Who Do You Imitate?

At first glance, I noticed the picture of the Beatles’ Abbey Road album cover on the wall. On second glance, I noticed the picture of Booker T. and the M.G.’s McLemore Avenue album cover hanging below. Both pictures hang on the wall and Steve’s Deli in downtown Jackson, MS. Steve’s serves a tasty lunch with impeccable music tastes. The pictures raise the question “who do you imitate?”

For the record (pun intended), Abbey Road is the best album ever musically. Obviously, Booker T. realized that and in 1970 released McLemore Avenue, which is a way cool instrumental version of the tunes off Abbey Road. Booker T. and the M.G.’s put their unique style to the Beatles music, which makes their album way cooler.

Imitation is the Greatest Form of Flattery

No matter how smart any of us think we are, few ideas that roll through our heads are truly original. If you get hit with a stroke of brilliance, chances are somebody already thought of it. But that’s okay. As they say, imitation is the greatest form of flattery.

The Beatles didn’t invent rock and roll. They just turned it into Beatlemania. Booker T. Jones didn’t invent the Hammond B3 organ, but he used it to help create the “Memphis Sound.” Most songwriters use the same, basic chord progressions. They put their own spin on a tune.

Who Do You Imitate?

So, back to the question. Who do you imitate? Because we’re each wonderfully unique and we each copy something from somebody else. Rich and famous people were influenced by someone before they became rich and famous. They just put their own twist to something. A book, an idea, a song, a concept that when turned into a business helps others and turns a profit.

Here’s the catch. Choose who you imitate wisely. Don’t take advice from a chump. If your marriage is on the rocks, don’t accept counsel from your thrice-divorced co-worker. Don’t accept legal advice from your cousin who just got out of prison.

Read the Right Books

Read the right books to help you grow. Listen to the right motivational speakers. By the way, don’t listen to those internet sensations who tell you how they went from broke to six-figures in six months and you can too if you’ll follow their top-secret program. Listen to people who have earned their stripes the right way and will tell the whole truth about the hard work it takes to get to the top. Listen to a good pastor who can provide guidance for things of eternal value.

And by all means, listen to the right music. I’m actually writing this blog while grooving to Booker T.’s version of the Beatles, and it’s a way-cool way to write. Life is too short to spend it all worrying about your hectic work-week. Listen to the Beatles and some groovy soul. Pick somebody who does something well and imitate them with your own unique twist. Do it well and those in your life will love you for it.

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