The death of originality seems to be upon us. The other night I was watching TV, and thought my remote was broken. Every few channels seemed to have the same show repeating itself. It was like there was an intern in a Hollywood basement just making copies of the same show for every network.
I think you know what I am talking about. You can turn on TV and you are guaranteed to see one of the following shows (if not all of them): Some family with more kids than you would ever imagine having, some show about the Amish, rednecks killing things and then eating them, a show about a pawn shop somewhere, people going somewhere to “pick stuff”, crazy parents with spoiled kids in competitions, little people being little, someone going to a storage locker to buy something, and the “real” housewives of somewhere. I am just waiting for them to all become one show like, “Real Amish Pawnshop Housewives of Boise”, “22 American Redneck Kids and Counting”, “The Hoarding Picker Dance Moms”, or “Little People Big Storage Wars” (now that show does sound amazing).
I realize that the epidemic is not just channel to channel, but even the networks are copying themselves. You’ve seen CSI of Louisville right? I am not sure if it’s the fact that Hollywood thinks we are stupid or we have just settled for the copy so often we don’t even know how to spot an original anymore. I’m pretty sure there is show about “Real Housewives” of just about every city in America. We may not demand originality from our TV, but its time we demand it from ourselves.
I’m writing this from a coffee shop, drinking the same coffee drink that everyone else is, talking on the same phone that everyone else has, and watching women walk in the door with the same purse that every other women has. Seems like originality has died. I think its time we dig it up and bring it back to life.
Sure the world needs people who can make good ideas great. I love people that can take something that is just ok and make it amazing, but we desperately need people who are willing to create, to dream, and to make new. We need originals! Be who you are suppose to be. The world does not need another copy! We don’t need another Steve, Bono, or Walt… we need a you. You need to be you, and if you keep trying to be them not only will you miss out on something amazing, but so will we! I love what John Mason says, “You are born an original. Don’t die a copy”
The odds are actually in your favor of you being original: The odds of bowling a 300 are 1 in 11,500, dating a supermodel are 1 in 88,000, getting Hit by Lightning 1 in 576,000, getting eaten by a Shark 1 in 300 Million…of you being born, at this time, in this place and circumstance 1 in 400 Billion.
You are on this planet on purpose. Hollywood may think you are stupid, but I know you are not. You are original, so refuse to settle for a copy any longer. Stop trying to fit the mold and find a way to break it! Pick up your pen, your toybox, your paintbrush, your toolbox, or your _________ . Go make something new! Break out. Be original. Go. Now.
This is an excerpt from my soon to be released book “Making Elephants Fly”