Sometimes I feel unidentifiable. Everything I want to say has already been said. What I imagine and want to design has already been designed. What I think has been thought before. They all come with a small pang of sadness and disillusion. Luckily – I think because of my training in a creative field – this has never been a long-term stumbling block, nor a substantially significant deterrent to trying over and over again.
What is this need for originality? And do we all have it? As it turns out, the answer is yes.
From an evolutionary perspective, skills associated with averting danger and ensuring nourishment and the survival of species are at the top of the heap. Creativity is such a skill. Genetically embedded in our species, so to speak. We don’t all use it to a similar extent, but that does not mean we cannot train it. And there are so many reasons to do so!
Creativity contributes to brain health by maintaining brain plasticity. More than that. It is not only important to individual health but to the development of successful societies. It can eliminate prejudices and social disparity, and it can create meaningful human bonds.
People are all unique, yet there are many commonalities to groups of people that relate to physical as well as mental traits. Some value their uniqueness more than others; the amount and kind of craving for attention also vary.
Attention seeking often does not manifest itself by celebrating your own unique traits but, ironically, by copying habits, mannerisms, or lifestyles from others. The row models, whichever you have. This you can easily see in the celebrity-praising culture and how influencers sell, along with the larger celebrities, items that they value or promote to those who want to emulate them.
The concept is simple: if you can copy and replicate and maybe add your own twist to it, then you become that which you copy. This metamorphosis is setting a goal, and with each little step, you get closer to achieving it.
Craving attention by emulating someone else is not new. In fact, there are documented beneficial effects of positive role models. They motivate and inspire, which can fuel the drive of an individual. We are nothing without the drive to do something. Lack of drive is connected with both physical declines – not motivated enough to exercise, for instance – and mental disequilibrium – like depression.
So how does this relate to input/output theory? … see part 2, coming up in September
Images via Unsplash courtesy of Dochia Media
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