Many years ago, I participated in focus groups for the purpose of providing my opinion about new products being tested for market. Generally, the process began with a phone screening to determine if an individual was a good “fit” for whichever product was being tested. I had many such phone screenings but remember only one. The interviewer asked me “if you could be any other person, who would you be?” I could not, for the life of me, think of anyone. I hemmed and hawed — stalling for time — before finally responding with a question of my own. “Do I have to be someone else?” There was a long pause on the other end of the line. I was certain that I had lost my chance to participate in this study. Finally, my screener responded, “I don’t know. No one else has ever asked me that before now.”
How sad. Truly. We waste so much time wishing we had other people’s gifts. You are here for a purpose that no one else can fulfill. Instead of wishing to be like someone else, why not invest all that energy and time into becoming more like yourself? There is someone out there who will learn from and be comforted by your story. Invest in your unique gifts and then look for others to invest in. Pour your wisdom, compassion, and friendship into their lives. There’s a generation out there who needs us — who needs you.
By the way, I was asked to participate in that focus group after all.