I know what I want in 2016, and I am in the process of getting there. In our pursuit of new dreams and goals, nowadays it is easy to read a few books and blog posts full of advice about how they kicked “the man” in the face and somehow, now they have thousands of people waiting inline to pay them for their product, books, advice etc … They sell their stories as a sort of “you can do it too, here is how.” This is great for a bit of inspiration. It really is and can help you begin to believe in the power of your dreams. But don’t forget, most of those people found success by being themselves, so why would you copy their success since everyone is unique?
As we look ahead to 2016, my goal is to draw inspiration from the successful, but to avoid trying to copy them. There is no blueprint for success. Each person that finds themselves now in a place of influence had a wonderful series of events that included hard work and a bit of serendipity to reach their current place under the stars. But they all did one thing, remained unique and authentic.
Sidney Madwed, a poet, speaker and author once said, “If you want to be truly successful invest in yourself to get the knowledge you need to find your unique factor. When you find it and focus on it and persevere your success will blossom.”
The knowledge you gain from those that offer advice is valuable and an important part of your growth, but often we forget that unique factor. I just finished the rough draft of a new novel I hope to have complete by the summer of 2016. When writing, I try to stop reading other’s work, because I don’t want their voice to influence mine. I never want to say, how would _____ write this? Or worse, I don’t want the ghost of other writers to creep into my chapters, my words and influence my own prose without my knowing it. For it is me I want to write like, as my unique and authentic voice.
Being unique is the ultimate risk, as you don’t yet see your own success. You can visualize it but it is yet to be realized. You have to simply trust that who you are will get you there and what you have to offer the world will be well received.
“Living at risk is jumping off the cliff and building your wings on the way down.” -Ray Bradbury
It may be hard to be you, but don’t forget, it may be the very thing that carries you to your final destination. Happy new year!