Welcome to #InspireAfricaProject! One of the hardest things to do in life is to be original. But I have discovered that the fastest route to the top is originality. Of course we must look up to role models and great mentors, but the challenge is that sometimes we unconsciously replicate what they are doing and jettison our own assignments.
In my book, 15 Laws of Money, I said that there is a difference between imitation and innovation. Imitation is to simply copy and paste, but innovation is to copy, mix and paste. If you copy one hundred percent and paste, you will end up as number two the rest of your life If you look at some ministers of God you will discover that they will remain number two the rest of their lives because they abandoned who they are and their God-given assignment to copy what they see others do.
The challenge is that they cannot do it better than that the person who owns the original. So if a minister shows up in their church program and shout, fireeeeeeeeeee! They will copy it and increase the frequency to fireeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! If another minister jumps around on the platform, they will begin to jump around too even when they don’t have the kind of energy the other minister has. The danger is that he will transfer the energy he would have used to preach to dancing around, and the audience will be struggling to hear him!
The truth is that the moment those who are sensitive in the audience sees your display, they will say to themselves, “This brother is imitating so and so minister.” That’s the danger of copying everything someone is doing.
I was invited to minister someone one day, when I heard the voice of the moderator I thought that they invited a particular minister of God too. When I entered the church, I discovered that it was another person. I said to the young man, if you continue this way you will find it difficult to go far in ministry because you cannot outshine the person you’re copying.
The challenge in our clime is bandwagon effect. If a musician enters the studio and produces a song that became very popular, every other musician will rush to the studio to use the same beat and say one or two things. No wonder greater percentage of songs in Nigeria sounds alike. Same thing happens in the business world.A young man told me that the same thing happens in the market place. He said that once you come up with a new product, people will quickly fake it and crash the price. To becomes original, you must do the following.
1. Be Happy With Who You Are. You must understand that out of over seven billion people on earth, no one is like you. God created you original, why must you die as a copy? If you’re a minister kindly be yourself. As a business person kindly be yourself. Do your own thing your own way. If you are original, people will want to be like you. Nobody copies fake things. Be the one everybody wants to copy from, and you will remain relevant the rest of your life.
2. Be Contented With What You Have. Nothing kills faster like comparison. I heard a young man lamenting that all his age mates have cars and houses, and they travel abroad at will. In fact, he was so tensed up when he was saying this that he might end up doing anything at all to belong. I said to him, please go and stand before a mirror. He wondered why I said that. I said although you grew up together, but your destinies differ.
Life is a journey and all of us must not arrive at our destinations at the same time. Some will arrive at 8:AM while others arrive at 10PM. Life is like travelling on the highway, someone will always be ahead of you. If you leave by 4:AM thinking you will be ahead of everybody, you will discover later that someone left home by 2:AM. But the good news is that you are ahead of many people.
You’re not the poorest person on earth. You’re not the most uneducated person on earth. You’re not the most ugly person on earth. Your struggles are nothing compared to that of billions of people across the world. So calm down and run your own race. My strategy is to always compete with myself not with anybody.
Unhealthy competition has led to the death of many. Don’t be lazy, but don’t compete with anybody. You can be inspired by other people’s exploits so that you will have the courage to run your own race. Wisdom is profitable to direct!
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