With the internet booming and blooming right in our faces, we are in a constant state of awe, primarily due to the fascinating world of ‘larger than life’ lifestyles on display round-the-clock. Whenever we jump onto Facebook or Instagram (that is if we ever get off in the first place), we unwaveringly believe that everyone else on the planet has everything going for them (Going on vacation on the pretext of a work trip; going to much-ballyhooed live events; going to the spa, which in many cases is inside their own homes; going on dates with supermodels; spending the year floating around the ocean on a yacht, with only seagulls for company; going everywhere within walking distance in a Lamborghini; sending a proxy to work; and even going to the gym overweight and leaving an hour later with the perfect body). Envy starts to kick in (only if we can learn how to kick envy instead, as well as his big sister, jealousy) and we begin belittling ourselves for our less than impressive existence.
And it’s not just the celebrities in their respective wakes of life that seem to be living a charmed life. It’s also our friends, colleagues, neighbors, fellow passengers on our daily commute, wives, children, chauffeurs, security guards of our housing society, and even our pet canary. Now we think to ourselves ‘Evidently these characters are doing stuff that is affording them all this goodness’ (being present at every party in the city, constantly adding new material items to their collection, eating oily snacks on their daily work commute without putting on an ounce under those flowing garbs, gossiping away on security duty while trespassers enter the premises, going at least 30 kilometres per hour over the speed limit, and even whistling for the dog to get the morning newspaper), and immediately become fans, follow them closely, and imitate as much of their persona as possible. In this quest to improve our lives and feel cool, we become a cheap imitation of theirs’.
For some of us swaggering individuals, we aren’t easily bitten by this ‘let me be like him or her’ bug, but a majority of us lack confidence and always look for a guiding compass, which invariably happens to be someone that has, fancy possessions, a ‘happening’ lifestyle’, always seems happy in every photo (with an exotic background) on social media, and is brimming with confidence at all times. And celebrity or not, this person is who we want to be, not in our next lifetime, but in this one.
Yet, we will adjust every trivial thing in our lives to suit us; the volume of the television (because we are hard of hearing), the inclination of our armchair (usually at an angle that allows us to sleep through the parleys of our visitors), the choice of music in the car (against the protest of others), logic in our favour in an argument (anything that puts us on the winning side), selective vegetarianism (we will fight vehemently on airplanes for a non veg meal despite selecting the vegetarian option while purchasing the ticket), work deliverables (even if the rest of our team is inconvenienced), nap times (over the ones our 2-year-olds need), the movie our family watches at the cinema, what time we’ll show up at our friend’s wedding (closer to the end in order to avoid the 3-hour saga), if we will show up at our cousin’s wedding (she never was our favorite anyway), dinner dates, business meetings, grocery shopping, and the list is endless.
We don’t think much about how we feel, or how our actions will be perceived even when we know we are acting like completely selfish jerks. In these cases, we are very sure of ourselves and believe we call the shots in our lives and are on top of things. We want to be leaders here, even if the only thing we do is bully others and massage our disillusioned egos. And yet when it comes down to real substance, defining how we will live our lives by being true to who we are, we flatter others. We tend to see someone else’s potential just by the way they conduct themselves or their social media shenanigans but are unable to recognize our own worth considering we’ve known ourselves longest. Sure, we may not be a ready product just yet but we all have the ingredients to be that guy or girl people envy. We need to seriously dwell on our self-worth and uniqueness that can be life-defining for us, as well as people around us. But if we’re too busy admiring others, we don’t give ourselves the chance to appreciate our own potential. If we want to fulfill our dreams, we need to get off social media, do away with publicly gaping at others, and actually spend some time increasing our knowledge and honing our skills.
The people we are in awe of, have worked hard (and smart) to get where they are (or their ancestors did). We can’t get there by just being pretentious. We all certainly have role models that inspire us. And inspiration is the key. We should take inspiration from every quarter, but only to groom us into better versions of ourselves.
Most original music albums and movies are deemed to be better than their remixes and remakes. There is no point in being a half baked repetition. Be a full-fledged original.