Fake It 'Til You Make It: Why To Copy The Traits Of Successful People

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Modeling others is the best way to become successful at something — be it your values, your culture, your entire career timeline or just plain technical work aspects.

In a way, modeling is a fancy word for copying.

The best way to become successful at something, just like all businesses that follow an existing business do, is to take someone's recipe, copy it exactly, then improve on it.

However, unlike businesses, if you copy someone's best traits and apply them to your work, you will not harm them as a consequence.

It's good to take someone's principles, someone's mental dexterity and someone's personal boundaries, when they are more developed than yours, and use them yourself.

After modeling those traits, you can build your own personal style over them and make them unique.

I would actually argue it's impossible to truly copy someone because, regardless of how badly you want to copy a person, you will never be truly able to become identically like him or her.

You will copy said person with your unique approach and your unique flair over it.

In a way, trying to copy someone else exactly will lead you to discover "your version" of his or her traits. So, it's already an improved, or at least customized, copy from the beginning.

Diving into more practical terms, if you want to model people in order to be rich or successful, you need to model things like, their values, communication style, beliefs, decision-making processes, and feelings (excited, empowered, motivated).

You will also find out most successful people are very similar, as they are well-rounded. There was a time around five years ago when I met this entrepreneur who gave himself a lot of permission.

He did whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted. I didn't. He would take the phone and cold call people.

He would speak with authority, as if he had 10 years experience when he didn't. He just had confidence. So, I decided to emulate that and just plain "steal" that trait.

I later learned most successful people do exactly this. It's not a unique thing at all. When everyone is fighting to be his or her best self and everyone is aware of everyone else's traits, the champions end up seeming pretty similar.

So, to summarize, the formula is to take someone's traits, emulate them and then improve on them. Don't be afraid to do this; don't be embarrassed, as everyone else does this, too.

I'm not saying no one is original nowadays, but if you think you're the only one modeling others and taking traits to improve yourself, you're dead wrong! Personalities are fluid.

Where you grew up might completely define an aspect of your personality; whereas, you might acquire new traits through a completely random process.

You are free to change what you want about yourself at any point in time, in the name of personal improvement or preference.

It's best to continually evolve rather than stay static and complacent.

Use the tools available to you to improve yourself. Clearly, this involves the people you know and those who you meet. Take the best aspects of people you value and discard what doesn't matter.