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Be an original individual and not a photocopy. However you try to change your personality, you cannot. A Congolese proverb says, “Wood may remain ten years in the water, but it will never become a crocodile.”

Many people spend their entire lives trying to change the way they were made. “To be nobody but yourself,” says E. E. Cummings, “in a world which is doing its best, day and night, to make everybody someone else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.” The greatest tragedy that can strike an individual is to fail to know himself.

When some Greek youths asked Greek Athenian philosopher Socrates what they should do to improve themselves, his fitting reply was, “Know thyself.”

“Know thyself.”

Sydney Harris opined, “Ninety percent of the world’s woe comes from people not knowing themselves, their abilities, their frailties and their real virtues.” Whatever you are, be a good one. Be proud of who you are, do not say you are poor; you are rich– life is wealth.
Your present condition has nothing to do with your success. Aesop was a slave. Burns the poet was a farmer. Franklin was a journeyman printer. Captain Cook was a cabin boy. Columbus was a weaver. Helen Keller, deaf and blind from nineteen months of age, was later a double graduate and author of several books. Background, conditions and status do not determine success.

A perfect start to be proud of your personality is to respect yourself. Always communicate good thoughts to yourself. When you start, others will follow suit. Express your exceptional qualities to other people. Let them be aware that you are a shoe that needs polish to shine. You are the only one in the whole creation that can bring yourself down, no one can.

The curious paradox is that when you are real, you can never be a shadow. All good things which exist are the fruits of originality. Note, the original remains intact even after the photocopy might have become faded. That is why a person who has no opinion of his own, but depends chiefly on the opinion of others is a slave. This does not mean you should not seek advice or counsel of professionals or elders. Of course you need to sample opinions and sit down to decide having sifted the chaff from the grains. You must picture the future in your mind then feature in it to turn what you pictured into reality.

Dear go-getter, you are number one; everyone in the world is your number two. The father of animation Walt Disney remarked, “The more you are like yourself, the less you are like anyone else.” Be yourself; who else is better qualified?

Originality Sets You Apart
Originality is derived from the root word original. The word original itself has its ancestry from the Latin word ořigō, meaning, to arise or be born. Originality is the quality of being new and interesting in a way that is different from anything that has existed before. Personally, I define originality as “origin plus acceptability.” This implies accepting your social and family background.

Your origin is your ancestry, your foundation, your source, where you spring forth from. God has launched you to where you are; it has become your personal responsibility to launch yourself and your heritage to the world. In Construction, the higher a building will be, the deeper the foundation shall be. In Botany, the deeper the root, the huger the tree is. This implies that the more you know about your personality, the better you can take total advantage of who would be.

Let’s compare and contrast various family backgrounds using silver, gold and diamond. Silver can never be gold and gold cannot be diamond. But, they are all fashionable and useful precious ornaments for all occasions. However, it depends on their qualities. If a chemical destroys gold for instance, silver may look more fashionable than it, or if a diamond is not perfectly worked on, gold can be more useful than it.

We cannot change the family we were born into, but we can make the world hear the ringing bell of our family names for good. Michael Faraday was the son of a blacksmith; William Shakespeare was a son of butcher and glazier; Chief M.K.O. Abiola was a son of a firewood seller; and Alhaji Aliko Dangote is a son of a cattle rearer. These people and many others had positively affected their families’ names. If these people can achieve great feats from a humble beginning, you too can also do it. Let the world hear good things about your family name through you.

curled from – The Secrets of a Fulfilled Life.
by Sesan Kareem

edited by Ruby Ebere