There is much said these days concerning ‘thinking outside the box’. Often this is just hype, but not when it comes to being original. We are all unique and it is this uniqueness, that individuality, which can make all the difference when it comes to how other people perceive us.
How many hours do you spend finding those great quotations and images which seem to capture you as a person? If you’re like most people, the answer is too many hours and too long. This can be a nice way to show the world a glimpse of you. However it can only ever be a kind of mirror image, because you are using copies of other people’s work, in order to convey who you are. This is unoriginal, flattering for the originators, but still only a second generation copy at best.
Being original is about looking at yourself and deciding how you would like the world to see you. If you are like most people, you’ll feel inspired by the lives and work of others. If this is the case, use quotations which you find inspirational. But use them in original ways, not by copy and paste, but by creation. Write them on card and photograph/scan/copy. Upload them. Always making sure to attribute their origins, sources and copyright, of course. If you love going to a certain place, take pictures, draw, cartoon, do anything which serves to highlight your own idiosyncratic nature.
The secret in showing the world who you are, is that you really are your own expert. There is no other person alive on this earth who can put into words, thoughts, ideas and imagery, all that is you. You might write poetry, reviews. Or you might have a wicked sense of humour or be an inspiring cook. You might be the most romantic person there is. You could just be someone who dreams of living in another age and time. Each of us is like a jigsaw puzzle, on the surface we are simply one image, the picture we present to the outside world. Beneath the box lid we are so many different shaped pieces, each with a specific place to fit, in order to make a cohesive whole.
It is often the things we consider boring about our own lives, which can serve as inspiration to others. All too often we offer the world a very sanitised version of ourselves, complete with edited thought, word and deed. Or we fall down in the other direction and share things which are not appropriate for sharing with strangers. To be authentic, we first need to look at who we are and what things we want to reflect ,and then set about doing so. Don’t be a copy of someone who inspires you, be an inspiration.