. In the media they’re often short and average looking. In entrepreneurship, some look commanding and others you can’t figure out how they got an audience for their product. Be successful as who you are and move forward.
- It’s Too Late–I Don’t have Time to Succeed
Most of us have time, even those of us in the later stages, to start on a new career and succeed. What I most value about age is what I’ve learned in the last few years. We’re doing now what I couldn’t have believed possible. If we had tried to do what we’re doing now, we wouldn’t have succeeded, because we didn’t know enough.
Most people today will most likely be working well past retirement ages of earlier years, and those who have kept on learning and growing will enjoy it. If you think it’s too late to accomplish something new, you may end up doing nothing with a lot of time ahead of you. It’s not too late.
The best way to be successful in your life is to be the best you can possibly be–not anyone else. One of my favorite quotes is something I heard Mathew
McConaughey say at an awards ceremony when somebody asked him who his favorite hero was, he replied, “Myself–20 years from now!” If you’re happy with who you are now, the sky is the limit on who you can be in the future.