These are the Google image results for ‘original’, which made me laugh. I see only one original in them.

I’m writing in response to Nicolas Cole’s post, If You Want To Become An Influential Thought Leader Live By These 3 Principles

Nicolas asked, “What 3 principles do you live by, and how have you seen them shape your life?”

Here goes.

1) Be original.

People used to say ‘be yourself’. Then a few years ago everyone started trying to be ‘authentic’. Good concepts, but I prefer to think of it as being ‘original’. Nurture the part of yourself that is just a bit out of synch with everyone else, maybe a tad quirky. That’s the part of you that makes people smile, that makes them remember you.

How has it shaped my life? I’ve given weekly status reports in the format of Chinese zodiac, “The week of the cheetah” (rapid progress was made), “the week of the squirrel” (in which we scurried first in one direction than another), etc. I like to joke around and never take myself too seriously. Once in a great while my behavior has been labelled as being a bit ‘unprofessional’, but it’s a small price for all the times I’ve made people laugh. I think being original is more fun.

2) Use whatever comes your way.

It took me a while to learn this concept. Amy Purdy talks about obstacles not necessarily being something to climb over, as most people think of them. Purdy said walls are instead often useful to push off in a new direction. Amy did this in a very big way, changing careers and life goals, when she lost both legs at the age of 19.

Our borders and our obstacles can either stop us in our tracks or force us to get creative. ~Amy Purdy

When I had back-to-back job losses, I used it to create Given a long commute, I became an avid audiobook ‘reader’. Do I always make lemonade out of lemons? No, but when I’m looking at what feels like a bad turn of events, I try to ask myself, “Is there a way I can use this to my advantage?”

3) Don’t stand too long at the top of the expert slope.

I mean this both literally and metaphorically. If I stand too long at the top of the expert slope, I start to imagine what can go wrong. The possible wipeouts, the embarrassment that might ensue. I start to question whether I’m good enough to make it down safely.

I do better if I get off the chair lift, take a moment to check on my skiing buddies, look down the hill and anticipate the thrill. ‘You can do it, Anne,’ I think as I push off.

Today, I’m doing practicing this third principle with this post. Nicholas, I took your course about writing and becoming a thought leader many moons ago and I think I paused WAY too long at the top of the expert slope. But today, I’m going to unpause. I’m looking down the hill.

Part of me can envision wipeouts,

  • too preachy
  • shouldn’t you have said something like ‘family first?’
  • you need a better photo
  • what’s the best day of the week to post?
  • do you have an overall posting or writing strategy?

but I’m not going to pause long enough to let those fears sink in.

‘You can do it, Anne. Hit publish and off you go.”

Programmer by day. Author by night. As I put on running tights, I imagine I’m a superhero. Creator of More on me:

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