Published by Matt Church – Founder on 12 May 2021
As a thought leader, you may have a moment of understanding where you seemingly discover a great idea, think it’s unique, only to discover it already exists somewhere. You then go from “Oh, wow! This a great original idea” to “Oh shit! This idea is already out there” and sometimes that is enough for you to give up. Don’t.
Many times a good idea will pop up on the planet in multiple locations. If it’s a good idea, it probably appeared to other people too, right?
This has happened so many times to me that I now know this experience as validating and a sign that I should keep pursuing the line of inquiry as opposed to intimidating, or a reason not to.
High level, the lesson is: Truth is truth and often ubiquitous, and as such you could choose to see that it is great to see it being validated through its various iterations and locations.
Or put another way, good ideas pop on the planet in multiple locations.
Now that doesn’t mean you don’t defend against plagiarism. I have had so many of the ideas in my books, speeches, and programs, plagiarised or outrightly, brashly presented as the thief’s (yes strong I know but hey) original thinking that I am no longer surprised. I honestly believe that some people simply have the ability to ignore the source of their thinking and so they don’t feel they are out of integrity. The levels of self-delusion we are capable of are staggering.
You just gotta play a bigger game, be meticulous with your referencing and let it go. This doesn’t mean you don’t take a stand against the thievery. Just don’t get defined by it. I often say “You don’t actually own the ideas that come through you,” I think idea thieves think, “Well if you don’t claim it, I will.”
Attribute with honour, share generously and be aware of the thieves.
Some related thoughts.
Lens 1: The Commercial Lens. Venture capitalists like to invest in ideas that already exist somewhere on the planet in some form. If the idea is only unique to you is it really that good?
Lens 2: The Community Lens. If we are inspired by the company we keep, then that includes the company of thought leaders we have not met yet who are bringing great ideas onto the planet alongside you.
Lens 3: The Consciousness Lens. A belief in a universal field of consciousness and serendipity helps you see the positive in this experience.
And while we are on the topic of truth, it’s worth expressing that most versions of truth are relative and that absolute truth is as rare as Bee’s knees.
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