I overheard a conversation between my course mates in a group discussion I was leading. After explaining the topic so well and my colleagues understanding it, they were impressed and this conversation ensued between two of them.
Lady 1: She’s good and intelligent, she’s the second Abeiku (referring to an intelligent guy in our class).
Lady 2: No, she is the first Nancy Nyarko.
My mind wasn’t too drawn to their conversation because we took a short break and I was preparing to continue with the next session, but some days after, the conversation came to mind and I thought of the second lady’s response. I reached out to her to ask what she meant by the statement she made.
She smiled and said, “You are not a replica of Abeiku. You didn’t teach the way he does. You delivered as Nancy Nyarko. You are not second to him, you are the first Nancy Nyarko to deliver the way you did, what you did was unique to you.”
That was a deep answer she gave and in that short response, she explained our uniqueness and its relevance. In just a sentence, she has explained to the first Lady how I am different in my own way and can never be like anyone no matter the obvious similarities. I cannot be as intelligent as Abeiku, I can only be as intelligent as Nancy Nyarko.
Sometimes we fall victim or into the trap of comparing ourselves to someone’s best without knowing what our potential can achieve. We settle for and get comfortable with being the second while the first place is not crowded. We compete with the “uncompetable” forgetting that there is no competition for our uniqueness. We fight to fit in places we were never designed to be, all because we want to be accepted and be like someone.
Today’s world of shine and glitters and false understanding of success have been our greatest distraction from focusing on our uniqueness and developing our potential. God’s greatest gift to mankind apart from Himself is creating us differently and uniquely. For the many problems the world has, God made a human to be the solution and the solution is always in our differences and uniqueness.
This life is a race but we are all racing to the finish line and not to come out first or last. It’s a race but not a competition, anyone who gets to the finish line is a winner. The only time you should feel behind in life is when you are behind in your capabilities and potentials – giving less than what you are capable of and not when you compare yourself to someone’s progress. Your reward in this life’s race will not be because you came out first or even second but because you finished the race well, so quit comparing yourself to people and focus on the race to finish.
No matter how rich, talented, educated, and famous someone is, they still cannot do what the poor, untalented, uneducated, and unknown have been designed to do, because their relevance is in their difference. The richest person at a point can only sit, watch, and admire the uneducated mechanic in his stained clothes display his uniqueness- fixing cars. Our gift to the world is our difference not our similarities to people.
We were all created with the potential to shine and be celebrated. Actors or players on the global stage in a minute can become spectators, not because they failed or made a mistake but because another gift or uniqueness is on display- something different from what they do, someone’s uniqueness is on stage, and they can only watch and admire. There is a place in this world for everyone to shine; find your difference, appreciate it, and use it.
The world’s problem has never been shortage of people to solve our problems but the many gifted (which all of us are) who will rather compare their present to someone’s best, ignoring their uniqueness and never developing their potential, hence they live without serving the world their purpose for being here. Comparison is not just the thief of joy, it’s the limitation of purpose, the murder of dreams, and the destruction of lives.
Being created unique doesn’t necessarily mean you will make a difference in your lifetime or even be valuable to the world, history has given us enough proof starting with Methuselah who only lived and died, that’s all we know of him. Till date, many are living, waiting to die and the world might never benefit from them- not even as a simple knowledge shared. Do us all a favor; know your uniqueness, develop it, use it, and grow.
Let me tell you some truths about yourself or maybe a reminder if you already know; You are the only You the world has, your duplicate is not available in any part of the world, you are the original you. You are not second to anyone or like someone, your kind will only exist once in history or in a lifetime and it’s happening now.
Breakout from wanting to be like someone, walk in your uniqueness, shine through your difference. Don’t put too much pressure on your life by comparing yourself to someone, you can either do better than them or less if you spend time developing what you have. If comparing yourself or progress with other’s is not inspiring you to be better at your own pace, then it’s not worth it. Imagine what your life would be if you decided to give up some of your fears and stop comparing yourself to people. You are one of a kind.