“Born an original” is one of the topics I’m more passionate about. That’s because I’m afraid people don’t really appreciate that fact. They “know it” at the intellectual level, but they don’t “get it” at the gut level. They don’t grasp the full meaning of it.

“When I say ‘I’, I mean a thing absolutely unique, not to be confused with any other.” Ugo Betti

Not only were you born an original, but if we take into consideration and add to the package your habits, and tastes, and idiosyncrasies, and adventures, and experiences, and talents-skills-&-abilities, and … etc., we uncover a unique individual. You are THE David Riklan, THE Stephanie Anastasio,
THE Kristina Kanaley, the one and only, not just presently, but since the dawn of time.

Out of the billions of people* that have come and gone, there is not and has never been, another you. And there never will be, even if we could travel in time to the year 50,000. That makes you, and me, and each of us, SPECIAL. Unique, and special. That’s what Wally Amos wrote in hie enlightening and fun-to-read book Watermelon Magic: “Each of us is unique and special. No two sets of fingerprints are the same. So enjoy and appreciate your uniqueness. You are a priceless collector’s item.”

My friend, you are a collector’s item, an original masterpiece, NOT a paint-by number reproduction, not a “copy.” So please, I implore you, don’t die a copy, and don’t live like one in the interval. Trust me on this one, I know it’s hard to march to your own music, do your own thing your own way, but you must do your very best to do so! It’s your assignment here on planet Earth. As Zig Ziglar wrote, “You are the
only one who can use your talents and abilities; it is an awesome responsibility.”

“o be nobody but yourself – in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else – means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting. “e. e. Cummings

I have an interesting question for you, the same one Marc, my Web designer, asked me as part of a Q & A for the bio on my Web site.

Marc: On the subject of character and personality, you’ve heard the question, “If you were a tree, what kind would you be?” Well, I find that a bit cliché, so I’ll ask you instead, “If you were a car, and I know that you LOVE cars, what kind would you be?”

Daniel: That’s too easy, no hesitation on my part, a red Dodge Viper GTS! Why? For starters, it’s not the most “refined” car, a bit rough around the edges. It’s easily recognizable, because it’s unique; there’s nothing on the market quite like it. It’s loud, powerful, rare, and “eccentric.” It has plenty of style; it’s not for everybody, and it’s definitely politically incorrect! That’s me!

So then, my reader friend, my questions to you are: What kind of car are you? What kind would you like to “be”? And what will you do if the car you are and the car you want to be are not the same?

In Julius Caesar, Marc Antony urged his contemporaries to “Keep your friends close to you. Keep your enemies even closer.” For me, the worst enemy I have is the cookie-cutter, the tool used to make everything the same. As an author and an Internet marketer in a very competitive market, that same-old, same-old would spell “disaster.” And as a person, that would spell “boring.” I just can’t have that.

So, like Marc Antony, I keep my worst enemy really close. I have a cookie-cutter hanging from the ceiling over my worktable – when I write, it’s dangling in front of me, inches from my face. When I go out to places where I’ll interact with people, I take it with me, carrying it in my pocket so it’s always near. It is a constant reminder to not be like everybody else, but to be ME. To not conform, to not think, talk, shop or buy like everyone else.

“If I am like someone else, who will be like me?” Jewish folk song

“Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life’s cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another, you have only an extemporaneous half-expression.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“… never imitate,” Emerson suggested. That sounds like Ernie. Ernie sold peanuts at Jarry Park – home of the Major League baseball team, the Montreal Expos, from 1969 to 1977, before they moved to the Olympic Stadium (later to become the Washington Nationals). According to the park manager, Ernie sold more bags of peanuts than the other five peanut vendors put together. Why was that? Because of Ernie’s unique way of delivering the goods.

If he was near you when you ordered, he’d hand you the bag (or bags) and collect his money. But if you were 20 rows up (or down), he would throw you the bag with speed and accuracy – strikes, 95% of the time. Then he would come find you 30 minutes later to collect his money (not only did Ernie possess a great pitching arm, but he was also blessed with a phenomenal memory).

People just loved him – particularly those who came to the ballpark with their baseball glove. They’d wait till he was 50-60 feet away and then they’d yell, “HEY ERNIE!” When he’d look at them, they’d use fingers to order so many bags – very often three. That’s because he’d throw the bags one by one, bam, bam, bam, right into their glove. And the spectators nearby would yell in unison, “Strike one … strike two … strike three. You’re OUT!”

Everybody would laugh and have a good time. It was fun – sometimes this was more entertaining than the action on the field. After each great performance, Ernie would remove his cap and take a bow. Ernie made really good money. Simply because he had done some creative thinking and had come up with an innovative, crowd-pleasing way to sell peanuts.

My reader friend, let me reiterate something Useful for U to keep in mind. It is a Universal truth on which all the biologists and psychologists agree Unanimously, and say to U in Unison: U, my friend, are Unique in the Universe! It’s a fact. Therefore, Uniqueness and originality are the order of the day, and Uniformity is out! U are not a Unidimensional being, but a multi-faceted one, with many Usable skills and talents. So Unite those gifts with your many creative thoughts and Use all U’ve got to come up with something special and unUsual. And U’ve got plenty. There’s no need for U to Usurp other people’s ideas, or try to emUlate them. Just be U!

I’d like to make a recommendation, if I may. I’ll use “we, us, our” so it’s not just for the reader, but for myself as well. Let our lives not be a painting-by-numbers, but let it be an Irises by Van Gogh, or maybe the label of a soup can by Andy Warhol. It doesn’t really matter, as long as it’s Unique. Let our lives not be like generic elevator “musak,” but let’s make sure it’s more like Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, Mozart’s Die Zauberflote, Pachelbel’s Canon in D, Dave Brubeck’s Take Five, or The Who’s Baba O’Riley.

Let’s create something that is Unique. Let our passage on earth be a masterpiece so that when we leave here to go to the next realm, we can look back at our life and see an exquisite canvas in a big beautiful ornate frame and say “Wow! Would you look at that! That was ME! That was MY life! I did that. I painted that. Wasn’t I something?”

I wish U all the personal and professional success U desire and deserve. (Just remember that…What you “desire” is a function of your ambition, what you “deserve” is a function of your ACTIONS…Are the two aligned?)

BE the very best you can be,
DO all you can possibly do,
GET everything you want to have,
GIVE as much of it as you can give.

Daniel G. St-Jean
Aka The Sparkplug of Personal Development
Author of 7 Simple Keys To Spark Change In Your Life Now!
Co-author of 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life – volume 2

[* Since 40,000 BC – the dawn of modern man – an estimated 58 billion people have come and gone, according to a study by the Netherlands-based International Statistical Institute.]

Author's Bio: 

Daniel G. St-Jean’s mission is to instruct and ignite the people who are just thinking about making significant changes in their life, and to support and encourage those who are in the midst of making such changes so they get to live the life they really want to live. Visit his web site at http://www.SparkChangeInYourLife.com, read his Blog at http://www.aBlogAboutMakingLifeChanges.com and subscribe to his eSparks at http://www.SparkChangeInYourLife.com/e-sparks.