Can you be original in a world where everything has been done before? I bet you have heard this question a few times? How many times have you said it yourself? It’s like you have this fantastic idea, a message, a project or product and as you start to chew on it, the “Doubt Maestro” creeps into your thoughts. He tells you that so and so has already said that, built it or sold it? It’s all been said and done before. So, how do you bring out your unique voice?
The concept or belief that there is nothing original and everything has been done before has been leaked into our heads from way before school started. Yet, if we study famous writers and artists, all of them started off by copying, imitating or just plain stealing from those that went before. During the Elizabethan era, stealing words, stories and plays was rife. We know now that Shakespeare stole heavily and blatantly from his contemporary, Christopher Marlowe. However, fifteen years later when he penned Hamlet, “authentic” Shakespeare evolved.
– Originality is simply a pair of fresh eyes – Anon
There is nothing new in this. Many singers begin their careers singing ‘cover’ songs, and with abundant rehearsals and good connections, transform into original talent.
We know that copying, imitating and stealing is the way kids learn. As you experience more, unearth and identify what is your true ‘voice”, the pioneer, the maverick in you is born.
Discovering your unique take on a topic, your version of life, your personal use of vocabulary can be one of the most rewarding journeys you could embark upon. The way you string and swing your words together like nobody else does. The way you walk, stand and sit is all coming from your unique style, your special DNA mix.
-Originality is the fine art of remembering what you hear but forgetting where you heard it before – Laurence J. Peter.
Think about Jazz music, those incredible improvised solos from John Coltrane or Ella Fitzgerald. Pure bona fide inspiration.
It’s all in the remix. Building on what has gone before and adding your twist of lemon. Your shaken but not stirred style. Your Toque Original.
So, how can you spark ‘original thoughts’?
One. Take yourself out of your comfort zone…yes, be uncomfortable, not suffer… but push yourself into thinking outside of your usual box.
Two. Ask questions. Ask other people and listen carefully to their “version”.
Three. Travel…walk, train, fly. Stroll on the beach, park or mountain track. Take your mind on a journey.
Four. Switch off the routine thinking, ready-made answers. Write or speak out at least 3 versions of a sentence.
Five. Don’t believe the hype, you can be original!
Here is a link to a great Ted Talk about originality by Adam Grant.
Step Up & Stand Out encourages you to find your original voice and, I have some exciting courses to encourage you to open up to your unique voice Click Here for more information. Don’t forget you can chat with me for free,
-The mind that opens to a new idea never returns to its original size – Albert Einstein