Monday’s Meditation: On Doing It How It’s Never Been Done

Monday, November 4, 2013

Everything has already been said.

Every subject already written on.

Every creation already made.

One might argue such things, and certainly some have.

There are no new ideas, some say. There is no new art. There is only observing, processing, and copying–reproducing with individual flair, an additional bent.  

The exceptions are, well, so exceptional that they spawn no less than a revolution: Henry Ford and Alexander Graham Bell, Johann Gutenberg, and Levi Strauss, the Wright Brothers, Tim Berners-Lee, and on. What they created, no one can deny the innovation of.

It might feel daunting to aim for the world-changing ways of the greats, but remember that they, too, were merely people like you who excelled at, among other things, unapologetically pursuing that which they felt called to.

It has never been said exactly as you will say it.

It has never been written exactly as you will write it.

It has never been made exactly as you will make it.

It couldn’t have been.

You are a singular entity; no other person has or will ever be quite like you.

Try for a moment to disregard the notion of pre-established techniques, styles or schools of thought, and free yourself to tap into your special flavor of genius.

When you do, you eliminate the worry that you’re doing nothing more than contributing to an ever-growing mound of repetitiveness.

So say it precisely how it’s true for you.

Write it with words that flow through your tender heart, which pump steadily closer to the surface with each purposeful thump of your pulse.

Make it with fingers that surely impress your un-duplicatable prints into the very structure of the thing.

As you do, you will feel your limbs hum with the unmistakable excitement of being, of contributing to the great masterpiece that is everything, and of making things that are, if not new, perfectly unique.

If it does not change the world, it will at least help to heal it and that’s (don’t you think?) a kind of changing it, too.




One thought on “Monday’s Meditation: On Doing It How It’s Never Been Done

  1. Leslie

    Thank you for this — it needed to be said and I feel inspired again. With the advent of the Internet and all the new sharing opportunities that have since cropped up (especially in the last 5 years), it has been incredibly exciting to see such an abundance of ideas and perspectives on any one particular thing, but I also can’t help but feel that it has made the world’s content (that is, what we’re seeing online) *feel* more derivative and re-hashed then ever before. Maybe it’s just that the proliferation of derivative works is making it hard for me to spot the new stuff, even if the frequency of truly new ideas hasn’t changed (or has even possibly increased).
    For a person who does design work for a living (for my day job), it seems especially challenging to reconcile the desire to create something that feels fresh and original, with the external (and also internal) expectations to deliver something that you know will be a success. It seems you can only know these things if you’re making something that already has proven success (that is, it’s already been done). With that said, there are still a million+ variants on any one thing or combination of things that await discovery and perhaps my own personal “special flavor of genius” will uncover a tiny piece of something truly new.


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