I’m not sure what started me thinking about this, but while I was eating lunch today, visions of the old Sprite ad popped into my head. You might remember the ad series – where they focus on various wanna-bes. Making fun of those that spend more time looking the part than being the part. Their tagline was “Image is Nothing – Thirst is Everything”.
Even though the message is making fun of the image-conscious, it can be helpful advice.
I could apply the mocked Sprite message to just about anything I want to be or do. To accomplish anything, I can find someone who has done it, and copy them.
With one caveat.
I will not focus on copying their public image, their style, their possessions, or their glamour.
Instead of focusing on the outward appearance, I will copy their methods. Their habits. That’s the image that matters.
The challenge is separating their actions from everything else. Because all we see in the media is the “sexy”.
The Beatles – Most rock bands would have us believe the prerequisites for becoming a rock star are alcohol and drug consumption, lots of casual sex, a cool attitude, and some interest in music. But look at the Beatles’ habits. They put on well over 200 performances before being signed by a record label. That sounds like hard work (and over a period of 6 years, no less!)
Stephen King – When I hear about an author writing a new book, I picture this: the author takes a month off from his life, goes to his 4,000 square-foot cabin in the woods, sits by an old school typewriter and hammers through the text while looking out the window at snow-covered pine needles and a frozen lake? And there’s a steaming cup of coffee or hot chocolate next to him at all times. Always steaming. Well, the reality is that Stephen King writes ten pages a day. Every day. Even holidays. That’s it. Pretty plain and boring. But it’s real.
Benjamin Franklin – While he didn’t have spinning rims on his carriage, I’m pretty sure we focus more on his achievements and less on his work ethic. One habit he was known to have is that he asked himself every morning (at 5am) “What good shall I do today”? That was followed up on, at 10pm, with “What good did I do today”?
So yes, image IS everything. Copy a successful image, and you will become successful. Just make sure it’s the right image you’re copying.