Sunday, March 13, 2016

If anyone can do it, I shouldn’t do it

Our greatest currency in this world is our originality. 

That’s the one thing we have that nobody can take away from us. In fact, we couldn’t get rid of our originality even if we wanted to. It exists as a genuine outflow of the self. 

The hard part is, and this is where the real work comes in, originality demands a willingness to experiment. Otherwise we’re just the echo of another person’s work. 

Jobs famously said that he’d rather gamble on his vision than create another me too product. He demanded original thinking from himself and the people around him. And as a result, his company created innovations that changed the world forever. 

I remember those words every time I launch a new creative endeavor. They remind me never to start with an intention, but to start with an experiment. Because the last thing I want to do is create something that anybody could have created. My soul simply can’t cope with that sinking feeling of unoriginality. 

In fact, I’ve created a handy filter to prevent that very fear. As I move through the creative process, I continually ask myself several reflective questions. 

Am I so identified with this project that nobody could steal it, and if they did, people would know it? Is my work is so thoroughly autobiographical that the world won’t be able to parse the product from the person? And if I forget to sign my work at the bottom of the canvas, would the world still be able to tell that it was me? 

These are the tools that allow me to maintain my originality. They remind me that if anyone can do it, I shouldn’t. 

That my job is to only do the things that only I can do. 

To what extent does the selective emphasis of your creativity deviates from the conventional norm?

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

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