“All good things which exist are the fruits of originality.”
-John Stuart Mill
Be an original. Have you ever heard that phrase before? I have a lot. English philosopher John Stuart Mill’s quote reminds us that only good things come from our own original thoughts. When we think independently and creatively it opens doorways and pathways we might have never imagined were possible. Often times outside factors thwart this type of thinking thanks to us buying into everything we may see on TV or on social media. Please do not take everything you see or hear as what is right or wrong. That is my public service announcement for today: be a critical consumer an use your own thoughts and what you value to make yourself into your own original thinker. We need more of those type of people that those that just conform to the norm.
So you may be wondering what it takes to be an original. In Adam Grant’s book called Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World he says that anyone can enhance their own creativity. Anyone of us can champion our own ideas that improve the world around us. The question is how. Originality itself starts with creativity: generating a concept that is both novel and useful. From there it is taking that vision and making it into a reality. In Justin Foster blog How Do You Become An Original Thinker? there are two primary indicators that we are original thinkers:
- We have have original ideas and are not fans or followers of any particular thought-leader.
- We are immune to identity politics and refuse to be jammed in to any particular box.
We must look inward to our way of thinking of what we have always known to be true and what we are committed to. We need to pick up specific skills along the way to further enhance our way of thinking by embracing reading about our subjects of interest and then express our ideas to others. Finally we must be okay with being uncomfortable when we are questioned on our thinking. When we are able to do these things we become an original thinker.
What does this quote mean to you and how can you apply today’s message towards managing yourself better?