“Don’t let anything poison your individuality.”

If you don’t know who Rodney Mullen is find out. I challenge you to not be inspired. Dude is insane.

He’s from a different era of childhood and had the opportunity to pioneer a very unique sport. The cool thing was that he was perfectly set up to fail, but because he had the exact right mindset, with all the right limitations at all the right times, he blew past his predicted failure and made freestyle skateboarding what it is today. I’d love for every one of us to have even close to the influence on our passions as he had on his.

Big picture though. Think of the thing you care about the most. A hobby, a toy, an experience, a place, a person, anything. Most of us are passionate about doing something (so hobby) because it innately gives us the opportunity to be artistic and original, but the analogy can work for almost anything, bare with me. Consider taking the thing you chose and think of it in its most plain, vanilla form that you most likely discovered it in. Now add flavor. Anything. Whatever your personal flare is, throw that on top and see what comes out. More likely than not you like it better that way.

It sure seems that we prefer that thing with individuality in the mix. Why do something exactly the same as somebody else. Think of Michael Jordan and basketball, Michael Jackson with music, Picasso with art, Mullen with skating, Kendrick Ferris with weightlifting. I chose mostly sports, but the principle is the same across the board. There were guidelines, rules, and parameters to their passion. Most of those things have to stay intact, but they are just that, guidelines. Those individuals all fell in love with something and then decided it was better for them, they had more fun with it, etc. if they put the twist of individuality on it. And it is measurably better for them.

Without blabbering on, think of the base. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing something the same, but there is also nothing wrong with being a pioneer and an individual in any sense of the word. Do it different. Give it a shot. You never know, you could be the next Mullen.

“Don’t let anything poison your individuality.” — Rodney Mullen

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