Don't Fight to be Original; We are all Thieves!

"If the heart surgeon used his time to discover which direction the blood flowed, he would be taking us back to the eighteenth century." 
- Dag Heward-Mills.

I love writing and one of the challenges I've wrestled with till recently is avoiding mimicking other people's styles and ideas. I often felt like a broad day robber. I wanted to be unique.

And that has spilled out to most parts of my entire life - from my video production styles to raising my daughter Hadassah to cooking pancakes.

I have since accepted the fact that great achievers never try to be original. Instead, they steal what masters have achieved and do it better.

For instance, Julius Yego, a champion in javelin throwing, is understood to have benefited from this 'thieving'. He's actually nicknamed Mr. YouTube because he entirely learned his javelin skill by watching other athletes’ videos on YouTube.

Where could he be now if he chose to be original?

Whatever you want to do, there are people who have succeeded in it. Don't develop unnecessary headache trying to start something new.

There is no 'yet-to-be-seen' way of succeeding in a hotel business, law career or church ministry.

What we need to raise successful families and responsible children is already documented, and there are enough examples around.

I've been wondering what I'll do to instill good morals to Hadassah. She's now 4 months and soon she's going to start real learning.

So I approached a man who I admire how his children behave to know what he's doing to his children that other parents are not doing.

He gave me a surprising answer: Nothing.

"What? Surely you must be doing something!" I inquired.

"Children will copy your lifestyle. They won't hear what you're telling them, they won't be as such changed by canning; they'll be what they see you do consistently. It all boils down to your lifestyle." He nailed it.

So I know if there's anything I want in my kids, it's got to be in me. Full stop.

The other day two of my friends and I were putting our heads together over a project and we found ourselves online searching for similar projects that are already done. 

I think it's really a waste of time trying to find a new thing you'll shock the world with...because, really, there's nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9)

Nothing is new, we're daily redoing old things. Things already done. 

In his book 'The Art of Leadership', Dag Heward-Mills says, "Life is too short to discover everything  yourself...If the heart surgeon used his time to discover which direction the blood flowed, he would be taking us back to the eighteenth century."

Creative stealing

The fact that there's nothing new under the sun is not a leeway to rudely take up people's works and imprint your name on them. That’s called plagiarism – and it’s illegal! 

This is where creative stealing comes in. We all have our unique ways of viewing everything. Your work is to use this God given gift to find a way of recreating the same project. 

Here are 3 ways you can do this.

1. Stand on the shoulders of your predecessors

If you have an idea you want to execute, look out for other people who've accomplished the same. 

Figure out any loop holes you can fill to improve the project. 

You don't need to waste time and resources figuring out how to roll out; it's like trying to discover that which is already tested and approved.

2. Duplicate exact known principles

Some works may have little to none modifications. This is where Julius Yego's strategy falls.

Yego copy-pasted the javelin throwing techniques he learned on YouTube.

Could he had opted to shock the world with a new technique, his name, most definitely, could not be listed with Wikipedia.

As I said earlier, there are a lot of people who've already succeeded in whatever you want to start. There are successful chefs, accountants, constructors, pastors, youth, marriages etc.

You only need to find them and seek to learn from them.

3 find a mentor

Googling and trying to learn and copy what your seniors have done is great and sometimes free but can take longer.

Identifying a mentor shortens the time you'll need to sharpen your skills because you'll bypass the try and error experience.

A mentor will take you straight through a known and tested road-map; the road they already walked. This way they'll help you avoid potholes that would otherwise eat your time and resources.

I found resonating with Jeff Goins, a writing coach. Jeff is the founder of goinswriter.com and writer of 5 internationally recognized best-selling books.

I thus decided to learn from him. Jeff has developed several courses geared towards helping writers become better at their art. I enrolled in his "Intentional Blog" course and it was a game changer for me. My eyes got opened to new realities and could now do with easy things once 'hard' to even figure out. My blogging gained (and is gaining) a lot of shape.


The truth is, everything is a remix; ideas are either copied or borrowed. If you've been wondering where the gurus you know go manufacture great ideas, it's time you stopped such thinking.

Look around, get inspired and do the same thing. But do it your way.

Time is the currency of operation on earth. Everything you need to accomplish, including making money, requires you invest time. You actually needed time to read this article.

Isn't it important to find better ways of redeeming such a precious resource?

Have you ever benefited from existing works? Let us know in the comment box bellow. Also share to reach your friends; sharing is caring!

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