What original ideas are you not sharing?
If you are like me, and most others, it’s about fear (although blogging has helped me push back against this fear).
We want to be noticed. But being noticed too much would terrify us.
If you wanted to be a writer, writing one book per year with an $80,000 advance each time might be a nice quiet life.
But what if something you wrote blew up and you got 3,000 emails in 24 hours, CNN and ABC and NBC and Fox called, a dozen organizations offered you $250,000 speaking engagements, and your publisher wanted you to sign a $2 million advance on your next book?
I want to stand out. But do I want to stand out that much?
Most of us prefer to “swim with the current.”
The last time you had an original idea, what did you do with it? Although America is a land of individuality and unique self-expression, in search of excellence and in fear of failure, most of us opt to fit in rather than stand out. “On matters of style, swim with the current,” Thomas Jefferson allegedly advised, but “on matters of principle, stand like a rock.” The pressure to achieve leads us to do the opposite. We find surface ways of appearing original—donning a bow tie, wearing bright red shoes—without taking the risk of actually being original.
-Adam Grant, Originals