Living in Your Own Skin – Part II

Have you ever looked at someone else and then turned and judged yourself? Have you ever felt like you should be performing as they perform, looking like they look, living life as they live it? I sure have and it can be downright tough!

9-13-16As a social creatures, humans are predisposed to look to others in their social circle and try to be like them. This phenomena can be very helpful if you surround yourself with positive role models that help you strive to be a better person, but it can be very limiting too. You must be careful as you strive to become a better person that you don’t limit yourself by trying to do things exactly like those around you. You must go about things in your own way, so that you can be the best you possible.

Lessons from Movie Night at Home

The other night, I watched Kung Fu Panda 3, which I have to say was just as good as the first movie (rare for sequels). Without giving anything away, I can say that it had some focus, just as the other Kung Fu Panda movies, on developing talents not as those around you develop theirs, but rather to be the best individual possible. To be unique, and use one’s strengths.

It is funny that the Animal Leadership System has so much to do with Kung Fu Panda, but that is what we teach. I firmly believe that you are a unique individual, and if you learn how to be the best you, you can be,  you will be much more effective than if you try to live life as someone else.

A Personal Story

For me personally, this lesson was thrust upon me because of my learning disability. I still have trouble with that term, because I am not sure that disability is the correct descriptor. One of the ways such a difference in learning styles (the disability) is diagnosed is that the student does not perform as well as other students in some areas, yet is as bright if not brighter, than their peers in many ways. In my case, reading and spelling were very hard to learn, yet my IQ was in the 97th percentile.

Anyway, I could never, and still can’t do everything that my peers do, but I can do many things my peers can’t do. When I stopped trying to do the same things at the same times as all my peers and focused on what came natural to me, I started to thrive.

Working as the Chairman of two Charter Schools (ones within the public school system, not ones that direct public funds outside public institutions) I still see this with students. Many Special Ed students gravitate to our charter schools because they feel there is more freedom to learn in a way that is conducive to their individual strengths. Traditionally, students are taught to all learn the same thing, at the same pace, as they sit on the same piece of furniture, assuming the same posture…and if they don’t perform the same, they are failures or have a disability. People are individuals and MUST play to their strengths!

Applying Lessons to Your Life

I think about the horses I work with. Some are hard to get to move. Some are hard to get to stand still. Both traits are really handy depending on what you are doing. I could never take five horses, throw them in a round pen, and teach them with the same style at the same time. They have individual strengths and as a good trainer I’m sensitive to that and try to coax them out.

So, how about you? Are you trying to perform in the same manner as those around you? Do you give yourself a hard time when your unique strengths start to show themselves? Do you try to foster your strengths so that you can be the best uniquely you, you can be?

It is so important that you begin to live in your own skin and develop the you, which only you can be. We need you in this world because there is only one and we have been waiting for your talents. Your greatness is something that only you can bring to the table. When it comes to being an individual, love it and live it so you can best serve those around you.

Keep leading,


Written by Rad Watkins

Rad Watkins

Rad Watkings is the founder of Animal Leadership LLC where he takes his vast experience from working with wildlife & the environment to help bring out the Leader inside you. He teaches how to excel without the complex tactics that so many people live on for their careers, relationships & more!


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