7,000 reasons your uniqueness may be plagiarism

IMG_3475

I live in America where there is a continual conversation about one’s individuality. We love to take tests to see what our strengths and skills are. Shelves are full of books to help us discover our unique composition and  how to capitalize on it.

Don’t get me wrong, I am all for self-awareness. According to Myers Briggs I am an ENTP, which pretty much nails me. Knowing who we are is essential to understanding what we were made to do and how we were made to do it, but it is also where the problem comes in.

What is the problem?

I think we are each put on this earth to accomplish a certain task. You can call it what you want – destiny, mission or calling. I believe that our being here serves a purpose and that we are each divinely made to see that accomplished. My own belief is that God hand-crafted each of us and therefore every life is of deep significance.

The flaw with this mindset is when we somehow believe that it means we are going to be stand-alone unique. Our territory of gifting can’t be shared with someone else or our purpose is no longer special.

Say I am a great baker and I meet another great baker in my town. Shoot. This won’t do. I then decide  that I should become the best cupcake baker to set myself apart. Along comes the massive cupcake trend. Gotta specialize and separate myself from the pack again. Now I only do sugar-free, gluten-free and vegan cupcakes…

Clearly I am not really a baker, but you get my point. This idea that we are the only one called to do what is in our heart keeps us constantly striving to find a new specialty. Every time I find a new blog that has a similar feel and perspective as mine it is tempting to throw in the towel.  Especially if it is better than mine. Bah, I’m not playing second fiddle. I am created for a unique mission and if they have this one covered then this must not really be my mission. And just like that I have convinced myself I need to find something new to be ‘unique’ at. If another person is doing a similar to me, then I must be doing the wrong thing.

Because I am one in a million. At least that’s what they say. 

I was at a conference in August and Jeff Goins said this:

” The earth has 7 billion people on it. If you are one in a million, then there are 7,000 people just like you.” 

Crap. I just lost my edge. And so did you.

Sure, they aren’t just like me. They probably aren’t from Texas, born on my same birthday, and they sure as heck better not be married to my husband. They are versions of me though. As much as it pains me to admit it, they are often better versions of me.

Thanks to the internet we have endless ways to compare and measure ourselves against others. That brilliant idea we have to be entirely original  is killed by a simple google search. We find blueprints of another’s dreams and ideas that make ours seem like plagiarism.

Flawed thinking would cause me to believe my mission and dream are taken. I need to find a new one now – finders keepers and all that. With a heavy heart I go back to the drawing board to sketch out a different version of myself. One that isn’t taken.

Only recently have I recognized this flawed thinking in myself. Another person with my same strengths and ambitions automatically becomes a threat. Why do I believe that unless I am unparalleled then I am not  profoundly meaningful?

There are over 3 million nurses and nearly 4 million teachers in the United States. Nothing profound or distinct about being 1 of 3,000,000. Unless you are the patient who depends on that one nurse’s hopeful smile. Or the student who decided to try college at the encouragement of that one teacher.

I’ve decided that being unique isn’t so important. Instead I am going to focus on being meaningful, helpful and kind. —> click to tweet. 

All of humanity desires to know they are special. Myself included. I am just changing my definition of what “special” means.

So, I am raising my glass to all of us. All of us who will put down the endless striving that drives us to fight for a piece of earth all to ourselves. Cheers to a movement of sharing our advantage in hopes that we can – together – make this world a better place. 

*** Want to receive posts in your inbox a few times a week? Subscribe via email in the sidebar! ***

Sharing is Caring

You can leave a comment or share this post via Facebook and Twitter by clicking here.

About these ads

418 Comments

Filed under Faith, Fire, Lifestyle, Uncategorized, Whimsy

418 responses to “7,000 reasons your uniqueness may be plagiarism

  1. This is so profound I may have to just read it several times over. I have been trying to do that one thing, you know the one, the one no one else is doing. yeah really!!! I like this, I can share, I still want my uniqueness though. Might read this again, could take a while to fully digest. Love it.

  2. This was painful for me to read because I’ve been trying to put into words exactly what you just said and thought “well shoot, she already wrote about it, guess I can’t” and now I’m laughing because, irony.

    I more times than not disqualify myself because someone else did it first and probably better than I could. But I’m also finding that when you embrace the creative similarities you have with other people it’s actually a place for both of you to grow, not just a teaching moment for the more experienced.

    Great post.

    • Haha! Classic. I had that thought about something else the other day & realized how much my life is dictated by what has or hasn’t been done yet. No way to live.

      Love your point about how we grow when we embrace others who are similar. Good word.

  3. Faith

    This is freaking awesome. I feel like this a lot and your perspective encourages me so much!

  4. Becky Weatherly

    Once again, you nailed it, Liz, and so eloquently! Love your blog posts!

  5. Comparison so easily turns into competition. Working on this myself. Thanks for your words!

  6. I have been thinking along these lines lately! So glad I read this. Beautifully stated. xo

  7. Love this.

    Why do we want to be the only one? If you think about it missionally, if there’s only one of me, I’m completely overwhelmed by all that needs to be done. But between me and the other 6,999, we can get stuff done.

  8. Pingback: Weekend Reading

  9. And isn’t there such freedom in knowing that it’s not all riding on our uniqueness that we are able to collaborate and work with others that share those same gifts/visions/talents without fear or competition? Thanks for that gentle reminder to get a little over ourselves and just pursue what God is leading us to do.

  10. Austin Kleon has great thoughts on this concept in his book Steal Like an Artist. Highly recommend. http://austinkleon.com/steal/

  11. Very refreshing! I too, suffer from this. I try writing fiction and feel like everything I do has already been done before. Well it probably has, but not EXACTLY like how I plan on doing it. Thanks for the reminder and CHEERS! I raise my glass with you! (Fellow Texan as well – not born and raised by any means but sure am loving it).

  12. It certainly is disconcerting to realize that things you thought were unique to you are actually shared by a lot of others–sometimes by an entire movement. I had that uncomfortable feeling of recognizing myself as just another member of a crowd when I read David Brooks’ Bobos in Paradise several years ago. And then again last month when I read Emily Matchar’s Homeward Bound: Why Women Are Embracing the New Domesticity. While it can be disconcerting at first, I think it’s a good feeling to have. A reality check on our individualism, maybe. In our highly individualistic culture, I think it’s useful for us to be more aware of the ties that bind us to one another. And maybe that will help us see the futility of constant competition and encourage us towards more cooperation.

  13. :) we are who we are, no one else is us, we are unique for our parents, who love us, we are unique for our children. There will always be people doing the same job, or having the same thoughts or ideas like we have. All we can do is try to be our best selves.

  14. Greg Urbano

    “Being meaningful” great advice! Reading your post had me relating to my hobby photography and how there are so many photographers blogging but that advice has given me hope!
    The one in a million quote was fantastic too, sure does shrink the world a bit!

    • Greg, isn’t that a great quote about the one in a million? It changed so much of my perspective when I heard it. Don’t get discouraged with your photography and blogging. The world can not have enough beautiful photos and people taking them!

  15. I see a profoundness in each nurse, the fact that they are present to help. Just finished a post about tragic consequences when funding cuts take nurses out of the schools.

  16. I like the read though I promise you are unique. Just because someone else wrote x or y and you may think it better than yours. I say write it anyway because you never know who might just read yours and think it better. Also yours may strike someone where another did not. No one has your life, your experiences. No one else is you.

    Take a twin they may share the same birthday, birth time, same sex, even look exactly like you. They have the same mother, same father, same life growing up. But over all you are still unique in every experience we each take away different things and those little differences over time add up to huge differences. You are not 1 in a million. Your life, your experiences, lessons learned, everything that makes you who you are makes you one in a trillion.

    Never think yourself pedestrian or not unique because you are and your beauty that is who you are is uniquely you. No one else can claim that. Uniqueness is always unique even if someone else did it before or comes along after with perhaps a better idea. Yours was still uniquely yours.

    Take your muffin idea. Two bakers could work from the exact same recipe and still the muffins will be different. They will not be exactly the same. This one more texture or sweeter, smaller, bigger, ect. So even if the entire town baked muffins you can bet if all those muffins were judged in a blind taste test some people would vote for yours. So because person x you think did it better than you. This doesn’t mean I can’t still think yours are the best muffins ever. So write your story and so what is someone else wrote one like it, maybe wrote one on the same topic. Your story will still have traits making it uniquely yours and may touch someone in a way the other writer could not.

    There is no one on earth just like you because you are unique. Even the slightest variation means two things are not the same.

  17. This is great! Honestly, though? I’m one of those 4 million teachers, and in a profession like that, it’s nice to know that the load is being shared. I desire to be a GREAT teacher. I want to be unique. I want to stand out. I want to be remembered as that one teacher who made an impact. I also know that I can’t reach them all, so when I meet another great teacher, sometimes it can be intimidating, but it’s also reassuring. There’s someone who might be able to get through to the kid that I can’t seem to reach. It doesn’t need to be a competition. Like a previous comment said, embracing others’ strengths as well as your own opens the door for collaboration and growth. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  18. This is lovely – so nice to come to Freshly Pressed and find something that makes me smile and nod instead of grind my teeth with rage…
    The blog Gurus push the “Unique” point over and over – be individual, have a unique voice. I hated blogging, but did it doggedly for months, producing stuff I thought I was supposed to in support of my author platform. Then I had a revelation – I wasn’t enjoying it, so why would anyone enjoy reading it? Stats proved no one was, so I gave all that up and went back to writing about what I wanted to write about, when I wanted to write about it.
    I still haven’t set the blogosphere alight, but I don’t care, and I enjoy using my blog for stuff I like. There aren’t any trains at my author platform, but that’s ok, because the PA system is playing my music, the cafe is open and I’m having a party…..

    • Damian, I love that you are having a party and not being too concerned about all the platform strategy. Also, I am glad that I didn’t make you grind your teeth with rage! Thanks for reading!

  19. This is very considerate and some good food for thoughts right there!

  20. I understand what you are trying to say, and indeed, after a certain amount of striving , comes even more settling for what we’ve achieved, or rather, haven’t. Finding ourselves is important, agreed, but i think equally important is to know that you are not alone. I mean i think its brilliant to know that there are 7000 people just like me out there, with whom i can share what i think or feel and they’ll reciprocate. And i feel, that companionship counts for more!!

  21. I don’t have to stand out. I just have to stand HERE. There may be a million other people who do what I do, who do it even better, perhaps; but I am the only one doing it here. :)
    Thank you.

  22. I live in a small town in Western Washington. Imagine the shock of finding out that not one, but two other women share my EXACT name…in the same small town. So much for unique, lol!

  23. seweverythingblog

    From one Texan to another: congrats on being Freshly Pressed! Your post put into words what constantly wiggles in the back of my mind when planning my own blog posts. Now I know to re-think that wiggly, annoying thought. Thank you!

  24. Very true! Thank you for posting!

  25. On in a fair sized city, there are probably hundreds of cafes that serve coffee. One is probably your favorite. It could be because it is close or cheap. But if the staff was awful, you would probably not go back.

    In the end, a person is not remembered and eulogized because they created a new look by wearing a kimono with Doc Marten boots. They are eulogized about what they did. The kindness to strangers or how they volunteered at the local food bank. Or, it is a sad ceremony with the people feeling empty because the person left this earth without being productive.

    Concentrating on being a better person to this earth will take you further than being a person who worries that they are following others.

  26. Reblogged this on A Cube of Sugar and commented:
    I found this to be quite an interesting blog post!

  27. Love it! :) That is a GREAT attitude. :) Thank you for posting. :)

  28. I think it was George Carlin that said “Remember: you are unique. Just like everyone else.” :)

  29. My guess is you are in the top 10% of the 7000 versions of you. I loved this. I also harbor no illusions that my blog is anything approaching unique. They practically assign you a WordPress account when you get breast cancer. But it is *mine* and that’s quite enough for me! xoxo

    • If your blog has your thoughts then it is unique. Your own words maybe similar to another but they are still uniquely your own. I don’t know anyone like me anywhere. Are there some similar? Yup. But none are me, none have my thoughts, my words and that makes my blog uniquely me.

    • You are so sweet. And I browsed your blog — it’s AWESOME. You have so much to offer and share with people.

  30. OK, so you’re one in 7,000. Maybe the rest of them are all on another continent. Or at least a state away.

  31. You said what I’ve been thinking better than I ever could (oops!, there I go doing that thing…) excellent post on a great topic!

  32. Great post! I try to remember to relate with others and not compete with them. I love your writing style xo

  33. This is a beautiful realization that not many come to.

  34. Well written and insightful. Ever since SNL had that Church Lady skit where the “Isn’t that special” was paired with that face – I can’t hear that word without that image and a giggle.
    Cheers to “Do what you can to the best of your ability” – and that’s more than special

  35. The comment by Jeff Goins is not original to him. I first heard the comparison as an old joke about individuals in NYC, and is probably older than that.

    Beyond that, I like where you ended, if not necessarily where you started; a life of purpose rather than concern of uniqueness vs “put on this earth to accomplish a certain task.”

    Thankfully, we choose how to live our lives, rather than having been put here for a purpose that is not necessarily of our choosing.

    Some may believe one god or another created them, or no god at all, but in the end, we all must awake every day and decide how to live it.

    • I had wondered where it originated. I love when you said —> “… we all must awake every day and decide how to live it.” That is so true. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!

  36. by definition can a thing be unique if it’s all ready been done. I’m pretty sure not. And there I thought I was a special special snowflake! #crushed

  37. 7,000 of you?

    Did the other 6,999 get freshly pressed?

    So, much for group think.
    ;)

    wayne
    luvsiesous.com

  38. True being absolutely unique isn’t so important for us to muscle our way through the crowd all the time. However our presence does matter and our unique presence is taken for granted, until..suddenly our loved ones notice we’re gone forever. Sometimes we just need feedback, that we exist and are loved.

  39. That 1 in 70,000 really resonated with me. I feel uniqueness is hard to find whether in music, sports, or business. It all starts with the individual. Cheers for to those who dare to be different.
    -Malcolm Purnell
    Taoofmal.com

  40. You may be an ENTP, but those are only letters. You are special to those who know you and love you. Guess what? Unless they are psychologists, they don’t care about the letters (and even if they are, they don’t care about them when it comes to you). Just be you, with the special memories and feelings you have created in their lives. No one else has ever done that. Just like no one can replace your mom. Silent

  41. Reblogged this on iJAMES and commented:
    great shot

  42. Superlative! (better than unique any. day.)

  43. Reblogged this on noordinarygal and commented:
    This is so true. Too many times we find ourselves striving to be different from everyone around us not realizing that if we could pool our similar characteristics, we could come up with something great. And it will never be the exact same idea that we have, so that helps. And it is a lot of work changing things that make you unique. You are already unique as you are despite having the same gift as 7000 other people. Remember, you may not even utilize your gifts the same way. So don’t worry about being different. Instead, worry about how you will use your difference to do better, to be better?

  44. Love this! I really felt that you captured the essence of purpose when you said, “I’ve decided that being unique isn’t so important. Instead I am going to focus on being meaningful, helpful and kind.” This truly speaks to me, thank you! I’d love for you to check out my most recent post because I was just talking about comparison, and I can’t believe how closely we connect!

  45. I think you are definitely right about focusing more on the type of person you want to be. I like this post because it reminds me of the epiphany we all have to face in our life: we are not as unique as we think. However, we can strive to be unique in how we approach our lives.

  46. “Only recently have I recognized this flawed thinking in myself. Another person with my same strengths and ambitions automatically becomes a threat. Why do I believe that unless I am unparalleled then I am not profoundly meaningful?” I love this passage because I identify with it. I can entirely relate to this post and I often feel the same way! Like I can’t be special if everybody is. Thanks for opening my eyes. *Raising my glass*

  47. Gry Ranfelt

    When I told my father I was going to be a writer he said “you have to get THE idea if you want to be a writer. THE idea.”
    Obviously we can’t all get “THE” idea. And what is it, anyway?

    • Oh gosh! I hope I don’t have to get THE idea, because I don’t think I will ever have it. But, sometimes I feel like I do. Great question though, what is THE idea anyway??

      • He says it’s like “Cleopatra” or “the right stuff” or “lord of the rings” or “old man and the sea” but to be honest I don’t see myself doing a Hemmingway.
        I’m not even that big a fan of him to begin with, anyway …

  48. Jeff was wrong. You are one in 7 billion and so am I. No one has ever, or will ever have the same experience as the one you see with your eyes from your perspective. We are all unique. It’s just that sometimes we overlap.

  49. Great post! Thanks for letting me know.

  50. OgoOluwakitan

    Reblogged this on Through this slightly broken LENS and commented:
    I have been toying with this thought for weeks now…….. Good good read!

  51. Considering about uniqueness is very difficult for me.
    Your post gets to be tips to think about individuality. Thank you.

  52. You’ve totally hit the nail on the head there. I have recently been trying to find my place on this planet of thousands of other people doing what I like doing and doing it better. But all you can do is just be you because we’re not all clones, we do have differences so that’s it, I shall stop worrying and just be me :) Great post.

  53. kg

    This post is awesome. I have felt exactly the same way. You nailed it.

  54. Reblogged this on The folly of man. and commented:
    Must read.

  55. So well articulated, the constant search to define, refine and re define suffers from an unrelenting search that might well be misplaced in the first place.

  56. Reblogged this on darwinsrightleftwing and commented:
    Strengths, weaknesses….our humanity!

  57. I have often been the baker. Great post, thanks so much for sharing!

  58. Oh, I loved this. Lately I’ve been dealing with a copycat, and it feels like anything I do first, she has to do.

    A while ago she got into reading, which was fine. I’m ALL about reading, I love it. Then she edged into Twitter and started wanting creative writing advice, despite telling me outright she basically didn’t have any use for it. The last thing was blogging, and I got all up in arms: NO BLOGGING IS MINE GRRRR sort of thing. To me it felt like she was just looking at all the things I did that made me me, and it drove me mad. I pushed myself to find more things, keeping them secret just for the sake of having one thing to myself. It got miserable. It sounds petty, but I’ve always been a bit selfish.

    If there’s 7000 other versions of me, I don’t really want another coming in. I pride myself on not following the pack, but that doesn’t mean I want to form my own pack. Uniqueness is something I admire and want to preserve – I find it teeth-grindingly annoying when I see imitation.

    Thanks for sharing, and congratulation on the Freshly Pressed!

  59. Thank you so much for this! I devoured it so quickly, your post finished too fast. You spoke right into me. Thank you, I am deeply encouraged!

  60. I am not concerned with individuality. The concern should be in your heart. We are an amalgamation of our surroundings. Be that family, interests, beliefs ect. As such we like a puzzle being put together constantly. If you are happy with the way you are, opinions, stereotypes, clicks they don’t matter. If some thinks the way I live is plagiarism, then I’ll say this. Sue me!

  61. I think you hit the nail on the head with this one!

    Everyone I signify of it and w higher ourselves at thecshard time as trying to be “better” than everyone else.

  62. Well said. We are unique in the manner in which we help people fulfill their aspirations.

  63. Learning to Serve

    I opened this post intending to read it as soon as I clicked the twitter link over a week ago-ish. With two small kiddos and a busy ministry, it’s remained open, but I haven’t had a minute to stop and read. I’m so blessed The Lord wouldn’t let me close this window. I’m thanking The Lord for using your words to minister!

    I’ll be bookmarking and re-reading for the timely and encouraging reminder.

    Praying for you and your growing family!! Have a blessed day in Jesus!

  64. Terra Kroll

    thank you for writing this. I so needed to read it. We’re all here to make the world a better place, what if we start uniting with those that “do the same” to make greater impact?

  65. Interesting. I once read we are all clones from a small group of possibilities. With the myriad of possibilities it is amazing how we seem to go into cubbie holes.

  66. Yes, we are all unique in some way and no one is exactly alike. However, I totally get what you’re saying in that although we are unique, we will still have many similarities with others. It doesn’t make it a bad thing. After all, we are all related as we are all in the human race.

  67. Reblogged this on Aspiring Life Blog and commented:
    “Being unique isn’t so important. Instead we should focus on being meaningful, helpful and kind.” Such a good read! Enjoy.

  68. Love your soul, well said! Reblogged.

  69. MikeW

    Dropped in on a Lark and found a good blog in Bloom.

  70. Thought provoking piece. I still believe we are all unique. Using your baker scenario, no one can make the same cupcake as you. It might not be detectible by the human taste bud, but it is different in some small way. And if you don’t believe that, at least we have unique fingerprints!

  71. I really like this post. I think you hit the nail on the head about something we all “feel” but don’t necessarily know how to put into words.
    I totally find myself, whether with writing or my art, giving up on an idea because someone else has done it. I’m starting to embrace what you concluded on though. Doing something for the greater good, and not giving up because it isn’t original.

  72. Love your writing! This was a great post. Maybe you might be one in 2 million… :)

  73. 7,000 ways of doing the same special thing I say!

  74. This was great! Try to remember though, even if you aren’t absolutely unique in what you do, you are absolutely unique in who you are. There is no one like you. Or me for that matter. Hmm… I promise I’m not usually this philosophical.

  75. That’s beautiful :) If you’re struggling with your purpose in life, it may be to give someone else a purpose in life.

  76. Mrs Finkling

    wow – inspiring – ive always struggled with this and now i can firmly decide – i am just going to be the best version of me – regardless if there are 50,000 others like me!!

  77. Uh…that isn’t plagiarism, but ok

  78. Each of us is unique because who we are is largely created by our individual experiences. Shared experiences should bring us closer to others, not make us feel inferior. Even if you have the same purpose as someone else, how you fill that purpose is never be identical because you put your own unique imprint on it everyday. The audience will also be unique because what is attractive or inspiring is unique to an individual for the same reasons. Congrats to you for listening to your heart and being brave enough to share it with the world.

  79. I agree with you to a certain extent I used to feel I had to compete against everyone – there was always someone doing a better job than I did!
    It is difficult to be an individual, as we thrive in groups, we have to fit in at work, or with our families – only total recluses manage to steer their own path. We are also influenced so deeply by media around us, what to wear, where to go, what film to watch, it is what bonds us in a shared experience.
    I am in my forties and have only really just found out who I am without feeling the need to compare myself, I am happy in what and who I am. The key is to allow others to be who they are, without judging, surprisingly once you stop judging others you are free from other people’s judgement. You begin to simply be who you are.

    thank you for such a thought provoking post.

    • Wow, so many great things you just said. I have actually heard several people say that they are much happier with themselves once they reach their 40s. Something to look forward to I guess. Thanks for reading!

  80. Definitely needed this today. Thanks!

  81. sarah

    first time visitor to your blog – liked it a lot

  82. Reblogged this on nazaninparivar and commented:
    I enjoyed reading this blog and wanted to share with people who are following my blog.

  83. Wonderful! And great encouragement to do something meaningful rather than just different for the sake of being unique.

  84. This is so true, every time I feel I am doing something unique and special I realize there is someone out there equal or better than me. Why not help each other to grow and multiple our success as a team? I enjoyed your writing, thanks for sharing :)

  85. this is awesome. I used to try so hard to be different, to stand out and than i realized i just needed to focous on being the best person i could be and not worry so much about how i am or am not different from others

  86. ‘7,000 Reasons Your Uniqueness May Be Plagiarism’? Hang on, didn’t I write this article originally! Just kidding.
    Lots of great thoughts there. I’ve learned (or continue to learn) to appreciate my own uniqueness and individuality without needing to feel that I’m better or worse than someone else, just different. I wrote about this in The Eleventh Commandment, if anyone would like to take a read (please forgive the shameless plug), see: http://rojnut.wordpress.com/2013/06/18/the-11th-commandment/

  87. Megan

    “The earth has 7 billion people on it. If you are one in a million, then there are 7,000 just like you.” –Very wisely said. I once heard, ‘the reason we are so dissatisfied with our lives is that we are comparing our behind-the-scenes with another person’s highlight reel.’ ….Everyone has boring mundane parts of life, but even in the mundane moments, the unoriginal thoughts, there can be an infusion of purpose if we let ourselves see it.

  88. Rupert Eliot

    Everybody is identical in their secret unspoken belief that way deep down they are different from everyone else. – DFW

  89. Reblogged this on C.K. and commented:
    Truth

  90. Oof, Now I really am going to have a lot to think about tomorrow when I go onto the bus, Will that person with starbucks get the same cup as me? or will I accidentally take on what they do? Oy! X(

  91. SilvrMoon

    I’ve experienced this myself…like when i think of something, and i see the same idea somewhere else, i strive to make my own better so it stands out. Great arcticle :)

  92. SilvrMoon

    I’ve experienced this myself…like when i think of something, and i see the same idea somewhere else, i strive to make my own better so it stands out. Great arcticle :)

  93. Pingback: 7,000 reasons your uniqueness may be plagiarism « Just a girl in the world

  94. Reblogged this on Just a girl in the world and commented:
    Great blog!

  95. I just saw an article about people who look almost exactly the same, who are unrelated, and another article about how genetically UNdiverse the human population is compared to other species. Sounds right on par with the points you make in this post! :) We’re NOT that special or unique in the big scheme of things, that’s for sure. Great post.

  96. this is perfection. I’ve been struggling with this and the threat that someone like me or better than me will come along and my girlfriend will be attracted to the better version.. like a weird superhero that meets himself in an alternate dimension. that threatens me and my uniqueness, making me feel insignificant and not good enough

    • Oh, Frankie that sounds so stressful. Let me just say this – when it comes to personal relationships there is no one else like you. In a broader scope, yes there may be people with similar ambitions, goals or skills. However, no one else can make your girlfriend feel exactly like you can. So rock your swag with confidence and take your girl out on a killer date.

  97. Wow. Well said. This really spoke me and I’m sure my other 7,000 doppelgänger’s out there. Thanks for the perspective and motivation. I will strive for more meaning instead of wanting to be the “only” fill in the blank. Cheers

  98. Variety is the spice of life!

  99. I guess it all boils down then to doing what we love and what we can, regardless of these things being categorized as either unique, or cliche, or mediocre. And in the end, what matters we do what makes us happy, except of course when it hurts others. Love re-reading this :)

  100. I’m reminded of the quote by Bill Wilson: “To the world you may be one person but to one person you are the world”.

  101. What a great article,you are awesome.

  102. This hits me spot on. It is something I have been battling with for while. I really want to be unique and don’t always feel that way when I see someone else’s great blog. I am mostly crafting and arts focused but I do talk about other things. I can totally relate to this blog.

  103. Wow. Awesome. I flicked through freshly pressed and this one caught my eye. Very well said, and it is nice to know that I am not alone in my confusion over making a difference, but somehow making the same difference as a lot of other people!

  104. A really interesting few points in here! But we are all unique on some level, and no one is a better version of you than you. Would you mind having a look at my blog please? I’m just getting started.

  105. S m i l e !
    I am unique just like everybody else….

  106. I think that that best way to be original, sometimes, is to not try to be original. If you’re honest about what insures you, what you want to copy, and what you want to be, then the unique element you bring, whether its something you can quantify or not, will shine out against that well define background.

    I think JK Rowling does this amazingly – she is very clear about the things and ideas she wants to play with from myth, religion, and fantasy. She goes so far as to throw shout-outs to Tolkien (the kid named Longbottom is good with plants?) and the Greeks (names!).

    What this does is let her be honestly derivative in a way that lets the thing she adds stand out – because it’s not mushed in and mired in the context of things which come from others, it’s just that much clearer, even if it stays unquantifiable. I think you could do the same with a bakery, or any other pursuit.

    • Michelle, you hit on something there! The best way to be original is to not try and be original. And as for your JK Rowling point – it is true. She does stand out for what she adds even though others have written similar pieces before. Thanks for reading!

  107. nice and thoughtful. and it is heartening to know that there 7000 of my kinds…congratulations on being freshly pressed.

  108. acl1967

    By far one of the most meaningful blog posts I have ever read so far in the vastness of this internet world. Such clarity of thinking, get your message out there. It is important.

  109. Writer/ Editor: Carrie B

    Really great post! I’ve always taken some comfort in the notion that I am completely unremarkable ;)

  110. interesting angle. if you go the Myers Briggs angle you are probably only one of 16 different personality types.. so there may be way more of “you” than just 7 thousands. I’m an ISTJ — so i had to take it there.

  111. Reblogged this on King's Journey and commented:
    Think You’re Unique?

  112. Reblogged this on A Little More of the Good Stuff and commented:
    You’re so important, God made 6,999 other people just like you.

  113. The concept of individuality is an interesting one – you’re bang on.

  114. A question was stuck in my head after I read the third paragraph in ” what is the problem” till the end, and this is, If you don’t know that your mission in this life is, how can you be sure you are not already doing it? have you ever thought that getting married to your specific husband and having your specific kids and eating the specific food and practicing your specific life could be your mission?, who said your mission has to be unique? maybe GOD only wanted you to do that, no?

    • Zahabi, I think it absolutely could be. These days there are so many messages about what a “mission” is supposed to be, but it may be much simpler. Being married to my husband and being the mother to my children could very well be it! Really great thoughts. Thanks for reading and sharing your ideas!

  115. Cheers to those who are resolutely determined to follow their passion and strive to make a difference in the world!

  116. Great post! Know that there is one body but many members. Perhaps your target audience may not find your blog but find someone else’s blog whose mission or cause produces the same results as yours. Be encouraged! At least you continue to press forward and not sit on what you have been called to do.

  117. Susan Rowland

    Love it! Lots of birds and plenty of songs, with so many ways to sing. Keep at it.

  118. I love this post!!! I was thinking something along these lines just yesterday! In fact, I was thinking exactly this. I think my fear has been so pronounced, not wanting to compete with anyone and so tired of the “be the best” mentality that I’ve ended up hoarding my talents and what I have to offer, which ultimately isn’t fair to anyone or myself. And that isn’t helping me serve whatever my purpose is in this life.

    So see, you just proved your point. YOUR POST is what has struck a chord of synchronicity in my life! Thank you.

    • Wow, so glad you found the post helpful. So exhausting trying to “be the best” all the time. Never a chance to celebrate who you are because it is so focused on what you can do. Also, I am now challenged to think through ways that I am hoarding my talents too. I am sure I do it! Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!

  119. Reblogged this on naturallyfearless123 and commented:
    Was profoundly drawn to this post!! Synchronicity at its best – kinda creepy and cool at the same time.

  120. This is a nice post. Thanks for posting something positive!

  121. McBeal

    I am happy to say, that I enjoy “fitting in” and not having much “uniqueness”.

  122. Reblogged this on xx and commented:
    This is so true!

  123. “I’ve decided that being unique isn’t so
    important. Instead I am going to focus
    on being meaningful, helpful and
    kind.”
    As you have put it,that’s to me is the best way to think. It’s allowing you to be you and me to be me resulting in us all doing our best without worrying of competition.

  124. “I’ve decided that being unique isn’t so
    important. Instead I am going to focus
    on being meaningful, helpful and
    kind.”
    I have been in the same race of bieng unique and it energy draining. As you have put it in the above quote,that’s to me is the best way to think. It’s allowing you to be you and me to be me resulting in us all doing our best without worrying of competition.

  125. “I’ve decided that being unique isn’t so important. Instead I am going to focus on being meaningful, helpful and kind.”
    I have been in the same race of bieng unique and it energy draining. As you have put it in the above quote,that’s to me is the best way to think. It’s allowing you to be you and me to be me resulting in us all doing our best without worrying of competition.

  126. May I just say what a relief to uncover someone who actually knows what they’re discussing over the internet.

    You actually know how to bring an issue to light and
    make it important. More and more people should look at this and understand this
    side of your story. I was surprised you aren’t more popular because you surely possess the gift.

  127. Very good blogpost. I can totally see what you mean in terms on uniqueness.
    In the end I think we shouldn’t occupy our thoughts how we can be different but instead just relax because no 2 human beings are the same by default (even if occupation and thinking patterns are somewhat similar)

    I get depressed if I see Artists on the internet who draw the same things as I do (with more suyyess sometimes). But this also gives me a boost to improve myself. Live and lears <3

  128. fillintheblanks

    Great post!! Really good read

    http://signaturerequired.wordpress.com/

  129. Love your writing style and how you express your views. Bravo!

  130. If you would be unique, you would be all alone and you wouldn’t have like-minded people around you or even in this planet.

    If you’re bill gates – you’re pretty much unique. This means you should be unique by what you do in life.

    It’s all about influencing the world. I remember this motivational picture: http://lh5.ggpht.com/_dlkAw43cLC0/SSgRLpQqEaI/AAAAAAAAA_Q/qnRUIcho124/s800/23-unique.jpg

    It pretty much tells, what I want to tell here.

  131. Stumbling upon your article made me rethink of my uniqueness. :p We share the same thoughts about individuality too. hahaha.. It’s funny you have actually put it into words. I have been re-evaluating myself to find out what I wanted to do here in this world that would leave a unique trail for the world to appreciate. But i guess almost every road’s taken nowadays. Love your article!

    • Glad you liked it. And I am realizing more and more that the world doesn’t need more “one-of-a-kinds” but more people who really love and live their lives with great purpose. Thanks for stopping in!

  132. Reblogged this on Kaleidoscope of notes and commented:
    this was a really neat post, when one is tempted to get confused about what it means to fullfill MY Calling :)

  133. The trick is knowing that there is room for everyone. If you are a great baker, you should embrace the other great bakers. If you don’t, you are telling yourself…everyone else is better than me. Keep a positive attitude and who knows what will happen!

  134. Thank you for putting into words what I have been feeling. Now that you have defined this for me I can stop competing and work on sharing my skills with those around me freely and willingly. Moving forward I will use what you said as my inspiration, “I’ve decided that being unique isn’t so important. Instead I am going to focus on being meaningful, helpful and kind.”

  135. I liked your piece a lot. Those other people like you aren’t your competition; they’re your kindred spirits.

  136. Pingback: Ordinarily Fabulous a snippet of my week - Karen Main

  137. …of Lady Gaga’s “We are all born superstars”. Each of them want a spotlight? Well… Narcissisme, a little rude-attitude, is cool. Being “kind and nice” is outdate. Yeah :D

  138. …of Lady Gaga’s “We are all born superstars”. Each of them want a spotlight? Well… Narcissism, a little rude-attitude, is cool. Being “kind and nice” is outdate. Yeah :D Nice post :)

  139. Reblogged this on Adam's Blogography and commented:
    “All of humanity desires to know that they are special.”

    We are unique not as individuals in society, nor as humans among the living, nor as living among all matter. In truth, there is one universal conciousness, and that–not our species–is special.

  140. tia

    You are so right. I find it so difficult to find originality. I just wrote something similar to this (hence the 7,000).
    http://www.tiaslabaugh.wordpress.com

  141. Reblogged this on Beverly Hills Hair Couture and commented:
    I absolutely love this…thank you

  142. That’s the truth. Is it luck or brilliance to truly be unique?

  143. GREAT post. Thanks for sharing and congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  144. Reblogged this on audriac and commented:
    I didn’t expect to read what I did based on the title, but WOW did this hit the most comforting spot. A perfect first post to read while making my own blog. Lesson: Stop worrying about if someone’s a better “you” than you because no one’s giving a prize.

  145. Thank you for this post. Ive been feeling all over the place with this issue looming over my head. I guess I was trying to find myself and after reading this I feel alot better. I very much enjoyed reading this :)

  146. Can’t think of anything individual to write that hasn’t already been said!!! So instead will say thanks for a great post, individuality is such an interesting concept! Am new to blogging but loving this collective sharing of ideas! X

  147. Excellent perspective and very “freeing” to us creative people. :D

  148. Hey … if you keep changing … how are ya gonna get better at what you do. The trick is to find something you love doing … like I love to write .. so I decided to be the best in my field the loa. And there are so many going down this path .. but that does not stop me.

  149. Reblogged this on ourlushnature and commented:
    How serendipitous it was for me to find this post! I’ve been struggling with this exact issue for awhile now and I’m loving this author’s approach!

  150. Once, I said to my best friend, “But other people are already saying it, so what’s the point?” She replied, “Sometimes it takes lots of voices for something to catch on, so say it anyway.” And that’s why she’s my friend.

  151. Pingback: These Are A Few of My Favorite Things….. Posts, Etc. | Mama Making It Work…. (sort of)

  152. Thank you for sharing and encouraging.

  153. This is such a creative post (and if 7,000 others have made a similar post, I haven’t seen it yet, so in my mind, you’re still unique). I really enjoyed your thoughts. Definitely going to subscribe!

  154. Many times I tell myself that I can not possibly be the only one like me- now you just confirmed it. I just can’t wait to meet one or two others like me. Thanks for this.
    Please I would like to re-blog.

    http://damilolaolori.wordpress.com

  155. Reblogged this on Damilola Olori's Blog and commented:
    I could not enjoy this fact alone. Had to share with you.

  156. Wow ! what a coincidence I wrote a VERY similar post 18 months ago. In fact a couple of the paragraphs are nearly identical.

    [I jest of course] nice read.

  157. Thank you, i think it helps me to take a step back and humble myself

  158. Very thoughtfully written, I enjoyed it and maybe I learned a little something about myself… maybe.

  159. So, if I’m a nurse…..and one-in-a-million in a profession that has three million; I’m sharing the spotlight with a maximum of two others….assuming there is an equal distribution, of course. Cool.

  160. While I don’t share your view that “we are each put on this earth to accomplish a certain task,” nor do I believe in destiny, I do appreciate the focus on being meaningful, helpful, and kind. I think that’s all we can do in this crazy world.

  161. “Every time I find a new blog that has a similar feel and perspective as mine it is tempting to throw in the towel”- I fall into that kind of thinking sometimes and it sucks…but you’re right. It’s not about being unique; it’s about being “meaningful, helpful, and kind”. Thanks for reminding me. Great article :)

  162. hattrick94

    I think the problem is we as people always focus on the momentous occasions in our lives as being the most significant and forget that a great part of leading and enjoying a meaningful everyday life is being the best you. No one has ever regretted trying their best.

  163. Wish I could ‘like’ this twice! (Much as I love the idea of unique-ness!)

  164. I can’t say I agree with the assumptions you begin with (that we all have some specific purpose or that knowing who we are is essential to anything), but I do agree all of our lives are crafted by God, and are therefore deeply significant.

    I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how individualism can negatively affect individuals and communities. I got back to the U.S. several months ago, after living in Asia for almost three years. I’m experiencing more culture
    shock here than I ever did overseas. It’s really interesting to live in a country where everyone wants to
    fit in, wants to work for the community’s benefit, just wants harmony. It was very easy to get used to!
    Here in the U.S., we will sew discord, insecurity, hate, anything, to stick out. Some try to define
    themselves with something uniquely good, like you say,
    like a master gluten-free cupcake baker… but for many, the desire to be an individual really trumps all
    other desires or even responsibilities. I wish more of us understood how wonderful it is to be a face in
    the crowd, to live in a culture where you don’t have to look out only for yourself, because almost everyone
    is already looking out for EACH OTHER, including you!

  165. Tonya R. Moore

    Very well said. I especially like the “1 in a million” correlation. I also think it would be healthier to embrace a more unfettered (for lack of a better word) perspective on life, in general.

  166. juwonodutayo

    Reblogged this on Juwon Odutayo.

  167. spend a life time trying to find one self the journey never ends we just try to do our bit on the way

  168. .Wow this simply makes sense to me so instead of writing my views, all i can do is raise my glass say cheers and drink to this. Nice and well written

  169. Reblogged this on Ask the Camel and commented:
    It’s ohkay to be average.

  170. This is an awesome idea. Nothing is truly original anymore anyways. Everything has already been done, nothing is truly special. I think what makes something special or unique is how much of your energy you’re going to put into it.

  171. Katie Wellman

    I love this! It’s so uplifting to think that yes, I may not be the most unique version of myself, or I may not be the best – but I am the best version of myself for my husband, for my parents, and for my friends. If I’m one in 7,000,000 and they picked me – I must have done something right. :-)

  172. Your writing is humorous and amazing!! An interesting and true perspective.

  173. Reblogged this on Maria Aoun and commented:
    This is the best I’ve read so far !

  174. Reblogged this on paratruly and commented:
    Now that I’ve been doing this for about a week, I decided to look into some recommended posts on the dashboard/reader thingy (sorry, I’m not up to snuff on blogging terms just yet) and came across this one…very interesting, and really made me think. I think anyone who considers themselves to be artistic in any shape or fashion has probably had this happen to them at one point or another, and it is disappointing. But we all have our doppelgangers I guess, and accepting that there are others like you out there is “ok.” To make it extra cool, just imagine someone living in China or New Zealand or Norway being kind of like you…that makes it better, eh?

    • I think that it’s exciting to think that other people might be thinking the same thing at the same time in a different part of the world. Just by law of averages given the huge numbers of people on the planet that must be happening all the time.
      !!!!

  175. I like the way that you think :)

  176. Hey, hey! Good job – I enjoyed reading and thinking about your post! I found it through freshly pressed.

  177. Reblogged this on history & knitting needles and commented:
    I don’t like to reblog on WordPress. It seems too much like cheating, and also too much like Tumblr, which is an entirely different kind of blogging platform. However, I think that this post is one we can all benefit from, and I urge you to read it.

  178. aktifistri

    love reading this blog, it’s definitely what I constantly feel in the back of my mind as well, you made it well said! My favorit quote is:

    “That brilliant idea we have to be entirely original is killed by a simple google search. We find blueprints of another’s dreams and ideas that make ours seem like plagiarism.”

    ..because that’s what’ve been bothering me sometimes.. thanks for posting!

  179. aceejuice

    brilliant !

  180. Great blog with uplifting conclusion…we are ALL precious….unique doesn’t have to come into it at all….we all carry that mysterious energy we call life…..not for long though so …agreed that we should encourage ourselves & others & share the gratitude that comes from being cared for/about. Some in the Buddhist community I used to be a part of call it ‘value creation’….the best thing you can do with your life…creating meaning and connection for ourselves and others on this topsy turvey beautiful blue green ball spinning in space…..peace

  181. Reblogged this on M. and commented:
    Food for thought :) Love this :)

  182. Reblogged this on jeremygoldwasserblog and commented:
    Really good

  183. Reblogged this on mysakuranights and commented:
    Loved it!!!

  184. I’d like to quote one of my favourite games which can summarise the article pretty well. “There is no individual. We are all Geth” Don’t know which game? Google is your friend.

  185. You know, i’m just getting into this blogging space of life and it makes me happy to see that there are other people who share the same views, similar view…wait…I suppose that makes me less unique right there doesn’t it?

  186. Reblogged this on Dresdenfalls and commented:
    A good read with a good thought out argument.

  187. Wow, thanks. I was searching for this EXACT thing most of the week. I wish that people would write more about this. I really appreciate the post

  188. Please let me know if you’re looking for a article writer for your site.
    You have some really good posts and I think I would be a good asset.
    If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d absolutely love to
    write some content for your blog in exchange for a link back to
    mine. Please shoot me an e-mail if interested. Thank you!

  189. Pingback: Abandoning Originality | Soliloquies

  190. In the eloquent words of Mahatma Gandhi, “Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.”

  191. Stacy

    “Mediocrities everywhere… I absolve you… I absolve you… I absolve you… I absolve you… I absolve you all.” ~ Salieri

  192. Wow this is very true. However, very inspirational. Love, love the quote by Jeff Goins…it’s brilliant!

  193. I never even thought about the whole “one in a million”, but totally true. So, there are 7,000 people just like me, s​cary thought!

  194. An interesting and profound perspective.

  195. You are completely wonderful! This was just what I needed to read right now. I’m in there with you, uniqueness isn’t so important, making a difference is. :) Bless! <3

  196. Pingback: You Just Have To Keep Breathing | Lark & Bloom

  197. Love this piece of writing and the way you think.. It cracks me up to think there may be 7000 other people on the planet who are just as screwy as I am, having said that its good to know that I am not alone :-) I would rather share what I know and hope that it helps than keep it to myself to maintain my “uniqueness”. Thanks for sharing

  198. Reblogged this on life with megan and commented:
    Awesome!!! This is so true!!!! Instead of competing to be “unique”, “one and only” or “one in a million” (LOL) we should come together to make the world a better place!

  199. mymusepoint

    This is such a great perspective on life! Thanks for this :)

  200. Sometimes I long to find those other 6999 people. I’ve always been called crazy. It is reassuring to know there are others like me! Twitter makes life easier as it is simple to find similar folks there. Facebook is just the whole neighbourhood, school and college online!

  201. I really like the idea of 7,000 other people like me :) how much fun would that be!!!xx

  202. I agree it is much more important to look at the bigger picture being meaningful kind etc

  203. Truth, it’s so easy to get caught up in being yourself, that you forget what it’s like to actually be yourself. I am definitely guilty of this. Thanks for the reminder that God made me exactly how I am and that I don’t need to try to be anything different. :)

  204. Aw Maaaan! you mean I’m not a unique snowflake?

  205. Pingback: An Uncomfortable January | Lark & Bloom

  206. This was so interesting. I definitely like your perspective that being unique isn’t so important as focusing on being meaningful.
    Thanks!

  207. Reblogged this on izzyudofia and commented:
    “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
    ― Eleanor Roosevelt

  208. We put our own experiences and life spins on everything, so, it’s not really duplication, is it? each thing, and each person is uniquely US.

  209. Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts as long as I
    provide credit and sources back to your site? My blog is in the exact same niche as yours and my visitors would certainly
    benefit from some of the information you provide here.

    Please let me know if this alright with you. Regards!

  210. Hello! I read this like five months ago and reblogged it cause I found it really brilliant. Today I read it again, it still had that same effect on me ! Thank you for posting this it’s quite inspirational, makes us think a lot!
    Amazing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s