Monday, June 13, 2011

#trust30 - Day 11: My Divine Idea

I am four days behind on my Emerson prompts, but with luck I'll get caught up today.

I'm on vacation with my family, heading to California for the HNS Conference in San Diego this weekend. Posts will probably be a little spotty for the next two weeks--but I'm committed to finishing this challenge. That said, on to Friday's prompt:

Divine Idea by Fabian Kruse

Imitation is Suicide. Insist on yourself; never imitate. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Write down in which areas of your life you have to overcome these suicidal tendencies of imitation, and how you can transform them into a newborn you – one that doesn’t hide its uniqueness, but thrives on it. There is a “divine idea which each of us represents” – which is yours?

(Author: Fabian Kruse)

You know, I've spent my life trying like crazy not to be an imitator. I've often rejected courses of action for no better reason than others were taking them. Which means I've rejected good ideas just because they weren't mine and other people thought they were good. Emerson aside, how is that a good thing?

I suppose it would be fine if I were refusing to go someone else's way and instead coming up with my own idea and following that. But that's not how it usually plays out; usually, I reject the popular notion with no alternative of my own. Far from taking the road less traveled (mixing Frost with Emerson here), I choose not to take the well-worn path--and instead stand there, going nowhere. And ridiculing those following the crowd.

But at least they were going somewhere. Accomplishing something, however small it seemed to me. Standing there, making fun of them, I went nowhere.

So maybe that's my divine idea. It isn't enough simply to reject what others are doing. You must come up with your own plan, decide where you want to go and how you want to get there, and take action. Follow the road less traveled or blaze your own trail through the wood. Or follow the crowd, if they're going where you need to be. Maybe you'll see a shortcut along the way, or a better way to get there. Maybe when you turn aside to take it, some of them will follow you.


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