Learning from others
yet staying true to yourself

Written by: Tom Zonneveld

How do you keep yourself original, but stay true to yourself? We all get inspiration from specific situations and we learn by living them. In saying that, no method is wrong, but endless copying is not an option. So, take a moment for yourself, reflect, determine the essential and the non-essential. Next, outline your goals. Do not get too focused on your end goal yet determine the steps to get there and work towards them. In this article, I describe five questions you can ask yourself to stay true and reach your goals. Long story short: take everything with you but make your own judgment.

1. Who are you doing it for?
One of our common mistakes is that we all, at some point, copy behavior. For example, if someone who you look up to, or are close to, does something, you tend to take that to heart. The people who care about you often try to push you in the directing of security. Store that advice somewhere safe but make your own path. Be yourself, discover your best version. This is what we stimulate at Starters Station. To be yourself, to discover, to find your true nature, to make your mark on the world and to add value. In conclusion, always ask yourself: “Who do I do it for?” And I sincerely hope, the answer is: “Me”

2. Why are you doing it?
Due to social pressure, many people are doing something they don’t want to do. Social and financial pressure are at the forefront of manlier thought, everything has to be big, fast and now. But who is putting that pressure on you? Does the world require this of you, or do you require this of yourself? My advice to my younger self: Set goals, not deadlines. Deadlines are for corporate managers, not creative thinkers. Walk your path at the speed that suits your (current) situation and development. Life happens and tomorrow is a new day.

3. Who is the real advisor?
Allow me to provide you a few questions to ask yourself: “What is the advice?” “What is the recommendation based upon?” “Is it because the person has experience within your profession, situation, or a fresh look at the situation?” “From which angle is this approach or from which sector or niche?” “What (negative to positive) experiences on a business and personal level does the consultant have?” “Have you given enough information to receive good advice or judgment?” Now take your answers with you. You are the best assessor of your situation. You can test what you already thought about with the answers you gave, and the advice received here to make the best decision for you.

4. How do you get started? Aim at the map and find out.
Set goals, big goals and small steps. Did you write them down? You only achieve by doing it. Remember points 1 and 2? Your whom and your why. When you have given yourself your answers in point 3, you are ready for step 4: Doing. I know, it’s daunting, starting something that might not turn out how you envision it. This is not necessarily wrong, because through this, you come into contact with new possibilities. Aim for your end destination and make your wonky way to your goal. Peaks and valleys.

5. When is the goal achieved?
Oh yes, get used to it: finishing is never final. It’s human to subconsciously focus on the end goal. Ask yourself this: “When is it good enough for me and what does this look like?” Answering this helps to get you to a better outline of your real goal and to make the road to it concrete. Happy journeying.

Bonus: So, learning from others? Yes please. But stay true to your goals. What I unfortunately still see is that people who are “inspired” are just imitating. Please stop. Firstly, it is not inspiration, but plagiarism, secondly you are tempted by the quick win. This always comes with losers. It is your life, your path. Do something with it that you can be proud of, something to look back on with satisfaction. Become your own version of your example, the one who inspires others. Purpose is pleasure.

PS: I wrote this from my own experience. An experience full of mistakes, failures, trial and error that has made me who I am today. Can you identify with any of this? I would like to hear if you have any additions or suggestions!

<a href="https://startersstation.com/blogs/author/tom/" target="_self">Tom Zonneveld</a>

Tom Zonneveld

Within Starters Station I support ambitious starters while taking on (new) journeys and (new) concepts. With the right tools and advice I create a clear (online) presence and the path towards reaching your destination.

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