My Circular Journey To Find Myself And Stop Copying My Heroes

by Michael Simmons on Jul 25, 2013


“I want to be that man!”

That was the thought that went through my mind as I participated in my first Anthony Robbins event during my Freshman year at NYU. I was inspired. I wanted to be ANTHONY ROBBINS. I wanted to talk like him, be strong like him, eat like him, make an impact like him, and create wealth like him.

He said, “Anything one person can achieve, you can too. You just need to model their strategies, and you’ll get the same results.”

It was like being in candy store. Any quality I didn’t like in myself, I could find the opposite in someone else and copy them.

So, I started reading autobiographies and biographies…Gandhi, Mandela, MLK Jr., Gates, Jobs, Bezos.

13 years later, here’s what I know:

I don’t want to be any of these people. I can never be these people.

What inspires me about them is that they’re really good at being themselves.

I want to be me.

It’s funny how familiarity doesn’t necessarily give understanding. I’ve lived in this body for 31 years, and I’m just scratching the surface.

Life is like a scavenger hunt. The clues are things that make me come alive.

It is hard to predict what they’ll be or even why.

All I know is that when I follow the clues, no matter how illogical they may seem at first, my world transforms.

I become more alive, I become more me. I become so inspired that I can’t help myself but work hard, get really good, be of service. I’m overflowing, and I need to share it with the world.

Insecurity-based comparison vanishes. It seems silly. I love being me. There is no way anybody can be me better than I can.

The scary thing about the scavenger hunt is that sometimes following the clues means we need to say goodbye to everything that makes us comfortable.

That’s when being me isn’t easy. That’s when it takes courage.

The beauty is that we all have our own scavenger hunt. We help others come alive by coming alive ourselves.

Oh how far we travel to end up where we started.


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I'm the co-founder of Empact, one of the leading entrepreneurship education organizations in the world. I'm obsessed with understanding how we all can lead meaningful lives that have a positive social impact. I love probing into the truth of how we experience life. I believe that challenges are what make us grow the most, and I openly share my experiences. Continue reading…