It took me all of two articles to become infatuated with Oliver Emberton. I am posting a second article of his in a row so you can join me in my infatuation. But really this is a great article and I should know considering I read a thousand articles on this topic on a daily basis. It’s like all of a sudden everyone is an expert on finding your passion and decides to write an article about it. But as I was saying, this one is actually good because it offers..(wait for it)…perspective! I will take perspective over advice any day because most advice in these ‘find your passion articles’ are either impractical or hard to apply to my life.
On a side note I was listening to a podcast this morning on NPR Ted hour radio called Nothing is Original. It featured a few TED talks on the topic of, you guessed it, originality and how while so much of the music we listen to and the movies we watch and the books we read SEEM original, huge chunks of them in fact are borrowed from something that came before them. This is kind of an interesting contrast to a point made in this article that a great way to find something to adopt as your passion is to do something that not many people have done before. Basically, he says that passion comes with success and you (as an average person) are a lot more likely to be successful at something when you don’t have as many people to compete with. But really one might wonder, is there really anything that has not been done before?
Well the answer to this is of course there is and this ties in nicely with the closing remarks of the podcast which claimed that while nothing might be truly original, originality in the present is less about coming up with something entirely on your own and more about putting your own spin on something that might already exist.
I will conclude this with one of my favorite quotes by Jim Jarmusch: “Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books…dreams, random conversations, architecture…lights, and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your theivery– celebrate if it you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said:”It’s not where you take things from– it’s where you take them to.”
As an additional side note, this guy’s writings remind me a lot of a blog I am a fan of called Wait But Why(there may be an earlier post featuring them as well). Here are some of their best(in my opinion) posts: