Where does uniqueness come from and how can we use it to stand out?
Let's face it, absolutely every object already exists. We have a name for everything and while, it can be made attractive and memorable, like a sunset over the palm tree silhouetted water, it's still the same old thing. It's been here already and will continue to be here tomorrow. So how then, can we create something new, something that will attract attention, something that will make people stand up and take notice?
We do this by combining everyday objects into different combinations. It is -not the objects - but the contrast that then sets our ideas apart and makes us noticed.
When our kids were younger we used to be involved in a program called Destination Imagination. It's a team oriented challenge designed to help kids think out of the box when trying to creatively solve problems.
You'd think that kids naturally wouldn't have a problem thinking outside the box, they are after all are some of the greatest creators of imagination (and therefore fibbers) around. But with the advent of constant spoon-fed idiotic TV sitcoms, video games that predict your every move, and books written with the intent to sell instead providing quality literature, you might be surprised at how poorly this skill is currently developed.
One of the exercises we had the team do was a game called Improv Bingo. Each group was given a dice, markers, and a gridded card that had 6 options for the categories: Character, Place, Goal, Obstacle, and Object. Based on the number they rolled for each topic, that would decide what they had to work with in coming up with a short skit to be presented in 15 minutes.
For example after rolling the die one team might have to create a skit about a Shy Tuba Player who is in a Canoe, wearing the latest clothes and where the obstacle is that there are sharp spikes in the way and the solution must include a paper towel tube.
You wouldn't believe what creativity could come from an exercise like this. No longer were they able to think of a tuba player in the traditional sense (of playing in an orchestra) but instead, now the kids had to take that musician out of his element and place him somewhere that was different and that had some pretty strange challenges.
And in taking that tuba player out of his comfortable element, we were taking the kids out of theirs allowing them to think creatively ultimately coming up with new combinations and new ways of looking at what might have been the same old thing.
As another example, I write about chickens, yup chickens. Backyard chickens are becoming very popular, there are tons of books on the subject and many more in the pipeline. Everyone tells you how to go about raising chickens.
There is, however, no one out there (except me) who is combining chickens with child raising. It's an odd combination that not only works but that is getting me recognized. “Such a unique approach” is a phrase I constantly hear.
Is it really that unique or is it the combination of the two seemingly disparate items that is worthy of taking notice?
If you are at a point where you are struggling to get noticed or trying your hardest to rise above the rest, take a look at what you have and with what you can add it to. True uniqueness comes from the introduction of combinations not seen before. If you want to stand out, give us something not seen or ever imagined and that will make us say “wow, I never thought of it that way before.”
About the Author:
A features writer, interviewer, and columnist, Wendy Thomas has been published in national magazines, newspapers, e-zines, and blogs.
Her current project is to blog about life living with 6 kids and a flock of chickens.