Do you ever find yourself holding back because you’re afraid what you have to offer isn’t original? Can I share a secret? There is bliss in freeing yourself of the weight of originality.
Mark Twain once said, “There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages.”
You don’t have to create some earth-shattering “new” concept to add value to the world.Click to tweet
Your task is to turn the kaleidoscope.
To see new combinations. Make connections. It’s in that process of turning where we often stumble on new insight. It’s in turning that we get unstuck – where things shift to expose new possibilities.
Some of the biggest breakthroughs and most important discoveries have been a direct result of one person being able to see something “old” in a new way – in connecting two seemingly unconnected ideas. We human beings have incredible untapped potential. We have countless combinations to sort through – insights that can provide unlimited answers to today’s biggest problems. It’s exciting, to say the least.
Even more exciting is knowing that what you see as you turn that kaleidoscope will be unique to you.
In the infinite pool of possibilities, your personal combination of colored glass will never exactly mimic anyone else’s. There may be similarities – but what you see and bring to the table will always be unique because of who you are. Your experiences, education, personality, upbringing, environment, beliefs, privilege, challenges, and genetics all play together in the turning process. What you have to offer the world isn’t what anyone else can offer.
If there is one thing that can stop us from solving the world’s problems it’s the fear of other people’s ideas. There is always benefit from seeing the world from someone else’s point of view. Always. You see, we humans aren’t just turning the kaleidoscope – we are part of an even larger kaleidoscope. We are the colored pieces of glass that can connect and combine to create an even bigger and more beautiful picture of the world.
Be sure to let people – lots of people from lots of different places – turn those pieces of colored glass for you from time to time. See how vibrant someone else’s ideas can be. And then be sure to turn your own kaleidoscope for the world. Bring us what only you can bring.
Turn, turn, turn.