From Dale Carnegie's "Seven Ways to Peace and Happiness"
Be yourself. Act on the sage advice that Irving Berlin gave the late George Gershwin. When Berlin and Gershwin first met, Berlin was famous but Gershwin was a struggling young composer working for $35 a week in Tin Pan Alley. Berlin, impressed by Gershwin's ability, offered Gershwin a job as his musical secretary at almost three times the salary he was then getting. "But don't take the job," Berlin advised. "If you do, you may develop into a second-rate Berlin. But if you insist on being yourself, someday you'll become a first-rate Gershwin."
And he did. I challenge you - and myself - to be a first rate Us. Not a second-rate (insert name of your favorite author). In my case, I will not be a second rate Toni Morrison, Neil Gaiman, or Dale Carnegie.