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What does it mean when something is original?

Some would say that to be original is to do something that has never been done before, created something that’s never been created before, thought something that’s never been thought before. …

To be original means to challenge oneself to think in ways that will likely build upon the ideas of others, but not copy them.

An original person is someone who’s character isn’t copied from anyone else. Many people try and be like their friends or celebrities. Examples of an original person: Their work, art, crafts and what ever they think or feel are unique to them.

Differences will make you an original, but will also lead you to experiences that you wouldn’t have otherwise even tried. Stretching yourself makes you realize that the biggest competitor is and always will be yourself.

So why should you want to be an original and be unique?

  • You are being true to yourself. Not fighting yourself is an ultimate advantage in being true to your originality and uniqueness.
  • You will come up with more fresh ideas and new perspectives on old ideas. Basically, your creativity increases.
  • Learning to navigate with your differences gives you more confidence and self-esteem.
  • People will view you as a person with something interesting to say.
  • You are more apt to try things and expand your world thus making you more interesting.
  • You will be happier.

The Importance Of Originality

The bottom line on being original boils down to one thing. You were born original with a unique set of characteristics, traits, talents and skills. If you go with the flow of the crowd, you will never be who you were born to be…

You will be a copy. The same old thing as everyone else.

Where’s the excitement in being the same old thing as everyone else? Do you just want to be a copy?

Stepping outside the regular boundaries in order to be unique is not always easy.

  • People may think you are weird and avoid you.
  • It will be harder for people to relate to you, your actions and ideas.
  • Most people won’t agree with you.
  • You may be ridiculed or persecuted.
  • You may spend more time alone and thus find yourself lonely more often than others.

Even though there are some big reasons to not be an original and to just follow the crowd, the positives out weigh the negatives in being original.

Think about it. If you’re not going to be you, who will? No one.

Originality, I think, means owning that there really isn’t any part of you that hasn’t come from some other creative person before you. Unless you grew up in a hole and weren’t ever exposed to anything.

Originality is about recognizing that you are affected by the music on the radio that you hate and that one book you actually read in high school and all the times you’re just hanging out with your friends and talking.

Now, that’s not to say that all the original ideas are used up — we’ve got no more ideas left in the world so that’s it! No! But it is hard to think originally!


Well, to think originally, this means we need to be able or have the capacity to think that things can be different — that our world can be a different place than it is right now.

Someone had to imagine that we’d all be able to pull out devices and watch movies anytime, anywhere. This was not an idea that was always around because our world was not yet big enough for it.

You hear everyone say it, as if it’s a gut reaction implanted into the minds of entrepreneurs and creatives by some mad scientist. What makes you unique? Have you found your voice? Be original. It almost doesn’t matter what the question is. If it relates to growth or success or leading people, the answer’s a mix of regurgitated self-help articles and the command to be original. That’s just crazy.

Descartes, I believe it was, said that there was no such thing as an original thought. Nothing’s new. Everything’s been used, added to, or reduced.

The ironic part is that Socrates said the same thing more than 2,000 years earlier. Clearly there’s some legitimacy to the sentiment.

When people say “be original,” — they don’t realize this — they don’t mean “do something entirely new that no one has ever fathomed before.” They really mean “be different.” If you’re just copying other people, why would anyone pay attention to you instead of to those other (probably better) people?

Being original isn’t about being new. It’s about being different from everyone else doing what you do in your time and field.