I used to think that in order to become successful that I had to create unique ideas that no-one, not another soul on the planet had had and then do my best to market them before others had their own 'unique' ideas that were the same as mine (think about that for a second)
I used to think that if someone took one of my ideas and used it to make money then they were somehow stealing something from me and weakening my position so that my own success would falter and that if I did the same with theirs that this somehow made ME a thief.
I used to think "I can't do that, it's already been done... I've missed the boat on this" and quit projects that I'd been passionate about because someone 'beat' me to bringing it to market.
I used to.
But not anymore.
Now I realise that no idea is truly unique but that each of us has a unique way of applying (or failing to apply) our ideas to our lives. Because of this, there is more than enough room for EVERY idea any of us ever have.
If this wasn't the case then there would only ever be one of any type of commodity or item in the world.
One type of car.
One type of TV.
One type of washing machine.
One type of [Insert what YOU do here]
But there's not is there?
There are hundreds, if not thousands of each of these things.
Why not one more?
Now I realise that every person who came before me and everyone who
follows gets an equal share of all the information and ideas of allthe generations who precede them. It doesn't make sense NOT to use
You wouldn't dismiss reading because someone else 'invented' it, would you?
You wouldn't rid your home of electricity because someone else beat you to it?
You wouldn't pass up medical help because you had no hand in the founding of medical knowledge, right?
So what if what you want to do is already in existence? If you want to do it, and do it your way then do it!
Life isn't like school.
There's no teacher who's going to mark you down for copying the kid next to you.
Copy all you want.... then improve.
Now I realise that Thomas Edison's formula for success is the fastest, surest way to guarantee that you get what you want from life.
"...start where the last man left off."
See, you really don't have to re-invent the wheel. In fact, that's just not smart. It's wasteful. But...
You CAN paint the wheel the colour your want it.
You CAN use different materials.
You CAN make it bigger or smaller, wider or narrower.
So, if it feels like success has been eluding you and that your 'unique' ideas never seem to go anywhere or that others 'beat you to it' before you get the rewards, then try Edison's approach.
Start where the last person left off and add your signature to an existing success.
It's always easier to improve on someone else's idea than start from scratch. That doesn't mean that the improvement isn't just as valuable (or more so) than the 'original' idea. The idea you improve upon may change millions of lives whilst the one you insist upon being original may never see the light of day... worth thinking about!