Monday, July 27, 2015

Originality demands a willingness to experiment

On my ten year anniversary of wearing a nametag twenty four seven, my family threw a huge party. We even ordered a cake shaped like nametag. And as I blew out the candles, I had a flashback about the twenty year old version of myself. 

This whole nametag idea started as an idealistic vision of creating global friendliness, world peace and transcontinental unity. But after a decade, I had lost that childlike sense of imagination. I had stepped away from the very leaps of faith that made the idea successful in the first place. 

And so, the next day, I sat down in front of a blank screen and started chasing whimsy once again. I began to reinvision my concept of a world where everybody wore nametags. The only difference was, this time, I had ten years of field research under my belt. Meaning, I could legitimately support my hypothesis with real data and insight and experience and perspective, an asset that nobody else in the world had but me. I was the single most qualified person on the planet to address this issue. 

That day, I began mapping all of the social, psychological, anthropological and interpersonal implications of my idea, What would happen if everybody wore nametags? How would daily life be different if we changed just one rule in the universe. The result was a project unlike anything else I’d ever created. I could tell right away that I had something meaningful. In fact, I was so proud of the work, that I officially published it online as The Nametag Manifesto

Tens of thousands of people around the world downloaded it, I won an award for presentation of the week, and I even got an email from a professor who started using the manifesto as part of the curriculum of his ethics class. Hell, I might even convert the manifesto into a work of fiction. 

The point is, originality demands a willingness to experiment. Never be afraid of your own imagination. Put whimsy on wheels and be willing to see where creativity takes you. 

When was the last time you did something for the first time?

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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