This reminds me of a similar analogy from the spiritual realm. People who wanted to become “enlightened” would look at the way other enlightened sages/monks/etc would live, and try to replicate their behaviour, mistaking that as a path to enlightenment when rather that behaviour was a product of their enlightened state. Same goes for other religious figures (Buddha, Jesus, etc.).

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that trying to live like someone else will bring you the same success that they enjoy. In reality, that rarely works because every person comes from a different background, lives with a different set of privileges, and is born with different talents.

It doesn’t mean taking the advice of successful people is bad. But people need to be more discerning about what works for them rather than taking any single source as gospel. The case is usually that you need to add up bits and pieces from many different sources of advice to carve out the path that works for you.

I’m a UX/UI designer from Auckland, New Zealand. Writing about freelancing & business for indie designers & creatives at

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