I don’t know anything. I’ve never created anything original. I’m slowly learning that it’s okay. A few weeks ago, I reread Austin Kleon’s book, “Steal Like an Artist,” where he talks about how there are no new ideas and how everything has been done before.
At first, you might find this depressing, but if you think about it you begin to realize the idea is liberating. If there are no new ideas. If everything has been done before then you no longer need to worry about creating something brand new. You’re allowed to steal from others to create your own version of art.
Stealing doesn’t mean copying someone else’s work. Stealing like an artist is about stealing from many people to the point where it allows you to create your own art or develop your own voice.
That’s one of the reasons I’ve been reading a book every week, listening to podcasts every day, learning a new word, studying data science, watching Ted Talks, and reading blog posts. I’m not just learning. I’m figuring out what I can steal for my own art.
My art isn’t painting pictures, though I do like to draw military battles that look like something your five year old son scribbled. My art is writing my daily blog posts, eventually a book, my speeches, and completing other interesting projects. Every day I’m working to find my voice.
Throw away your old notions of stealing. It’s been ingrained in all of us that we shouldn’t steal. It’s one of the golden rules I was taught as a young child.
I’m giving you a pass to steal whatever you want for the rest of your life. The only thing that you owe the people you steal from is create something out of everything you’ve stolen. Share it. If it’s any good then realize that it is now your turn to have someone stealing from you.