Originality doesn’t exist. Stop chasing it.
In fact, this is not accurate – we do recognize when something is fresh and new, different from things we’ve seen before. But the occasions in which it’s truly “new, revolutionary, never-seen-before” are incredibly rare.
Most often what we consider to be original is just a new combination of pre-existing, well known ideas or concepts. They’re just combined in a different way – maybe one that was never tried before or wasn’t relevant prior to some technology development (like social media, for example).
With the rising of AI, this begs the question – can’t a computer try more combinations in a smaller time frame, and basically kill originality?
Well, no. Because people don’t usually follow dry, factual concepts. I’ve recently read “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek, and while it wasn’t exactly what I expected it to be, his point was abundantly clear. People buy from people. And not just anyone, but people who have strong beliefs and identities behind their products.
By the way, when I say “buy”, I don’t mean solely monetary transactions. I mean anything that’s made to influence others.
A political stance, an ideology, a lifestyle change – anything you’re trying to convince others to do has to start with your own personality and beliefs. This is the “magic component” of originality – you. Even if another person has combined the same concepts and preaching (or selling) the same ideas – they don’t have the unique mix of life experiences – and lessons learned from them – as you do.
As much as I hate to say it, the cliche is true – stop trying to be original, just be yourself. It’s not as simple as it sounds. It requires a lot of growth, constantly working on yourself, gaining confidence – but it’s all worth it in the end.