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Monkey See, Monkey Do

It never fails. Thirty minutes after I start to mow the grass, three neighbors think that it’s time to mow their lawns too.

It’s human nature to copy or imitate other people. That’s why we have copycat killers, plagiarism, fashion knockoffs, and successful ad campaigns encouraging us to “Be Like Mike” or to keep up with the Joneses. It’s the reason millions of women have sported hair styles such as “The Farrah Fawcett,” “The Mary Lou Retton”, “The Jennifer Aniston”, and, regrettably, “The Kate Gosselin”.

Who are you imitating today? Emulating others can be a learning tool. If you want to be better at your job, look around and find someone who is excelling or getting promoted. Ask questions. What are they doing that you’re missing?  Pretend you are that person (but only for a moment so as not to be perceived as being a stalker or having a split personality).

If you want to be a more confident public speaker, look to a celebrity, such as Tom Bergeron, who is a master at relaxed impromptu speaking. If you want to sing as beautifully as a friend or relative, spare yourself the humiliation and take up the violin. Kidding! Only kidding. Maybe sometimes it’s better to be an original. Well, gotta go, I’m late for my “Write Like Nora Roberts and John Grisham” class.

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