My friend Suzanne was regaling me with tales from this old tycoon she once represented as a real estate agent. One afternoon during a conversation he says abruptly, “You know, when I’m in the mirror shaving in the morning, I think that I sure am glad there ain’t two of me.”
“Why is that?” I know this is what she said next because she told me.
“Because I couldn’t stand the competition!”
Suzanne laughs like she’s just told a great punchline, as she is known to do. This mans’s words are also profound and not lost on me.
In trying to resonate with your personal best you can’t really go wrong. Someone said a really close approximation of that sentence to me this week. Her words were also profound and not lost on me.
Conversely, trying to be someone else’s best is like trying to blaze a trail where a match was put to the gasoline long before you arrived. There’s nothing new for you there, just soggy stinky ashes. Of course, you can say those ashes are yours, you can smear them all over your body and walk around like you saw something sacred, but you’ll know that what you’re wallowing in is someone else’s effort.
Now, the tycoon my friend represented and respected until the day he died; that son of a bitch had tunnel vision. One day he was in his sick-bed and Suzanne went to visit him. He wanted to go see one of his developments and she took him. Before they left he put on blue jeans and cowboy boots. She was still laughing with the memory of it when she said, “I bet being out there in those boots kept him going for years!”
His tunnel vision and success in life came from self-possession and trusting his instincts. It takes good instincts to build an empire. It takes self-possession to throw on some cowboy boots and stomp around the city. Right in the middle of this knowing himself and trusting himself there was a healthy competitive edge he directed inward. I doubt he sat around and built the way other builders were doing it. If it’s already been done then there’s really no long-term attraction.
Innovation is the ticket in whatever endeavor you pursue. Be inspired, friends, then spin the mists of innovation between your palms and create a cyclone powered by your vision. Whatever you do in life, do it for yourself to be of service to others in whatever way you want to offer yourself.
Writing is my offering. I can’t even say it’s mine because once it goes live I can’t control where it goes and what it does. I can’t even control the next installment or the next article because those things will get me out of bed from the verge of sleep to be put to paper (or whatever medium I’m using). My craft is mine as long as it’s flowing through me. It is always flowing through me. I feel its resonance even when it’s left my docking bay, but there is always more writing flowing behind what has just launched. The newest almost bumps into the ejected.
This bump and flow is a healthy competition with myself. The necessity of what I do saturates the path before me in gasoline so my spark is always ignited. There is an angle of competition that is less than savory, but we’ll get to that later. For now, dear Reader, tell me what lights your fire and makes your whole life sing. I want to know if it’s making bracelets, singing your little heart out or writing lyrics for someone with better suited to vocals sing.
There is nothing new under the sun except your own unique Self. This is the only thing the sun really shines on, everything else is just icing. This may seem like a metaphor with no helpful segue, unless you consider that icing is superficial covering on a cake someone spent time and energy baking. Icing is just sugar and grease someone beat together. It takes heat to bake things. Shine on and defrost.