Be Yourself

I read the other day about the American musician George Gershwin. He idolized Irving Berlin. Gershwin was a struggling composer, getting about $35 a week in New York City's tin-pan-alley, and Berlin noticed him. He offered him a job as his musical secretary at three time $35 a week. But he said, "George, I advise you not to take this job, because if you do, you will become a second-rate Irving Berlin. But, if you say to yourself, "I, George Gershwin, am unique, and I'll be nobody else but George Gershwin,' you can become immortal." And that was exactly what he did.

A while back, I watched the life story of Willie Mays on television. He is one of the greatest athletes baseball has ever produced. But he wasn't always like that. He idolized Joe DiMaggio. He watched how DiMaggio stood, how he walked, how he swung the bat, how he ran; he tried his best to be another DiMaggio. Finally, some wise coach said to him, "Willie, you have great ability. Don't be like anybody else. Be yourself." And he became Willie Mays. If you were to name the greatest baseball players in the history of baseball, no list would be complete without the name of this man who became himself.