9 Ways To Maintain Originality No Matter The Environment

Life is slowly working its way back to normal, which makes me worry about the writing.

You see, when it comes to creative writing, discomfort is the lighter fluid to my fire. I’ve always been able to write myself out of a corner.

In fact, miserable happenings breed creativity for me.

So with that in mind, I’ve been slightly concerned about losing the edge I’ve become accustom to within the writing.

Sure, I can always pump out posts on social media, dividend investing, and blogging. And I certainly will!

But I prefer to approach it like I’ve got a chip on my shoulder. It’s gotta be done with originality, otherwise what’s the point?

I’d rather keep it fun than end up another complacent cog. See, there’s that edge I was talking about…

It’s all speculative at the moment, but what if being in a new environment brings about complacency again?

What if I fall back into the tightwad ways of the past? Maybe I’ll start saying no to friends again to save an extra dollar. Perhaps I’ll become too comfortable and eliminate the blog altogether…NOT.

Really though, I’m a little uneasy about things like the language influence from the office. I don’t want to filter the language I use online and I definitely don’t need to pick up anymore acronyms.

Although I’m generally extremely well mannered and polite, I’ve become quite fond of slang terms and profanity over the past year. It’s not in any negative way or anything, though, I just like how it adds character.

Having said that, I haven’t worked in a professional environment in nearly 14 months.

It’s possible that it’s in my head, but I’ll have to replace phrases like “that’s cool AF” with “that sounds great”. Not a big deal right?

Well, like a lot of other millennials out there, I believe in accepting individuality.

I think maintaining originality should be of more significant value to companies because you’ll get the employee’s best work.

So, with that short anti conformist speech in mind, here are 9 ways to maintain originality no matter the environment.

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Know Your Values

Probably the most important thing to remember is to always know what you are working towards.

It’s easy to get sidetracked without having that longterm view of the lifestyle you want.

Everything you do should fit in with your own life vision.

Your job should help build skills that enhance your chances of becoming successful in the field you most enjoy.

The friends and people surrounding you should be supportive and supplementary to your desired lifestyle.

Knowing the end makes it a lot easier to put the puzzle together.

Get Better Influences

To put it bluntly, spend time with people you want to be like.

You can’t spend the majority of your time in a smothering environment and then expect to grow into the person you want to be.

Music Everyday

Music is my lifeblood and I’m not kidding.

I’m not sure why it matters so much, but it’s almost as though I need to listen for an hour or two every day.

So much of my energy and mood is derived from music.

Extroverts derive energy from being around other people and I get it from being alone with Apple Music.

I also think music is strongly linked to memory. I don’t know about you, but I literally remember certain periods in my life by the albums that were released.

This strong link to memory is a great way to stay authentic to who you are.

Be Original From The Get Go

It’s a test the moment you’ve entered a new environment.

No matter if you are meeting new friends or new co-workers, you’re being sized up in the early going.

The most important thing to remember in the early stages is to let people know the real you. You’ve gotta represent, if you will.

It’s a fresh opportunity to be perceived exactly the way you want to be.

It’s similar to travelling actually. Have you ever noticed how being in a new country changes you?

You have no influences and all of the preconceived notions are non-existent.

(*Warning* – What you are about to read is extremely random)

In fact, that’s when I got back to wearing hats.

You see, I used to wear a perfectly curved baseball cap religiously when I was younger.

But I stopped around 14 because I got into hair gel (don’t judge me, it was the 90’s).

I got tired of adults asking me why I wear my hat in the house.

However, the moment I got to Costa Rica, my concerns began to fade.

I picked up a Miami Heat hat at the Miami airport to prevent the sun from burning my extremely pale skin.

But it triggered something else. I realized I liked hats and that I could be perceived which ever way I wanted.

Sounds crazy right? I was not comfortable wearing hats because of the opinion of others.

Anyways, the point is to get others to see you for who you really are. Being original will make others enjoy your company a hell of a lot more too.

Exercise

I don’t know about you, but for me, exercise is a major key to life.

It just makes everything better. Your mood, health, energy, and confidence all improve from the gym.

That said, I need to get more consistent with it because I tend to work out in waves.

I go really hard for a week or two straight then falter for an equivalent period of time. At least I can always rely on guilt to set in.

It’s a reoccurring pattern in my life that needs to be adjusted.

Nevertheless, exercise is certainly a way to stay true to yourself.

The sheer fact that you put in the extra work alone will make you feel better.

Clothes will fit better and you’ll enjoy the mirror a little more too.

But mostly, it will give you the confidence to feel good about being yourself.

Don’t Worry What They Say

I’ve been preaching for a while now that it doesn’t matter what other people think. All that matters is the supportive people in your life.

The naysayers simply don’t matter. They will always be there to shed their own insecurities in an effort to bring you down. They don’t think they can do it so they hate seeing other people succeed.

But remember, it’s your life.

You’ll get 80 years on this planet if you’re lucky.

Steve Jobs said it best…

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.”

Create An Outlet

One of the best ways I know to stay true to yourself is to start a creative outlet such as blogging.

What better way is there to determine your values then spending time thinking and writing about them?

I was without a blog during my first stint in the corporate world and I think that’s where I got lost.

I forgot about all the things that are so important to me. Things like writing, reading, music, and social media.

Having a way to express yourself creatively can be the difference maker.



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Stay Open Minded

The only way to truly know if you are right is to be open to hearing the opposite perspective. Would you agree?

I wanted to include this point, because in the past year, I’ve learned to never say never.

I was always a dividend growth investor and previously frowned upon trading. But then I day traded for 4 months straight.

Prior to eluding, I thought I was right all the time and had everything figured out. But you know what? I still have a lot to learn.

The point I’m trying to make is that it’s important to stay true to your values, but there’s also something to be said about being open to change. Sometimes there could be a better way, better person, or better lifestyle.

Be Helpful

Helping instead of ridiculing is a great way to build rapport. Offering assistance and being friendly will actually go a long way because it creates an environment of comfort.

Furthermore, an invitational and collaborative atmosphere will make your life easier as well.

Also, when is being helpful bad advice? Do onto others as you would do onto yourself right?

In my opinion, a negative attitude towards others with limit you from being yourself. Nobody will have anything for a hindering person.

It almost comes back to karma, not that it’s a real thing. But I do believe that our reputation precedes us.

It’s not necessarily that karma will come for you, but those around you will remember your actions.

True character can only hide away for so long. People will remember the way you treat others.


Final Thoughts

There’s a lot of changes going on and this post is partially a manifestation of that.

It has also been some time since a good old fashioned Reverse The Crush Listography post was published on the blog.

The other thing I should mention is that I wrote this with the workplace in mind, however, the list could be applied to the classroom or with friends.

In conclusion, it pays to be an original in an ever competitive world. Hopefully this post can serve as a reminder to be yourself.

Questions: Does your career hold back your originality? Are you careful what you say online because of your employer? Is there anything you would add to this list?


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16 Comment

  1. Don’t lose the edge man, I love that about your writing style! I’m sure you will slide back into the working world without too much of a hitch. But at the end of the day, you gotta be you. Best of luck when you go back!

    1. Graham says: Reply

      Hey Mr. Defined Sight,
      Glad that the edge is noticeable and that I even have a writing style haha. Appreciate you saying that! And you’re right. I don’t really think it will be that big of a deal. I’ll adapt in no time. Have a great weekend 🙂

  2. TJ says: Reply

    Being helpful is so important. I always have to remind myself that everyone has their own shit going on and we aren’t all wired the same. Don’t remember the last time being helpful ended up being hurtful.

    Random tangent, but I’ve been seeing my Alexa ranking improve which is pretty cool.

    1. Graham says: Reply

      Hey TJ,
      Glad you agree on being helpful, it seems like we’re on the same page here. And congrats on the Alexa success! It’s become something I look at everyday and use for a bit of motivation. I’ll take whatever I can get to put more work into the blog lol Hope everything is good man. Hope you’re enjoying the kend’ 🙂

  3. It’s interesting what you mention about music. I can’t imagine my life without it, yet I listen to music so much I also get bored of it. I have over 100 stations on my Pandora yet some days I just can’t seem to find anything I want to listen to. Do you ever get that? The shuffle feature comes in handy though.

    1. Graham says: Reply

      Hey Untemplater,
      Thanks for reading and commenting on the music point! I can’t imagine my life without music either…I do agree on not being able to find anything somedays. I listen to music so much that I get bored of it similar to how you mentioned. It’s like I constantly need a new album to listen through. The shuffle feature definitely come in handy from time to time! Hope you’re having a great weekend 🙂

  4. Nice post man! Great read. I’m going through something similar right now. Switching jobs and finishing up a course has taken away from my time to write and post. I’m taking great steps, but feel guilty about my site not being the priority at the moment. But the fact that my site is always on my mind even through all this hard work is a great sign. I’m not forgetting it, so it’s still a great value to me.

    1. Graham says: Reply

      Hey Derek,
      Glad you enjoyed the post! And I definitely know how it feels to take time away from the blog. It’s not the best feeling. But at least you’re taking steps that will enhance your life and blog in the long run. Your sight probably helped steer you here in the first place. I’m glad you plan to keep it up! Have a great weekend brother!

  5. I had to put a major filter on my language when I first started in the corporate world after leaving the military. That was definitely an adjustment. I’m sure you’ll be fine though. I don’t think you’ll lose your edge, it seems to be ingrained in your personality.

    1. Graham says: Reply

      Hey DTG,
      I bet that was quite an adjustment after the military. Probably a lot more difficult than my situation. And really, I’m not too concerned about the change. I’ve done it before and am fairly adaptable. Also, I don’t think I’ll lose the edge either. I’ve always been a bit of a cynic haha. I actually think the changes will be good for the blog as it’s already given me a plethora of new post ideas. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Hey Graham,

    Nice post. It’s hard to stay original and to keep that way..it’s best to stay away from 100% routine, do things differently. My work certainly does suck the originality out of me, but it’s good to have the blog as an outlet 🙂 I’m not careful about what I say, clearly, lol.

    Have a great week!

    Tristan

    1. Graham says: Reply

      Hey Tristan,
      Staying out of a routine is awesome advice! It’s crazy how something as simple as taking a different route to work can change the feel of your entire day.
      I guess it’s hard to find a job that doesn’t suffocate originality unless you are in design or a creative role. But like you said, at least we have our blogs. Thanks for dropping by 🙂

  7. Karen says: Reply

    For me, I’ve found doing other creative things aside from writing has helped. I haven’t done this for awhile on Instagram, but several of my photos, I actually took the time to style . Although time consuming as it was and annoying trying to find the right angle, I actually enjoyed it. I’ve also gotten into adult colouring with swear words. I find it to be pretty therapeutic.

    When I worked for the government, I really held back a lot and was anonymous for the most part because I was afraid of getting in trouble. I had read their social media policy several times and hadn’t specifically mentioned who I worked for, but I was just being extra cautious.

    1. Graham says: Reply

      Hey Karen,
      That’s a great point on trying other creative things aside from writing. I know what you mean when it comes to photography. I never enjoy the editing part and rarely do any editing other than cropping or using filters on Instagram. And the adult colouring with swear words sounds awesome haha :). It definitely sounds therapeutic.
      I felt the same way while I was working in finance before. I read their policies and was scared. I didn’t want to get in trouble and I didn’t want confrontations. But you know what I realized? People like you and I are just good employees because we care. We worry a little too much. I mean, if Donald Trump can be the president elect then I think expressing our personalities on social media should be ok lol. Have a great week Karen 🙂

  8. I like what Benjamin Graham strived to do everyday.

    He said he tried to do “something foolish, something creative, and something generous.” Everyday!

    That is a good way to be original, looking for a new opportunity everyday 🙂

    1. Graham says: Reply

      Hey Steve,
      That’s perfect man! That’s a great way to live everyday by that will certainly lead to an original way of life. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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