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Norton: Anyone else but me

“You will make a lousy anybody else, but you will be the best ‘You’ in existence.” — Zig Ziglar

Many of us daydream or fantasize about being someone else. Did you ever look at someone else’s life and wish that you could have their physique, home, money, car or job? I think at some point in life, maybe we have all entertained thoughts about being someone different or having something that we did not already own.

Some of us may have only had a fleeting moment of daydreaming or fantasizing about this. Others of us may spend way too much time coveting what others have. A few of us may even become consumed with an imaginary life lived as someone else. We drift away, wanting to be anyone else but ourselves, or trade what we have for what other people have.



When I was a kid, we vacationed at the Jersey Shore. It was typically in a very small bungalow with lots of other family members and friends popping in and out during the week. It was cramped, usually just one bathroom, and people sleeping on every bed, couch, cot, and surface area of the tiny house.

I look back on those weeks with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings and cousins and remember them as some of the best vacations of my life. But at the time, I also remember wishing I could be going on the vacations that my friends were going on. Even if they came to the same area, they were staying at a much bigger home or nice hotel.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.



Did I mention that they had air conditioning in those nicer homes and hotel rooms? Yes, not only did I want to be my friends, but I wanted their air conditioning, too. I think, “Thou shalt not covet your friend’s air conditioning,” may even be a commandment. Still, looking back on it today, I wouldn’t have traded it for the world.

The quote by Zig Ziglar that started this column is something that I learned from him many years ago. And it helped me to really focus on being the best “me” in existence. It helped me to measure success on my own terms, not defined or measured by others.

If I didn’t like who I was, where I was, or what I was doing, I learned that I didn’t have to sit back and wish I could be someone else or have what others have, I could change who I was and what I was doing and go out and earn what it was that I wanted.

Another lesson I learned that has really helped me, and that I have shared with others is this: Instead of looking on in envy or jealousy when someone in our family or circle of friends has just met with success or seems to be doing better than we are, try congratulating them, sharing in their joy and excitement. Even if it is a perfect stranger who just won the lottery, we can allow our hearts to be happy for them, truly happy.

The thing is this, sometimes what we see on the outside is not what is really happening on the inside. The people we fantasize about being may have more troubles and heartache going on in their life than we can see. The possessions they have may come with extraordinary debt.

So, before we look to be someone else, or have what they have, the better move is to appreciate who we are and what we have already. And if change is needed, we can go work on what it is that we need to change.

We all have a choice to make. We can change and grow, breaking the status quo if we are unhappy. Or we can simply choose to continue as is, wishing we were anyone else but ourselves, and do nothing. I would love to hear your best “you” in existence story at mnorton@tramazing.com and when you realize that you are the best “you” in existence, it really will be a better than good year.


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