Have you ever tried to pass something you heard as a thought of your own? Of course you have, we’ve all done it. Perhaps you retold a joke, quote, or story and simply chose not to mention you heard it elsewhere. Maybe you like to embellish stories you hear by giving the listener your own revised version. Whatever tricks you pull to stake your claim to the thought you expressed, just keep in mind that you have less of a reason to feel guilty about than you may have been aware of.
What would be your most original thought? Do you have one? Consider that every word that you’ve spoken is unoriginal. The language you speak has been many times over revised by generations of people before you. Even your thoughts are just a mental manifestation of your collective experiences, including conversations with older and wiser people who are really just recycling wisdom they themselves heard in the past. Everything you can sense, from the colors visible to the human eye to the music you hear. Think about it, the spectrum of reflected light you can observe is finite and there is a scale for frequencies that we can alter to seemingly create order then refer to it as music. When thinking about your own thoughts, you tend to start tumbling down a rabbit hole and I believe this is something we should all do once in a while to humble ourselves a bit.
So the next time you criticize, remember that everything about you, when thought about hard enough is pretty unoriginal. As dark of an outlook as this may seem, the benefits of this self-realization can be extraordinary. When you deconstruct yourself like this, you begin to understand your own life better. Understand that what is original is your experience and how you internalize it. What is the origin of positivity in your life and what do you need to do for it?