Imitation Will Only Get You So Far

Adrian S. Potter
3 min readMay 7, 2022

Your path is unique.

Photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN on Unsplash

The Secondhand Inspiration Project begins with a motivational quote and ventures wherever the creative path meanders.

“From this point, your strategy is to make everyone else get on your level, you’re not going down to theirs. You’re not competing with anyone else, ever again. They’re going to have to compete with you.” Tim Grover

When people start seeking success, they often mimic those they admire.

And that’s okay for your first few shaky steps. Really.

To get where you need to go, you must start somehow. So why not use a proven guide to begin your journey?

But eventually, you need to chart your way. Map a personalized path. Pioneer the unexplored territory outside your comfort zone.

After a year or so of chasing your dreams in earnest, if you’re still imitating others, well…good luck. You will get lost.

If you replicate the ideas and outcomes of other folks, even those who are famous or successful, what does that say about your inner navigation system? Does it need calibration? Updating?

What does that say about the depth of your motives and values?

Are you blindly searching for what might work? Shotgun-spraying your best shot, praying you might hit paydirt?

Are you following a recipe not knowing whether you’re baking something bitter or dulcet?

Are you searching for your “why” or hyper-focusing on the “how?”

Photo by Frans Van Heerden:

Listen — if you’re following someone else’s breadcrumbs, where will that path lead you? Towards your destination or theirs? Do you how know if their purpose aligns with your mission?

And even if you’d be content with their target, do you think you could hit it better than them? They remain driven by something deep-rooted and spirited. You’re focused on being their carbon copy. Meh.

You can’t pull ahead if you’re strategy is to remain a few steps behind. You’re perpetually reacting to rather than sparking change…



Adrian S. Potter

Antisocial Extrovert · Writer and Poet, Engineer, Consultant, Public Speaker · Writing about self-improvement, gratitude, and creativity ·