“Originality is not a fundamental structural change, it is a very small personal twist to a fundamental basic.”
Recently, I read an interesting article by a friend of mine in which she spoke/wrote about the redundancy of ideas (inspiration) and the subsequently similar results of those ideas. She wrote about the blurred lines between originality and redundancy and it got me thinking – where does inspiration end and stealing begin? How can we be inspired and yet be original? After quite a bit of thinking, chaos, and introspection I think I have an answer and I’m not the only one. From Andy Warhol to Seth Godin, they all know it and have expressed it, in different ways and here is why I think you shouldn’t fall into the “originality” trap.
To be inspired is a feeling of euphoria and of impending achievement.
Inspiring people are usually found under the umbrella terms of original, authentic, and successful (among many others). So what makes inspiring people so inspirational? What makes you and me, want to listen to someone or even be like someone?
The idea of originality. The idea, the perception that the person in front has something that I don’t have and to achieve what they have I must listen to them. To be inspiring one must say or do something that is so unique or so distinctive that it makes you want to listen. And so we listen.
We listen, we get inspired. If the person is an abstract individual in your life, you’ll listen better. But if it’s a friend or an acquaintance we tend to be more envious than inspired, but that’s a topic for another day. So we listen, we get inspired and then we emulate.
Originality is not a fundamental structural change, it is a very small personal twist, to a fundamental basic.
This is where it gets tricky and where the actual article begins. Originality is not a fundamental structural change, it is a very small personal twist, to a fundamental basic. For example, all clothes are made in some basic cloth – denim, chiffon, satin, etc. How one designs it is what makes it different from the rest.
Similarly, life is repetitive, ideas are repetitive, people are repetitive.
To be inspired is to take a step into the pool of one of the repetitive ideas in this world and do something with it that is so unique that you yourself become an inspiration. In essence, there is very, very little that can distinguish you from a million others doing the exact same. So, here comes the twist. The ‘twist’, that ‘personal touch’ is what will distinguish an idea as original. A million people, actually more, about 42 million people have blogs, yet only a handful are commercially successful.
To be original is a major pressure we put on people. In a world where we seek familiarity but value originality, it’s difficult to strike a balance between telling your unique story in a way that resonates with others and is yet unique.
So when you begin to tell your stories or your business or whatever, you will have more in common with others than you’d like. To put it more simply – a business arises from a need. The need is the idea. The solution is the inspiration.
Be inspired, be unique and then be original. Because business ideas aren’t original but what you do with them is.
Image Credits – Ben White