What a question! How do you do something no one else has ever done before? Where do you start? Is it even an important pursuit? I think it is, because it cuts to the heart of originality. Originality is, by definition, the doing of something no one has ever done before.
Firstly, learn about things that somebody, somewhere has done before and don’t do those things. It’s essential that you reject them all, whatever you do. They’re not for you. Copying, following, imitating, replicating, quoting, pastiche, mimicry – you have to forsake those. They’re no use to you.
What can you imagine that needs doing? What are you motivated to do? The genesis of doing something no one has ever done before is a curiosity about it and a determination to do so. You have to care enough about doing something no one has ever done before that you are prepared to take the risk of trying and maybe failing.
That’s going to take courage and insouciance about what others think of you. What do you care what they think anyway? If their opinion mattered, they’d have done the thing no one has ever done before by now, wouldn’t they? Even if they have done something no one has ever done before, it’s not the thing you’re trying to do, is it. This one thing is your own thing. It belongs to nobody else but you, provided you find a way to do it.
We’re all taught to be safe. We obey. We don’t want to fall out of line, because there are scary, dangerous, fearful consequences to that choice, aren’t there? Well actually, there aren’t. The fear might have been instilled in us to keep us obedient, but it’s not real. If you try and fail, all you do is try again. Or give up, but if you give up, you’ll never do something no one else has ever done before. How much do you want to do something no one else has ever done before?
There is no guide. No recipe or method exists. If there was such a thing, then this wouldn’t be the sort of thing no one has ever done before. A set of instructions implies that at least one person must have done this thing before, or there would be no instructions, would there? No, you’re going to have to make the method or process up all by yourself. You’re going to have to be imaginative, innovative and inventive. You’re going to have to experiment, strategize, establish your own approach and tactics and follow your own instincts. But how do you do that?!
Inspiration, a love of solving problems and persistence are required. You are going to have to figure out what it is you don’t know, but need to know, and then find a way to know it. You’re on your own. There are no examples. There might be some loose models to follow, but if this is something no one has ever done before, you’re the first. It’s your trail and you’re blazing it.
Good luck. You’re going to need much more than luck. You’re going to have to draw upon your resources and think it through. You need to be prepared for when you get a bit of luck. You are literally creating something out of nothing, like some medieval alchemist. You are the sage. You are the magus. Nobody knows what you know or is a better version of you than you are. It’s your uniqueness that is going to see you through – your willingness to go your own way, even when there is considerably pressure to follow the herd.
Can you do it? Of course you can. Millions of ordinary people found ways to do something that no one has ever done before. You can too. You just have to have a passion for doing so. The rest, as they say in the classics, is relatively easy.
Let me know when you finally do something no one has ever done before. Actually, you won’t need to. We’ll all hear about it anyway, without a doubt. Doing something no one else has ever done before is still relatively rare and hence remarkable. But we’re all capable of it. We just have to unlearn all we’ve been taught and trust in our own abilities.
I hope you do. I know you will.