Origin of Ideas

Today, I came to a conclusion that I liked and then realized that it only clicked so suddenly because Tucker had been explaining it to me for months. Occasionally, I’ll see an email from one person to another where all the words are mine. It used to drive me insane. Now I realize that it means I’m doing something right. I’m starting to think that a belief in the clear delineation between where one idea ends and where another begins is bullshit.

When you accept that very rarely will any idea be original and forgo rights to ownership, you free yourself up to do the important part – complete understanding. I think that means a huge thank you to the people who allow me to get close enough to hear theirs. As we try to absorb, make sense, compile, discard, destruct and create, confuse, iron and simplify, we’re left with one big mess where authorship is a little murky. And that’s how it should be. Hopefully, I’ll be able to return the favor.

If I could end with stealing someone else’s – and they probably know who they are – it’d be that the more you care about credit, the less you’ll actually be able to accomplish.

Written by Ryan Holiday
Ryan Holiday is the bestselling author of Trust Me, I’m Lying, The Obstacle Is The Way, Ego Is The Enemy, and other books about marketing, culture, and the human condition. His work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared everywhere from the Columbia Journalism Review to Fast Company. His company, Brass Check, has advised companies such as Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as Grammy Award winning musicians and some of the biggest authors in the world. He lives in Austin, Texas.