In a world full of proven formulas, inspirational models, and the accessibly of information, it is more and more difficult to be original. John Mason wrote a book called You're Born an Original, Don't Die a Copy. I haven't read it, but the title speaks volumes(no pun intended). I don't even know anything about Mr. Mason, but I do know that originality is getting lost in our culture. There seems to be a few originals that set the trends for the rest of us. There is nothing cutting edge about being on point with the latest trend. It may make us trendy but it doesn't break any ground. It’s easy to follow the culture, a littler harder to lead it. As an artist, and as a leader, I am met with this struggle everyday.
Here are a few thoughts to help you maintain your originality:
1. You Can’t Imitate Anointing
You can't copy calling. You can't copy anointing. By anointing, I don't mean a feeling, but a function that connects people with the presence of God. It’s difficult to see something that appears to be working and not copy it. It is the easy way, but it’s not the better way. Surely our aspirations don't need to be set on how or what somebody else is doing.
I mean, God made me. God called me. The fact that I have been selected by God and placed on this planet, means that there is something unique that I am supposed to do with Him. The only anointing we are called to emulate is the anointing of Jesus!
2. Inspiration > Duplication
I enjoy attending conferences , and as a leader, I have been to a ton of them. The stories of success are overwhelming and inspiring. However, if I am not careful, I can lose my identity by following what God has called another individual to do. I will simply become a copy. Copies are never as good as the original. We should seek inspiration from others, but people should never be our aspiration.
Style over substance has taken the stage, and a few creative well known people are driving what everything else looks like, sounds like, and feels like. When we copy somebody else, we personify style over substance. Substance doesn't come from copying a model. Substance is born in the heart.
"Substance doesn't come from copying a model.
Substance is born in the heart."
I don't want to seem dramatic, but I think at times we border on idolatry. Making people that inspire us the goal, and not what God has called us to do. It's hard to resist. As an artist I get it. As a public speaker I get it.
Let me be clear there is nothing wrong with repeating what another person says, or following a trend. However, it is imperative that when we are being an echo, that we don't lose our own voice. Go ahead with some retweets, but don’t let your life be a retweet of somebody else’s timeline.
"Don’t let your life be a retweet
of somebody else’s timeline."
3. Embrace Creativity
Believers should be the most creative force on the earth! You were made in the image of God! You are creative. Look inward and stop focusing so much on what others are doing. Comparison is killing your ability to create. Comparison screams be more like _____. However, God is raising up ground breakers and pioneers. Will you be willing to dream with The Creative One? Get alone, disconnect from technology, and dream with God!
4. Embrace Principles
I have spent most of my time in this blog trying to break a mold, but principles are important to remember. There are right and wrong ways to be original. The most virtuous and the greatest evil in human history all started with an idea. The noble follow noble principles. They color inside the lines, but they use different colors. As a follower of Christ, don't try to redefine virtue. As it’s been said, “The method changes but not the message.” The principles are given by your Creator.
5. Release Passion
What burns inside of you? Discover your “why” and give yourself over to it. It might not become the greatest trend, but the only way you will ever influence the masses is by influencing the one. The only way you can influence one is by pouring out yourself on what you do. Let it out. It’s inside of you. Do, be, and create all that God has put in your heart!