How to do Something No One has Ever Done Before

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.

About tropicaltheartist

You can find out more about me here: There aren’t many people that exist in that conjunction of art, design, science and engineering, but this is where I live. I am an artist, a musician, a designer, a creator, a scientist, a technologist, an innovator and an engineer and I have a genuine, deep passion for each field. Most importantly, I am able to see the connections and similarities between each field of intellectual endeavour and apply the lessons I learn in one discipline to my other disciplines. To me, they are all part of the same continuum of creativity. I write about what I know, through my blogs, in the hope that something I write will resonate with a reader and help them enjoy their own creative life more fully. I am, in summary, a highly creative individual, but with the ability to get things done efficiently. Not all of these skills are valued by the world at large, but I am who I am and this is me. The opinions stated here are my own and not necessarily the opinion or position of my employer.
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21 Responses to How to do Something No One has Ever Done Before

  1. Zak says:

    I’ve been working on something for a long time like you say you will no

  2. malakinggala says:

    This really got me thinking. I remembered the time when I chose to enroll in a liberal course instead of a course my parents wanted me to pursue and how they would rant about why I chose this course while I could have been in the medical field with my cousins.No, thanks but science is really not my thing. Having to defend what i love, which is writing, was great.In the end, they let me have my way and are trying to accept it. 🙂 It really was a good decision, yeah a very good decision indeed.

  3. Interesting post. I think everyone does something everyday no-one has done before. Even if one tries to do what someone has done before it will still bear your own individual signature. No-one can do what you does anyway. Unique? is it true that no one fingerprint is the same?

    • That’s a very good point. It’s almost impossible to do something that somebody else has done before, even if you copy, because everything you do will have a very subtle stamp of your own upon it. Nice angle. Thanks for commenting.

  4. Emmanuel says:

    Do sci-fi also count.i mean,if u read about something in a sci-fi work nd u want to realize it,i guess dat wil mean doing it for d first time?

  5. First off I loved the article I found it useful. Second I have a passion which is art. I have an idea that I would love to do. I want to create a space where any type of artists can come in create a painting, drawing, graffiti etc have a space for each type of art. The artist can remain unknown or have a different name. The place would be open to any and all artist who can create whatever they want without being judge. Anyone and everyone are welcome to come in… This is something that means a lot to me. I would like you guys option on it. Please do not take the idea for it is the only thing am passionate about. Would like to know you thoughts and please be honest

    Thank you

    • I think it’s an excellent idea and one that, as far as I am aware, hasn’t been done before. The best advice I can give you is to try it! I hope it goes well. Even if it doesn’t, you’ll learn really valuable things. If it goes well, you will have truly done something no one has ever done before. Thanks for commenting and I am glad you liked the post.

  6. mrjaysgold says:

    My discovery, & no one else has found it……. & I will tell what I discovered here,
    What to do with this….??
    All I want in return is to be known for the one who discovered it.

    The Mayan Calandar (Mexcio), ended on 12/21/12…….(end of Earth? No.)
    But in (Egypt), the Great Pyramid has this same exact date….coincident? No…!!

  7. mmyep says:

    Hmm, does this mean that being inspired by other artists doesn’t help with “originality”? my teacher says that its important to search or “shop” for ideas from a lot of different sources, other people’s works included, and many people argue that copying helps people develop technical skill, so what do you think about this?

    • I like Picasso’s take on this: Good artists copy, but great artists steal. I think learning your technique with reference to other artists is essential, but going deeper than technique is where you find your originality. Thanks for commenting.

  8. Happy Tremayne says:

    This ‘triggered’ a bit of thinking in me…..
    What I liked is the ‘originality’ perspective you take.
    I think we all ‘stand on the shoulders of giants’, and so often just ‘copy’ what has been done well before…..
    Yet, to really bring something so ‘new’ to life, I think, is part of mastering being human.
    We all have it ‘in’ us, but maybe few let it flower?

  9. Joann Gross says:

    I’m in the process of doing the ‘new’ right now. I’m creating a new genre of gospel music. I haven’t settled on specific name, but all the songs are uniquely me and no one else comes close with tone or phraseology. It is possibly the most exciting time of my life and a total gift from God.

  10. Pingback: Filling In The Blanks: Boosting Your Business Profile | 5 Things To Do Today

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