Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.
That’s from Dr. Seuss.
Let’s talk about uniqueness.
When we are still starting in a certain profession, it is tempting to imitate our heroes and believe that we are somewhat similar to them.
For example, I can say that I also talk about dreams like inspirational speaker X, and make people laugh like motivational speaker Y.
Everywhere, we see motivational speakers who look like copycats of other motivational speakers.
It is easy to be popular copycat.
However, a popular copycat is still a copycat.
On the other hand, it is easy to be different.
No one speaks and thinks exactly like me.
No one has the same experiences as you do.
No one has the same dream.
Being different isn’t what uniqueness is all about.
What makes us all unique is the stuff we are made of.
In my lonesome, I do not think of how different, or how can I be different to others.
When you desire to become a motivational speaker, an inspirational speaker, or whatever kind of leader, I suggest that you avoid comparing yourself to others.
Inspiring people is not a contest.
People who focus on titles, labels, ranks, positions, are practically comparing themselves with others.
They will always find that someone who is better than they in any standard.
Standards are all inventions so let us go beyond standards.
In the case of the very few, they find themselves perfect for any standard they create. So, they claim that they are the best.
Be thankful that you are the same with others.
Like them, you have aspirations frustrations, dreams and fears.
Use these to connect with them.
Be thankful that your stories, values, and qualities are different to others.
You will always have something new to offer.
When I decide to become me, and this does not really take a gargantuan effort, being different, nay, unique becomes very obvious.
The Challenge Is not to be Different, The Challenge Is to Be Truer You.
Someone told Me: We saw Anthony Pangilinan and you are a lot better.
I answered: I saw him too and he is a great speaker.
Another person said: You are like Francis Kong.
I answered: Francis Kong is champagne, I am water. Thank you for your appreciation. I hope to learn how he made himself a very credible speaker.
Still another person said: What we like about you is your humor. You kept our people alive from the first minute up to the last, and yet we want more.
I said: Thank you. I hope you will give me more opportunity to serve you.
A student said: You are the best speaker in the Philippines.
I answered: Thank you. You should see more speakers.
Being Praised as the Best Speaker Is Flattery and Being of Service to Others Is Real Achievement.
My life is a message, just like yours is a message to the world.
You will inspire the world not because you want, but because you must. To live is an obligation to live fully not just for ourselves but for others too.
You do not need to imitate others or try to be different.
Those are useless endeavors.
Instead, sculpt the person you really are. God allows you to discern your true purposes and for you to find the true you.
My favorite person Dr Seuss said it well: “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
A Poem Taught Me How to Live
When I was in first year high school, I read a poem which influenced my thinking about life and leadership.
I saw that many of my classmates were very competitive.
There were many of them who were class valedictorians and students with honors during our elementary years.
I was not an honor student; my average grade was 82. Most of my classmates got grades of 95 and above.
I was the lucky one who found his name in the top ten when the results of the the entrance examination was released. There were more than 2000 students who took the exam.
I didn’t know how, but I found myself in a room full of intelligent students — a room full of students all trying to prove that they were better than others.
I finished high school with an average grade of 80.
Given the life troubles I had to face, in retrospect, I now see an 80 as an achievement.
And that I had the right to be in that section.
This poem helped me faced the troubles in my life.
This poem helped me also when I became a seminarian, an activists, a teacher, an inspirational speaker, and an entrepreneur.
Let me give this to you as the second answer to your question.
If (by Rudyard Kipling)
IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
‘ Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!
I hope you have learned something today. Allow me to ask you three questions.
- Who are you?
- What are you here for?
- How can you show the world the true you?
Remember, no one is youer than you.
P.S. One of these days, I will be writing about about my experiences. I want my son to know more about my story. I will do my best so he won’t experience the life that I had.
But I will tell him my story so he remains grounded.
How about you?