|Textures courtesy Shadowhouse Creations.|
(Not wanting to be preachy here.
This is me talking to me.
If you care to eavesdrop,
I have no issue with that.)
Although the concept of peer pressure is often related to our teen years, the truth is,
in my experience, it never really went away.
Even in my early 50s, I sometimes feel the tug of wanting to fit in with the group.
Whatever group I happen to find myself in at any given moment.
Relatives. Acquaintances. Friends. Photographers. Bloggers.
It's common to want to emulate those individuals that display desirable characteristics
we don't believe we possess ourselves.
Especially if this person or these people are successful in their respective lives.
If we copy these people, we will become just as successful.
It's a logical assumption.
Problem is, the definition of success is not an easy one to grasp.
Perpetually chasing the next new thing to find personal fulfillment
is usually a fruitless task.
If I only had this, or if I were to do this,
I will be as happy, prosperous, wealthy
-- as are the individuals I admire.
Now, that's not to say, I can't learn from others' experiences.
Because I can.
The trick is not to strive to become a carbon copy of the mentor.
Failure to recognize this fact keeps the journey moving forward,
or backward, as it were.
Feelings of inadequacy and jealousy often rise to the surface.
My thoughts on the subject --
the only group, gang, bunch, faction, posse -- to be concerned with --
is that exclusive group of one.
The things that make me feel content and rewarded are as unique and unmatched
as my individual DNA, upbringing, life experiences.
I guess what I'm saying here is, it's perfectly okay to learn from the best,
but be confident enough to discover and grow your own personal success.
Because at the end of the day, I am unique, I am special.
I am peerless.
And so are you.