“If you’re trying to replicate the work and results of other people, what does that say about your own inner compass?”
Every successful person I’ve ever met has given me the same piece of advice — always have a mentor. Why? Because sometimes we may think that we’re forging our own successful path in this world when in actual fact we’re nowhere near where we potentially could be if we had supplemented our ideas with those that have been proven to be successful. The “lone wolf who makes it big in life without any help” is a fictional story told to romanticise success. Without Wozniak there would be no Jobs. A person doesn’t have to “replicate work and results” of others, but they definitely should use methods that have proven to be successful.
Why take 10 years to develop yourself on your own when you could have done it in 2 years with help provided by the knowledge, skill and expertise of others who have already been down the path that you have just begun?
Of course success isn’t just about drawing on the methodology and ideology of successful people - it’s about taking those methods and ideas and improving them so that they work for YOU and YOUR vision.
We have modern-day airplanes because people not only replicated but also improved on the ideas of the Wright Brothers. The Wright Brothers would not have been successful if they did not improve on the ideas (as well as rectify the failures) of others who made the same attempts before them - including the failure of flight pioneer Otto Lilienthal.
If you want to be successful, one of the key ingredients is looking at the success (and failures) of others in your field and asking yourself why? You’ll often find that most of the failures were a result of a lack of foresight. And what better way to gain foresight than to ask those that have climbed the mountain before you where the best trails are?