Lately I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what it takes to be an original in a world that seems so saturated with… well, with everything. We cross paths with so many people in life. People doing things, people redoing things, people taking things that have already been done and putting their voice to it. It can seem almost impossible to find a new idea, or believe you’re doing something that’s original, that’s different and that’s worthwhile.
So what makes an original?
Originals are non-conformists. Originals are people who not only have new ideas but take action to champion them. They’re people who stand out and speak up. Originals drive creativity and change in this world which we live. They’re the people you want to bet on, the people you want to invest in and they look nothing like you think do, like you expect them to.
Originals are those who doubt the default. They question the things that are given to them in life, in a desire to find the something better that they (don’t know for certain) have a feeling is out there. They’re chasing a dream, a desire and a drive that most consider them crazy for doing. But are they crazy?
One thing I think people struggle with understanding originals feel fear. From the outside looking it, it can appear as though originals don’t have a care in the world. That people like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos had one good idea, they went for it and changed the way the world operated overnight. And this, it’s simply not the case.
Originals have shitty ideas… all the time. They’re afraid of failing. They are But they’re also afraid of not ever trying. Originals are those that understand you can fail by starting and going bankrupt or you can fail by never starting at all. And they, well they’d rather hedge there bets on trying then to lead a life with the regrets of ‘what might have been’ had they had the courage to see something through. They know that one of the biggest regrets each of us will have in life are the chances we had that we did not take.
I think we expect an original to look a certain way. We expect them to act a certain way. We expect them to be a certain person, because they can’t just be like you or I, they need to be different because… if their ideas are going to stand out, they need to stand out with those ideas. But that isn’t always the case.
Originals are people that will take every shitty idea they’ve ever had, act upon them and use the failure they find as motivation to do better the next time around. Originals are you, or I, or at least they cold be, if we chose to act on those ideas we’ve been thinking about… dreaming about no less.
I’m betting that if you took some of the most influential people of our time and put them under a microscope you’d learn of hundreds, if not thousands, of terrible ideas they acted on and had blow up in their faces. Where do your terrible ideas lie? In the back of your mind with a consistent what if? Or, in a tangible reality with a ‘this is how we improve for next time’? Originals, their ideas are the latter. Because they take the chances in life that most of us are too afraid to consider.
I think this resonates with me because I’ve never wanted to be normal. I’ve never felt normal. I’ve always wanted to be an original and I’ve always wanted to be responsible for something that changes someone for the better. The more I think about originals, the more pride I feel in my failure. Because I’ve had a lot of shitty ideas in life and I’ve failed when it came to a lot of them. Heck, I’ve probably tallied more in this past year than most.
I do believe that I’m building towards something, though. I do believe that these failures, one day when I look back on them as a distant memory, it’s going to be fondly thought of. These are going to be the moments that changed me, that caused me to grow, that taught me how to do better and to be better. These are the moments that caused me to act, the moments where I said ‘I’d rather be told no than have never asked at all’.
I want to be original. I want to be someone who stands out from the crowd. I think that if I found that in life, in my career, I’d feel as though I’ve succeeded. Even if I never become as successful as Bill Gates or Steve Jobs or Jeff Bezos. Actually, if I’m being totally honest, I don’t want to be like any of them. I admire them, but I don’t desire to copy them. I do know that I’m pretty good with acting on every stupid idea I have (heck, I made this blog and it hasn’t turned out half bad) so I hope I have what it takes. I hope that I can be different and be an original in this saturated world.