About two hundred thousand years ago, before humans as we know them today arrived, there was a certain species of primates that was different from all the others. They were weaker of body, and smaller than the rest of their race. By all reason, this species should have died out very soon, for they were the runts of the time, unable to fend for themselves and compete with the bigger, stronger animals for food. But they didn’t. Because they were smart and desperate to survive.
This is the legacy of humans. Since the very beginning, innovation has been in our genes. From learning to use rocks to break open nuts, to running simulations of the creation of the universe, humanity has made continuous and massive progress in an incredibly short duration of time. Two hundred thousand years is nothing compared to the 3.8 Billion years that life has been around, and the 4.5 Billion years that the Earth has been around. In that time, we have learned not only to use the materials that nature gives us, but to manipulate them and meld them to suit our every need.
So what makes us special? What differentiates us from any other species? The answer is deceptively simple. It is an innate curiosity that we are born with. A curiosity about the world around us, the world beneath us and the world within us. Humans are capable of asking questions about the very existence of nature. Things that other animals take for granted, such as the trees and the soil beneath our feet. That active human curiosity leaves nothing out, never stopping, always looking for the next mystery, the next question to ask. And when this curiosity is combined with the burning desire to create, innovate, invent, the results are unbelievable.
Scoffing at me for my fanciful notions? Let me tell you, I’m not referring only to those greats like Newton and Da Vinci that gave the world so much, I’m referring to each and every one of us when I say that creativity is our strongest suit. You, me, we were all born to create, it’s in our nature. But somewhere along the way, we seem to have lost track. It’s easier to let other people tell you what to do, what to think. “I’m not really that creative”. So many people have turned from incredible, original people into robots ruled by social media and television. Everyone is telling us what to think, what is right and what is wrong, what is cool and what is lame. Break out of it, for it is a vicious cycle of being told what to do because we can’t think for ourselves and being unable to think for ourselves because we’re always told what to do.
Don’t fall into that trap of mechanism and conformity, don’t let yourself be controlled by society. Get out there and establish your identity by doing something that you’ve always wanted to do and letting out those emotions that are always shunned by society. Get out there and create your own reality, create your own trends and be ‘that guy’ that you hear about on the internet. Get out of your comfort zone and try, and fail, and try again, for this is our legacy.
If history has taught us one thing, it would be that even the best of us fail a hundred, or even a thousand times before getting that one success. The great achievements of our ancestors were not attained overnight, but they were attained through continuous progress. The desire to create, grow, learn, that is what defines us, makes us humans. Don’t be a robot, let these desires drive you, let them inspire you and carry you forward. And you will find that you are as much of an innovator, inventor, creator and pioneer as the greats of the history books.
– Adarsh Salagame