Originality: Going Against the Flow

I sub­scribe to the mon­key the­o­rem, that is, ‘give me a thou­sand mon­keys at a thou­sand type­writ­ers’, and they will even­tu­al­ly pen the works of William Shake­speare. Replace mon­keys with three hun­dred mil­lion blog­gers at three hun­dred mil­lion key­boards, and every top­ic imag­in­able is writ­ten, rewrit­ten, rein­vent­ed, reju­ve­nat­ed and rehashed.” ~ Mike Senczyszak

Minkey Intelligence by PeterKraayvanger CC0 Public Domain fro PixabayPer­son­al­ly I am not so con­vinced that there isn’t any­thing remain­ing to write about. I have always sub­scribed to the view that there is always room for new and orig­i­nal thought, always room for a new con­cept. Per­haps two peo­ple, on oppo­site sides of the globe, in the same field of endeav­our can come up with the same idea at pre­cise­ly the same time, there will always be new ideas. But often to get new ideas you have to go against the flow.
 

New Idea

 
Some­thing of which I am cer­tain, I may not have the new idea, but some­one will. When we think about the world we can as fre­quent­ly inter­nalise our thoughts as well as exter­nalise them. At times we go though some awk­ward thoughts before the real ideas come to light, but I encour­age you to pur­sue them.
 
The point about ideas, and the point about blogs, is that they open up the pos­si­bil­i­ties for dis­cus­sion to the whole world. It allows some­one, any­one to go against the flow. Any­one can take a fresh approach to an old prob­lem. Will it be you? 
 
One great chal­lenge is that too many peo­ple fol­low the sta­tus quo. They are not pre­pared to break the mould or strike out on a new path. Prob­lem­at­ic? It can at times lead to the con­clu­sion that there are no fresh ideas avail­able. It can lead to the think­ing that every­thing has already been thought of. Untrue! 
 
A state­ment I have heard repeat­ed too many times over the course of my life­time, one that I have reject­ed because every week I have wit­nessed reports of new inven­tions or dis­cov­er­ies from around the globe.
 

Against the Flow

 
From a writ­ing per­spec­tive, some­times being con­tro­ver­sial is nec­es­sary, just to get peo­ple to re-eval­u­ate their cur­rent sit­u­a­tion. Pro­pose a new approach even is it sim­ply done to take a dif­fer­ent look at options avail­able. New choic­es become avail­able all the time. 
 
Some­times it is nec­es­sary to cri­tique the con­ven­tion­al view­point, even when you believe in it, sim­ply to con­firm its con­tin­ued valid­i­ty. Per­haps ask­ing what would hap­pen if we didn’t do some­thing, would every­thing we hold dear, would life as we know it, start to break down? these are good ques­tions to ask.
 
I have shot the rapids in a canoe. Going down­stream is excit­ing as the cur­rent push­es you rapid­ly past the rocks. Career­ing by, every­thing hap­pens fast and there is a great rush as the water push­es you ever onward towards the next obsta­cle, there is a great rush espe­cial­ly as you com­plete the tra­verse and reach calm waters once again. You can relax and enjoy nor­mal­i­ty again.
 
Do the reverse and your shoul­ders and back mus­cles have to do all the work, pro­pelling the canoe against the pow­er of the stream. As you pad­dle hard it seems to take for­ev­er to pass each rock. As you con­quer each seg­ment you know it is essen­tial to imme­di­ate­ly plot a path around the next obsta­cle oth­er­wise you will be swept back, crash­ing against the last. The ongo­ing effort is essen­tial, past each rock till the calm waters are reached once again and pad­dling becomes, once again, easy.
 

Which Perspective?

 
Each direc­tion offers a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive, dif­fer­ent chal­lenges, and a dif­fer­ent set of tasks to com­plete.
 
In writ­ing we all too fre­quent­ly take the eas­i­er path (the down­stream one) when we should take the more chal­leng­ing one, the one that caus­es us to go against the tide. Blogs are all the bet­ter for tak­ing the tough choice. Peo­ple need answers to the hard prob­lems as well.
 
Rafting by Skeeze CC0 Public Domain from Pixabay
 
In writ­ing the hard work can also be from going against the flow, defy­ing con­ven­tion. Ask­ing the awk­ward ques­tions. Yet the end result will chal­lenge the mind both of the writer and the read­er alike
 
There are writ­ers that believe that defy­ing con­ven­tion is impor­tant. They make their careers out of fight­ing against the stream, and we should wish them all the best in doing so. Every stroke of the pen will chal­lenge us, chal­lenge our think­ing, per­haps even change our minds, turn the tide and set us in a new direc­tion. I for one applaud these writ­ers even if I dis­agree with what they have to say.
 

No! Against the Flow?

 
Stop by Kurious CC0 Public Domain from Pixabay.pngThis then brings mus to anoth­er area. There are times when we should vocalise in our opin­ions more. Say “NO” and mean it! But you should explain why.
 
Most peo­ple are too polite to say no. I include myself here, if I apply some harsh, but tru­ly crit­i­cal self diagnosis. 
 
When we dis­agree with an idea it is pure­ly the idea we should oppose, not the per­son pre­sent­ing it. The polit­i­cal world, for exam­ple, fre­quent­ly debase them­selves, mak­ing acqui­si­tions per­son­al rather than about the ideas. Often asso­ci­at­ed with accu­sa­tions about dis­loy­al­ty even ques­tion­ing their opponent’s loy­al­ty or patriotism. 
 

Untried ideas.

 
Remem­ber untried ideas, remain sim­ply that, untried, a the­o­ry, a con­cept. By try­ing an idea we can give it some sub­stance, once tried an idea may fail, which doesn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly mean it was a bad idea, just some­thing that need­ed to be tried. This is as true with busi­ness as it is with soci­etal change. In a dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tion appli­ca­tion of the same idea may result in a dif­fer­ent out­come, so the sit­u­a­tion is as impor­tant as the idea itself.
 
If we spent a month trawl­ing through the patent office look­ing at old inven­tions, espe­cial­ly the ‘failed ones’, how many could be re-engi­neered to work in today’s world? There are times, places or sets of cir­cum­stances that bring an idea to an inventor’s mind. The pre­con­di­tions are sim­ply not right for that inven­tion to suc­ceed. DaVin­ci did not have a motor to fly his heli­copter, which is actu­al­ly airworthy.
 
Change the con­di­tions and it may be pos­si­ble to turn the failed idea of the past into a suc­cess­ful one for the future.
 

Validity?

 
Some­thing we must guard against and this is just because we reignite an old idea doesn’t by and of itself prove the con­cept has any valid­i­ty, it still has to be relat­ed to our mod­ern way of life and proven to pro­vide ben­e­fits, the act of regur­gi­tat­ing the idea does not by and of itself val­i­date the think­ing. In fact suc­cess­ful ideas from the past may be proven to have no val­ue in the mod­ern world. Thus every idea has to val­i­dat­ed against new circumstances.
 
From the edge of insan­i­ty to shear bril­liance can be a very small dis­tance, it can all be about the same idea, about the words of the writer, but it is also about how the audi­ence per­ceives the writer’s words and some­times no mat­ter how bril­liant the writer’s mind the audi­ence is inca­pable is visu­al­is­ing the ideas, the ben­e­fits, or share that same vision of the future.
 
Oth­er Rel­e­vant Pages:
 
 

 

 

Buy Peter B. Giblett a cof­fee as a thank you for his  con­tri­bu­tion on orig­i­nal­i­ty and think­ing. All images used here are either cre­at­ed or owned by Peter Giblett or have been sourced from a pub­lic domain loca­tion, such as Pixabay.

 

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One Reply to “Originality: Going Against the Flow”

  1. […] up a blog some­one once told me it was good occa­sion­al­ly to take an oppo­site tack, chal­lenge peo­ple, find a unique ratio­nale, go against the flow. One way is by using a head­line like “Man Bites Dog”. We hear “Dog bites […]

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