"The original is unfaithful to the translation." - Jorge Luis Borges
"Be original; don't be scared of being bold!" - Ed Sheeran
"It isn't the original scandal that gets people in the most trouble - it's the attempted cover-up." - Tom Petri
We live in a world that says one thing and does another. We say we want everyone to get along, but we reward the disagreeable. We say we want originals, but we cultivate the rank and file. In other words, we are a culture at war with it's own ideas.
This is wide ranging and is, many times, one of the biggest overarching topics of this podcast. However, tonight I want to talk about the thing that I think is at the root of it all. This is how to be original.
Step 1: Don't listen to what I say. Perhaps you can still hear that inner voice that resides inside of you with real clarity. For others, especially those who have been forced to ignore it, it might takes some coaxing. You might have to listen. But it's there. It's always there, leading you to the next destination.
Step 2: Don't attempt to mold yourself into something you aren't for other's benefit. Many of us do this almost involuntarily with bosses, romantic partners, friends and so on. But the reality is that your value to all of those with whom you have a relationship is greatly increased when you are absolutely yourself, warts and all.
Sure, some people might not love who you are. But, if you haven't already, you'll learn that this is fine. You learn to only want people around who want you around, as well.
Step 3: Own You Weirdness - We've talked about this several times on the show. Your weirdness is the single most potent and awesome thing about you. So much of what we're taught while growing up is targeted at us pulling, in a way apologizing for who we are. While there is a good way to work and behave with others, it is the true originals that we truly revere in our world, isn't it?
That's because they make our world colorful and help us witness the varied shades of our existence. As artists, as poets, as musicians, we are tasked with that goal ourselves. Yet so many of us hide within the crowd, somehow afraid to truly step forward.
This leads me to the final step in how to be original:
Step 4: Forget all of the rules. Do what you will...