11-09-2007 12:12

Chen Dong, Wuhan University

Nowdays, people all over the world seem to be emphasizing the importance of being different from others. They say that difference from others makes you stand out, gives you an edge, brings you more chances and so on. I believe this is totally true. But we might have overlooked another kind of being different, that is, to be different from yourself.

The concept of being different from the self emphasizes seeking innovations to improve yourself and making constant progress to transcend yourself. I suppose to be different from inside is even more important than to be different from the outside. It is because trying to be different from yourself directly results in essential improvement inside you whereas the efforts to be distinct from others are likely to stay in the superficial level.

I would like to give a story to illustrate. I guess lots of you are using Nokia mobile phones, a famous brand from Finnland. But I dare say not many of you know how these phones came into being. When I was visiting Helsinki University in Finnland, a Finnish friend told me that Nokia was once a company engaged in making boots. And one day, when the highest leaders were discussing how to strengthen their company, one of them said “Let’s make something different!” And then, they began to make mobile phones. Today, Nokia is well known throughout the world for its phones but not for its shoes. I think if those leaders merely concentrated on how to make their boots different from other shoemakers’ products, they would never be so successful.

To sum up, I would say that to be different from yourself is more imporant than to be different from others. As long as we concentrate on improving ourselves and constantly transcend ourselves, we can not be the same as others. Excellence will make you stand out saliently.


Editor:Liu Fang