Don’t just be better, be the only one.

Be the only one. Everywhere, there is a competition to be better than others. People are looking for changes, even small ones, to help them become much better than the “better” competitors. And all of their competitors want to outdo them too.

I remember that when I was teaching high school students, parents compare their children. One student got 98 in creative writing. Her parents weren’t happy because another student got 99 and another one got 100.

That student whose grade was 100 in creative writing had an unhappy parent because of her 96 in technical writing. Yes, because someone got 97. [mfn] This illustrate the relationship between happiness and values. We are not happy when we do not get what we value.[/mfn]

On the other hand, I had very happy students because they got 77 instead of 74.

I was unhappy too. When I was a student, I was not grade conscious. But my teaching job forced me to weigh every grade I gave for unhappy parents who make very stressed students. It was as if recording grades was a life-and-death situation.

Let me tell you this. After fifteen years, I don’t think any parent still remembers her child’s grades in high school. It does not matter anymore. In the greater scheme of things, the difference between 98 and 99 does not matter. But our obsessions of becoming better than anyone else creates the delusion that it does.

I want Jefferson Carlos [mfn] My son is more intelligent than I am. But more than that, I want him to be a good person.[/mfn] to know that aiming for improvement is good. But I will not ask him to do everything to be better than others. I will urge him to be the only one.

You can be the only one, for there is only one you. Focus on your talents, skills, and passion — and think about what this world needs that only you can offer.

Be the only one, for it is easier to run your race.

Jef Menguin

The only red umbrella in a sea of umbrellas.
Be the only one.

Choose your next adventure:

  • Do you want to make the most of your time? Do you want to become more productive? Read One Thing Only. I will show you how you can focus only on things that really matter.
  • When I was starting, I was battling with imposter syndrome. I thought I could not be as good as John Maxwell or other famous motivational speakers. But I could not be a copy cat too. In Be the Only One, you will find some good advice that I would have given to myself when I was starting.
  • No One Is Youer Than You. You know this already. But many people try to become like someone else.
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