Thursday, December 6, 2012

I'm unique

by Richard L. Weaver II, Ph.D.
One time it was a short article I read, another time it was a place I visited, and yet another time it was music I was listening to.  The inspiration for my essays comes from so many different directions, and, in many cases, I’m not always certain exactly what or from where it originated.  That’s the nature of my mind.  It’s as if I am saying, “So many ideas, so little time!”
Sometimes my mind is unknowingly focused.  For example, when I was working on a new edition of my textbook, Communicating Effectively, 10e (McGraw-Hill, 2012), and I was searching for a new slant, approach, or addition that would make the next edition unique (from previous editions).  I didn’t even have to be focusing on the problem when the solution occurred.  In many cases, when I am exercising or jogging, working on another project, or reading an essay, newspaper, magazine, or book, what I don’t even realize I am currently looking for, magically occurs.
The epiphany — the sudden realization or comprehension of the (larger) essence or meaning of something  — comes unheralded and without warning.  Sometimes it is bound with other ideas as if part of the same recipe; sometimes it is neatly wrapped as a present under the tree on Christmas morning; sometimes it is random, casual, nonspecific, and accidental.  The process itself is unique and not easily explained.
But here is the key — maybe it’s just my key, but here goes — I love knowing that nobody else in the entire world (and nobody out there in the solar system as well for I like hyperbole at times like these) could possibly be thinking as I am.  Nobody else could have these thoughts, ideas, and emotions in the exact instant I am having them.  Talk about being unique!
Incidentally, the fact that somebody else actually could have the same (or even a similar) thought, idea, or emotion is irrelevant to my thinking in times like these.  Since this thought (that someone could be as unique as I am in the same instant) contributes nothing at all to my progress and could even be a bit demoralizing (depressing or deflating?); it never crosses my mind (except in an essay where I have to be a little more rational!)
Why does this matter?  That is, why is this a key?  Because it serves as one more stimulus, prompt, incentive, impulse, or motivation.  And here is how it works for me.  I am a thinker (notice, I didn’t say “great thinker”!), and to know that my thoughts, ideas, and emotions at any given moment are unique (and, to satisfy my 98-year-old father-in-law’s proclivity for finding incorrect grammatical constructions, I will say “totally unique”), gives me the pleasure and satisfaction I need (look for?) as I use words to build the edifice of an essay or book.
I absolutely embrace the knowledge that I am a distinct human being with special, exclusive — idiosyncratic — thoughts, ideas, and emotions.  This is what propels me forward, opens the vast doors of my imagination, squeezes the core of my creative juices, and focuses the beacons of my vision.  I only wish I could bottle this dynamic energy, find an inspiring name for the concoction, and market it as a magic elixir.
I looked for ideas online regarding how others capture and use their thoughts, ideas, and emotions, and at the blog Warrior Forum, the stimulus idea was, “So many little time. How do you manage that?”  In response to the stimulus, Gie Grace writes, “Keep a notebook with you at all times. You may have epiphanies (or light-bulb moments) when you think of an idea to implement. During such moments, it is crucial for you to write them down, so you'll remember them later.”
As a response, too, Michael Newman writes, “I call it ‘the curse of the blessed'.’  It's a great gift — to be able to generate or attract ideas effortlessly. But, it's a double-edged sword.
“I'd record them as advised. Prioritise them and see how they relate to your business model or lifestyle. How can they help accelerate your growth? Do you notice a common theme? Concentrate on the most feasible. Focus on the ones that relate to your passions.
“No one makes money from how many ideas they're able to generate. Real moolah comes from focus, from concentration. From taking an idea to its logical conclusion. From testing them in the cold and harsh (and often loving) rays of fate.
“I was like that. Like a butterfly, floating from one dream to another . . . and another. . . .
“I started getting results when I decided on the most haunting idea. The most stubborn. The one that leaves you no peace. The one that fills you with joy.
“The key is self-discipline,” Newman writes.
At Ezine Articles, the essay by Joanne Julius Hunold, “Introverts - So Many Ideas, So Little Time,” offers several pieces of useful advice.  Hunold writes, “First, get some clarity about exactly how you are stuck. For example, is it that you have difficulty choosing an idea (which means not choosing the others) or do you have difficulty deciding which one to do first? Do you realize you don't have enough time to pursue all of them? Or perhaps not enough money for all of them?  Are you trying to do all of them at once and hence get overwhelmed? Is it plain old indecision? In other words, what is stopping you from doing?
Second, “Are you aware of your needs and values? This is a first step I put all my clients through. In terms of choosing actions, I recommend first doing the things that satisfy your needs. Then, after your needs have been met; choose the actions that are most closely aligned to your values.
Third, get your ideas out of your head: “Once you have your ideas out of your head and stored somewhere safe (in your notebook) you can stop fretting about what you have not done. This, believe it or not, frees you up to act when you are good and ready.”
Fourth, Hunold writes, “Make it OK to experiment and change your mind. Perhaps you have a lot of things you want to do because you are curious.”
Finally, she says, “go ahead and enjoy the thinking process.”
I love her last idea, of course.  As I said earlier in this essay, I am a thinker (and fortunately, too, a doer!).  And if this essay helps you de-construct your whole process of inspiration, perhaps, it has made a contribution.  Maybe you just need to stop and meta-observe (examine your inside activities by taking a position outside yourself!).  This, too, can be a delightful exercise — maybe even one that will prove how unique you are!
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At there is a delightful, pithy, essay, “What Makes Me Unique,” where the writer talks about “The Paradox of Uniqueness.”  This is a short, thoughtful essay that will challenge you wonderfully.  The writer ends this essay saying, “In your race through life, do you have all the information and tools you need to express your unique potential and live an extraordinary life before you run out of time, health, love and wisdom?”

At the Change My Life! website Steve Thomas has an essay, “I Am a Unique and Special Human Being, It’s All In the Mind” (May 11, 2010), in which he makes the point, “The very fact that we have in mind the thought that we, you, I am a unique and special human being makes us one. Most people have such a poor sense of self worth, that they can hardly come to grips with a thought like that. Fortunately, or unfortunately, we are what we think. If we believe ourselves to be worthless, then we tend to act that way. If we believe ourselves to be elite, something special, then we will tend to act that way.”
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Copyright December, 2012, by And Then Some Publishing L.L.C.

1 comment:

  1. Maximillion Ryan IIIDecember 6, 2012 at 8:56 AM

    Sounds like you may suffering from a little bit of "hyper-mania" ~ which isn't necessarily a bad thing!


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