While I don’t rememberer my dreams from last night very clearly, I woke up with a singular and strong desire. I want my purpose in life to be doing something in the service of others. Admittedly, one side of me dreams to be on stage giving Ted talks for doing something amazing, something that helps millions of people. The question is just what life changing thing can I do or create? How can I make such a large impact? I don’t know about you, but this fantasy thinking scares the crap out of me. Thankfully, there is always something or someone around to bring me back to Earth. This morning’s gift of humility came from a fellow blogger, Loveallie Lao . She was thanking me for a compliment I made on her blog and how it motivated her to keep writing. Something inside me answered this: “We never truly know who or when we might inspire others, so please keep on writing… people are reading!” To me, her blog was about motivating others and it had an impact on me. She didn’t know I was listening and I didn’t know if she would read my comment. For a few moments we changed each others world and it is a mystery how that will change things for others.
Right then, I got really excited, sure I found my topic for today! I wanted to change the world one tiny action at a time, one person at a time. I wanted to start writing about it and pay it forward immediately. Yet, something didn’t feel quite genuine about this. How do I sum this up in a question that feels authentic to me? Then I watched Adam Grant on Ted do his talk called: “The Surprising Habits Of Original Thinkers.” In it he explains the benefits of procrastinating moderately, that these pauses sometimes allow us develop more creative thoughts. Because of my lack of clarity, I decided to test this out. Here’s what I might have done wrong. Instead of doing a meditation, my daily painting, or go for a walk, I got busy on other things that require my thinking and attention. Not really feeling I did the exercise justice, I started again. I did a few mindless chores about the house and did my meditation, then sat down to write. I was still uncertain and then I noticed a note I scribbled while watching the talks, The note said “I want to be an original thinker.” Well, this is must be the day for constructive self-criticism, because no matter how often I read that scribble, a very different sentence was spoken by my inner voice.
“I want to be recognized as an original thinker” But first, I needed to answer what is an original thinker? One definition is “someone able to think of or carry out new ideas or concepts.” Well, we all have new thoughts; in fact, many every day. At least a few of them are carried out. I, at least need more than that to define it! Lynette Jensen asks in her article for Genesis Australia, “How to spot an original thinker?”
Here are her answers.
1- Original thinkers have lots of ideas, mostly unusual and divergent ideas. They tend to let those ideas cook in their heads for a while until they feel the urge to shout “I got it!”. Hmmm, that happens to me sometimes. I thought it was me just itching to share a conclusion I had on something or other. The truth is it is how I create art, often working on ideas in my head for extended periods of time, before letting the idea out.
2- Original thinkers are curious, asking questions, wanting to always know why. Hmmm, that happens to me often. I’ve often caught myself telling people I’m nearly infinitely curious about everything, when they ask why I have so many questions. So, I like knowing stuff, doesn’t everyone? She also says original thinkers are comfortable with ambiguity. That can’t be compatible with curiosity can it? Well, I am getting more comfortable not having to know everything.
3- Original thinkers are intrinsically motivated. They tend to do things for their own reasons. Hmmm… I wonder if this explains why I enjoy the process of building relationships over closing sales. She also states that they are very competitive and like to get their ideas out first. Now I’m confused.
4- Original thinkers are confident about their ideas and have no problem sharing them. Hmmm… ok, sometimes I do that too. Not always though; I do doubt myself or my opinions often enough and I have learned to use that doubt to learn more on the subject.
So far, I’m not sure I like what being an original thinker is, according to Lynette’s definitions. They sound a little self-absorbed, opinionated, unsympathetic, and pushy. Hmmm… I am all these things sometimes, but only sometimes. So what does this say about me? Am I suffering from some Imposter Syndrome due to lack of self-confidence, or am I something else? Well, I choose to see myself as a work in progress and I know myself to be a creative thinker, so do I really need to be an Original Thinker to have an impact on this world? I don’t think so! I choose to be original in my own way and not wear the tittle of Original Thinker… well, not just yet anyways. I choose to be the best version of myself and to share my ever-changing, ever-growing, ever-learning individuality with the world. After all, “We never truly know who or when we might inspire others, so please keep on writing… people are reading!”