Defending the beauty in what you bring to the table.
aybe you have a favorite movie star, a favorite singer, maybe even a favorite athlete. Most people want to be just like them—whoever they are. They look at every little detail and follow their every move.
I’ve done this most of my life. I would see creators forming their art and making people smile as they preview what they’ve created. I would think, “I want to be like that.” So, I set out to do exactly what they were doing.
It wasn’t a bad thing in and of itself. The innocence of attributing value to what other people create is not the problem. It’s not recognizing that you have the ability to do the same thing, your own way.
I Want to Make My Own Mistakes
One of the misconceptions about life is that if we really want to learn something, it has to be from someone else. That’s not necessarily true. Your life will involve unique experiences that differ from the lives of other people.
It’s both harmful and useless to push that away. Don’t throw your failures and seemingly insignificant wins under the bus as though they don’t mean anything. Let it move you. Let it teach you—because it will.
And without taking the opportunity to be unique in wearing your own shoes, you’ll miss out on this great truth.
Without a doubt, there are those out there we can learn from. They’ve lived through tough times and are able to speak about it in hopes of improving the lives of whoever listens.
But they mean nothing if we aren’t willing to stamp our fingerprints in what we produce.
The beauty in making your own mistakes is that you set footprints in places no one else has ever been, and in a way that is unlike any other.
Think about that for a second. You and I have fingerprints that establish a necessary difference between us. This difference carries over into what we’re drawn to, the steps we take, and the lessons we learn along the way.
Conformity Is Boring
Most people prefer to get in line and follow the leader (whoever that may be in a popular-driven, consumer culture). That’s fine if you don’t want to make an impact.
For those who want to do otherwise, it is necessary to take confidence in who you are.
Too much of the same won’t turn heads. It won’t touch the souls of those who need it. People will just continue on the path of boringness. The path of least resistance.
Conformity is useless to the game-changers with a drive to be themselves with every aspect of their creativity.
They may look weird at first. But people will catch on. At least, the ones who have also acknowledged their own uniqueness.
Yes, it’s true, we are united. We should stand together in our creative pursuits. But we must do so with our complete selves in mind.
Do Something Different
The world is full of enough of the same. People are content with regurgitating monotonous material that doesn’t actually help anyone and furthers the problem of stagnant creativity.
I used to think by copying someone else, saying virtually the same things they were saying, I was doing something. In reality, my words weren’t my own. They were someone else’s.
The price of abandoning yourself will come at the expense of your authenticity. The very thing people need more of.
As time passed, I saw this is as an opportunity to stand out. I didn’t just want to fit in with the crowd. That sounded boring. No, I wanted to stick my head out with my personality, failures, and quirks that establish my identity.
Too many people seek to blend in without realizing that they lose their identity along the way. That’s like choosing to replace your fingerprint with someone else’s.
Why sacrifice that for trying to make other people happy?
Setting out to please them merely for the sake of being just like everybody else won’t satisfy your heart. It won’t keep the fire burning that brought you on this journey in the first place.
Only a cloud of anxiety will cover you as you drudge your next move, wanting and craving the happiness of others but neglecting your own.
Take a step in your own direction. And don’t even think about looking back. Create because it’s in you to do so. Write like you mean it, and mean what you write. It will require all of you, not the people you want to be like.
What you produce will stick to those who find it. And you’ll love every moment of it.
Kevin Horton is a 24-year-old photographer, college student, modest book-worm, and wanna-be web developer with a new-found love for writing. He writes helpful words about creativity, productivity, and the enjoyably simple life.
’Til next time. Thanks for reading!