Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Let's talk of what inspires copy cats

Where do you draw the line between a person who copies everything good that you do, acquire or achieve because you are an -inspiration and a person that is driven by jealous rivalry and simply does not want to be outdone by you?

I am sure that many of us can relate to this type of copy cat situation. I have met people who have sold their cars, still in perfect condition and upgraded to more expensive models that they struggle to pay for just because a friend bought a new car. I have met parents who have sent their children to certain schools or universities only because someone else they know had chosen that very institution. Even small decisions such as buying clothes at times centre on what someone else’s wardrobe is like.

Back to my original question; when our friends always seem to want to achieve the same as us or better, should we always be flattered and applaud ourselves for being shining examples that inspire others? I think we should unless of course our friends display tell-tale signs of being driven by the wrong motives. If your friend does not openly express happiness at your thriving, new business venture or the new house that you have moved into but they quietly pursue the same, it is most likely a sign of jealousy. This is especially true when such "friends" are only friendly when it is them that have made the latest new acquisition, not the other way round. They expect you to share in the joy of their achievements but they do not share in yours. A friend who genuinely sees the good in what you have done or have achieved, will admit it and openly express to you that they have been motivated or educated by you to do the same and will ask for your winning recipe .

Another distinguishing factor is the extent to which a person follows in your footsteps. I do not care how extraordinary you are and how fine your taste is, there is no way that anyone can want to drive the same car that you drive, wear the same clothes as you do, frequent the same stores as you, decorate their house the same way as you and all of this at the same time as you!

Is the rivalry driven copy cat someone to worry about? Not necessarily, at times competition of any kind is good for us and keeps us on our toes. It can also be good for the ego to know that you are a trend setter. As human beings however, there is always an element of rivalry in all of us and we always want to be known as unique achievers more than trend setters. When someone else achieves the same as us, we tend to see it as threat and would rather change to something else that no one else has done or has ownership of. We need to guard against being sucked into this unhealthy frame of mind as it can lead to us losing focus of our lives and goals. We could end up wasting money and time on things that we do not need but want as a means of outdoing those that seek to outdo us. My advice is: Live your life for yourself and if copycats copy you, good for them, do not let it put you under unnecessary pressure to over perform.

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