• Mel Butcher

It's All Been Done Before


Mel Butcher | It's all been done before blog post

Once you consume enough content in your choice of media, you'll begin to notice repeats.


Not copies, exactly. Rather you'll see that people build off of one another. They'll turn the object a different way, describe this new angle's view. Or maybe they will expand on a concept that someone else laid a foundation for.


As I was listening to Adam Grant's TED talk on languishing (published in 2021), I heard him bring up the three conditions to extricate oneself from languishing:

  • Mastery

  • Mindfulness

  • Mattering

On watching the talk a second time, I realized that this was a new take on what Dan Pink talked about in Drive (book published in 2009), where he articulated the three elements that motivate us:

  • Mastery

  • Autonomy

  • Purpose

These are two exceptionally successful people. The fact that one may have built on the other doesn't diminish the other's impact. Rather, it helps spread the word. It helps bring new people to the conversation by reaching new audience. And it can help us all expand our understanding of ideas that matter.


And like Seth Godin said, "ideas that spread, win."


It's OK if you're idea isn't 100% original. Few people's ideas are.


Ideas are built on others, built on things people taught us, and inspired by those we follow.


If you're doing work that matters, share it. Share your ideas. There are likely people out there who have been waiting to hear from you.

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