Copyright 2016 Eric Landa
Copyright © 2015 Eric Landa. All rights reserved
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Table of Contents
Thank you for downloading this book, “Copy-Paste Generation”.
This book is full of interesting information about how society has transformed itself into a copy-paste culture and how we as a generation can now be considered a “copy-paste generation”.
Human beings copy things by nature, that’s just a fact of life. We start copying the behavior of those around us from the moment we are born. This is how we learn and understand things. And as we grow older, we quickly learn what is expected of us by society and by the culture we are part of. We believe this is the ‘common thing’ to do, to live within the norms of that we’ve been brought up with. And often we are frowned upon when we follow a different path from those who have come before us. And so, most of the time we sort of run on an automated script; we are born, go to school, find a job, get married, climb the corporate ladder, retire, play some golf and then, we die…
And while this may seem like the expected life cycle for all humans, it really isn’t. Somehow we’ve conditioned ourselves into living this way but in reality no one ever specified that this is just how things are supposed to be! So, where are the Isaac Newton’s, Archimedes’, Einstein’s and James Edison’s of our time? And have you noticed how we follow a template in almost every aspect of our lives nowadays? From the businesses we establish and the products we make, to the schools we attend and the drugs we take; there seems to be something similar in far too many things that exist today.
When we invented the wheel, everything else about movement basically stopped evolving. And you’ll now even hear the suggestion around you: “you do not need to reinvent the wheel!”. But, why not? Don’t you think this is a a kind of backward and limiting way of thinking? What if there was another, even better way of movement besides the wheel?
We’ve become comfortable by using other people’s ideas and inventions and now we often cannot even create anything unique on our own anymore.
But perhaps, all good and important things have been invented and discovered by now? Well maybe, but what about the internet then? Could anyone have guessed 30 years ago that all of us now have access to an enormous library, that we can access anytime, from anywhere, on a device that fits into our pockets? Certainly not!
And that’s what this book is all about! It will challenge the status quo and make you think of the endless possibilities in the world today, just waiting to be discovered.
This book is available at all major retailers and via
Thank you again for downloading this book, I hope you’ll enjoy it!
Areas affected by Copy-Paste
OK, let’s start by looking at things we cannot seem to be creative about enough and therefore follow the same old script in getting things done.
To show you just how widespread ‘copy-pasting’ is, I’ll highlight some of the areas that have been hard hit by copy-pasting.
The academics field is one of the hardest hit by ‘copy-pasting’. Many students plagiarize their assignments and have no reservations about doing it. And strangely enough this is allowed as long as you mention the source, anyway! Excuses range from: “I didn’t know it was illegal to do that” to “I didn’t have time to finish my assignment in time” and hence resorted to plagiarism. The definition of plagiarism is not exactly clear either; when someone gets their content from multiple sources but states clearly that he’s got the information from different places, it’s not considered plagiarism. But when he gets it from even a single source but fails to mention it, it is now suddenly considered plagiarism….
So the question that begs is; what difference does it really make? What difference does it make whether you cite the work or not; it is not your work anyway whether you cite it or not. And what’s the point of learning if you cannot think on your own without the influence from other people? If all it requires is to cite the source of where you copied your work, how does this help students? There is a saying that goes “You cannot expect different results by implementing the same old tactics or approaches”. And Albert Einstein said: “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, is considered the definition of insanity”. So, while reading books from others who have gone before you can increase your knowledge on a particular subject, the truth is that knowledge is dynamic; nothing is permanent. And using another person’s recommendations or arguments as the ‘gospel truth’ is not what will get you to the same level with the likes of Isaac Newton, Archimedes and James Edison. To get to that level, you’ll have to sort of ‘mentally step out’ and believe there are no rules, challenge the status quo and prove theories and laws on your own. It is only when you do this that you can become an authority in your field. But most of us simply cannot get to that level, especially in this age of technological advancements.
Nowadays many writers give readers the option to download their writing in PDF or other formats like Kindle, Epub or Ibooks. And most of the time, we don’t even have to sign into their websites to do so. Therefore, this is likely also what makes copy-pasting in academics so easy. Let me explain:
Instead of using sources for research, some individuals copy the work and present it as their own. All they need to do is to mention the source after applying minimal changes to the original content. The ‘clever ones’ copy certain parts of the text from several different sources, edit some parts and present it as their own after naming the sources!
Quite recently copy-pasting has taken a new twist in academics. Given that different academic pieces are not always in English, someone could easily search for relevant material in another language and after that, all they need to do is use translating services or software to translate them into the preferred language. And naturally take full credit for the translated work…!
While some lecturers may have a policy of checking documents for plagiarism with plagiarism detection tools such as TurnItIn, Grammarly, and Copyscape, their students have improved their copy-pasting skills as well. For instance, some opt to copy content (word for word) from older books (whose content may not be online yet) thus making it nearly impossible for lecturers to determine whether the content was copy-pasted, or not.
But what is most worrying about copy-pasting, especially in academic circles, is that citing and referencing your sources will ultimately give you a free pass to do so. I personally find the logic behind this quite bizarre.
At the end of the day, the simple truth is that copy-pasting won’t get you far in life. Even if you copy-paste other people’s ideas in academics, you’re still not creating anything new or original because you are limited by what you believe is right or wrong. You follow other people’s findings as the ‘gospel truth’ which as we all know, may very well be misleading or biased.
Gone are the days when big companies had monopoly of the business world. Nowadays, competition ensures that anyone with a business idea, a good product, and a great marketing strategy can penetrate the market. But unfortunately, many business owners no longer concentrate on doing their own research. They rather:
Many people who want to start a business search around for flourishing other businesses to see what kind to get into. For example, if they go to a certain area and notice it has many eateries, they’ll study the menu and copy the business model of those who have achieved success in that industry. In their minds, they reason that because someone else was successful with a certain service, they too will become successful if they follow the same model and tweak it a little to suit their needs. The same goes for the technology and engineering industry, they rather venture into ‘what works’ as opposed to venturing into different trades with their own unique products and ideas.
Each year, governments and companies lose billions of dollars to counterfeit goods. This is because counterfeiters copy-paste other people’s products and pass them off as the genuine product. Counterfeiting is linked to the ‘brand’ personality and its business model. When people want to buy a certain brand but without spending a lot of money, they are lured into buying these counterfeit goods, which are usually a lot cheaper than the original product.
We hear about Kaizen and other business processes for quality improvement. But have you ever considered that these may not be a perfect fit for all businesses? Implementing a certain process may even result in unnecessary struggles due to compatibility issues. And as you’ll understand, this means the business cannot achieve its full potential because it will operate based on what works for another company and not necessarily for itself.
We are a society that acts on news more than anything else in the world. When opinion leaders say that ‘people’ are now investing in a certain industry or area, millions of others will soon follow hoping to make a profit. But when any industry is saturated, it loses its attractiveness. But we rarely carry out our own research and just wait for what the ‘experts’ are saying. For instance, if working online is becoming ‘the thing’ for many people, you will see ‘ordinary’ people who have turned into overnight millionaires encouraging others to jump ship and ‘follow the dream’. And naturally these people are selling a program that will help you transition into that dream as well, how convenient… And while this may work for some people, it surely doesn’t work for everyone else.
But, copy and pasting does not stop at academics, business or innovation. It also affects the very way people live. People copy what they see others doing. They copy their style and way of life. We believe that when others are more ‘successful’ in certain areas of life their model of doing things must be better than ours. What we forget is that these people are not the benchmark for success. They’ve tried something that has worked out well for them but you cannot be sure it will work for you. Nonetheless, we still copy other people’s style even when we know that doing so is probably not good for us. We copy other people due to:
Our wish for status
Status is a word many individuals want to claim for themselves for a position in society. Society glamorizes the rich and shuns the poor. And an obvious way to show that you belong to a certain class is by living a certain lifestyle. Your lifestyle influences what you do, how you talk, where you eat, which house you live in, the things you buy, where you shop and so much more. And since we don’t want to appear out of place depending on the social image we’ve created for ourselves, behaving the same as members of a certain lifestyle becomes important. That’s why we’re willing to copy-paste those people within our social or financial status; to fit in.
Nowadays, many teens who are just starting their adult life want to gain everything as soon as they live on their own. They want to have the things that their parents had as well as everything their parents never managed to have; as soon as possible. And they want to own them in one go because ‘everyone else’ is doing it. I recently talked to a young boy who wanted his mother to buy him something that most of his classmates also had. From his explanation, he didn’t want to keep waiting for it and needed his mother to buy it for him right away so he could go and show it off to his friends. He didn’t think for a moment that this was unusual behavior.
Advertisements & consumerism
What we see on TV or hear on the radio has a profound effect on how we define success and happiness. If the people we see on TV are successful in our eyes, we’ll associate them with success. Most advertisements are designed to fuel our desire to want something; it’s what keeps the different product manufacturers in business, anyway! These companies have figured out what makes humans tick and capitalize on their understanding of human psychology to create advertisements that drive sales. But we often forget that advertisements are scripted and don’t give a holistic and realistic view of people’s lives. You may see them smiling and being happy having acquired this and that but the truth is that each one of us has something we feel inadequate about. None of us have everything we want. Even most governments don’t have access to all the money in the world, that’s why they borrow money!
Media is a tool used to hammer in us that our lives are not yet good enough until we get that which they define as good enough. Interestingly, just after we’ve acquired what the media explains as good, it changes goalposts; you’ll start hearing that this and that is even better, which makes us feel inadequate. If you are the copy-paste kind, you feel you must get what society defines as good. Unfortunately, it’s about chasing something you really can never keep up with. If you’ll keep chasing what the media defines as cool, for sure you’ll have a hard time keeping up and will only live other people’s lives as opposed to living your own.
Have you ever wondered why so many movies, songs, games and other forms of entertainment seem so ‘familiar’? They appear to follow a certain ‘script’. The script of ‘nothing much new and original in the entertainment industry’. And so the question you may ask yourself is: “why is that?” Well, people have sort of become ‘lazy’. We wish to recreate other people’s ideas and pass them to the consumer for the sole purpose of making money; as opposed to creating a completely new concept in entertainment that gives the viewer, reader, player or listener an experience like no other. OK, you could defend this by saying that there are different genres; but does ‘having a genre’ really mean that the plot or concept should be identical all the time? No! There still ought to be a significant degree of creativity that makes music, games, movies, novels and other forms of entertainment ‘unique’, right? But while some creators may defend their move to duplicate concepts by saying that people are really not that concerned about innovation; and rather have the same thing with a few improvements here and there marketed as something different; the truth is that this is in fact only a way to defend their own ‘laziness’. All they possibly want is to cut on production costs and fasten the speed of producing ‘new’ versions of old products. They’ve found a successful product and simply wish to continue from there, by not ‘reinventing the wheel’ through developing new concepts. They rather modify their ‘wheel’ here and there and package it as new groundbreaking technology even though the concept is still the same.
From what we understand from the popularity of copy-pasting in different aspects of human life, one thing is clear; the source of the information is the direction the masses follow. This means that the person controlling or publishing the information has immense power and acts almost like a ‘God’. A ‘God’ that seems to know what is best for the rest of us and distributes information to us in a manner that mostly benefits himself in one way or the other. Unfortunately, many of us simply follow without thinking what we really want for ourselves, as opposed to what the recommendations are.
Just think about it; when you hear a real estate investment company giving statistics about real estate investment, don’t you think that this study will be ‘just a little bit biased’ in their favor? Well, there is a saying: “Follow who pays the bill when you read about research”. Simply put, those who fund various studies have vested interests and want to twist the reader’s minds into believing something specific, which in most cases favors them in one way or the other. And as they influence the masses into believing something is the ‘gospel truth’ even when it isn’t, this can have various negative effects.
Now, let me bring the point home by reviewing politics and how the distribution of news makes or breaks candidates and the way voters make their voting decisions. When the media seems to favor certain candidates, the masses also change greatly to favor that candidate. And the same applies to every other aspect of human life. The majority of us really have a herd and zombie-like mentality to follow things just because we’ve been told so. So, when you hear opinion polls are in favor of a candidate, you may shift your allegiance to a certain party or candidate if you are not too rigid with your voting. And when you see a certain candidate’s political rallies are drawing in many people, you’re likely to believe that this candidate is popular. In simple terms, we consume the information we receive and get drunk on it without even thinking about it. And this, of course, has its downsides.
The downsides of Copy-Pasting
Copying and pasting various aspects of your life may seem like an easier option but it does have its consequences:
1. Hinders academic integrity
One of the biggest disadvantages of copy-paste is that it hinders academic integrity. Individuals go to school to not only gain knowledge but also to develop critical thinking such that they are able to question theories and come up with solutions to problems. This means that a student who is guilty of copy-pasting ideas suppresses his or her academic curiosity and adds little to the academic community. And with that mindset, your chances of becoming the next Einstein, James Edison, or Isaac Newton are really very slim!
Copy-pasting (when it is considered plagiarism) can also lead to other dire consequences. Once someone is caught, he or she is often stripped off his ‘accomplishments’ and expelled from the learning institution. This is often a two-way punishment as it punishes the offender and serves as a warning to those who wish to go the same route. And the consequences will follow you wherever you go due to the practice nowadays of screening individuals for jobs. Future employees will do background checks on those they want to hire. In recent years, those who seek public office have been humiliated when people discover that they committed academic dishonesty. In simple terms, something you did when you were young can cost you down the line.
2. Loss of dignity
Dignity is intrinsic. It comes from deep within you; it’s what that lets you know that you are good enough and that you matter as a human being. Humans are born with brains for a reason. Our thinking capacity is what sets us apart and should never be taken for granted. This is why the copy-paste mindset is harmful. It stops us, humans, from exercising our thinking ability. It stops people from thinking that their way of doing things is good enough or that they can come up with even better solutions and reasons beyond what is cited.
Copy-pasting robs you off your dignity simply because it elevates other people and lessens your self-importance. When you start viewing other people’s work as the final word, you lose the opportunity to explore what you can do. You stop trying to figure out how others did things and copy what they did instead. In your mind, others become the standard that you cannot reach. And in this way, you lose your dignity!
3. It kills creativity
We’ve heard it time and time again; you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. But what if you don’t have to make a wheel at all! Because you could decide to make something completely different. But just because we’ve been convinced that some things are impossible, we settled for that as the ‘gospel truth’. You need to change that if you want to grow and become whatever you want to be. If you stop living your life and create things as if there is a template that you need to follow, with a few modifications, you are seriously limiting yourself as far as your growth and development are concerned.
4. Loss of self-identity
Copy-paste can lead to an identity crisis. This is because when you are too busy emulating someone else, you don’t have time to develop your own identity. Let me further explain this. Copy-pasting affects your:
Appearance ranks high in the list of personal identity. The way you appear says a lot about you. However, it is for this same reason that individuals copy and paste the way others look and even their style of dressing. People often judge individuals based on their style of dressing because they too are judged by the way they dress. Unfortunately, all this eventually leads to is a group of humans copying what they deem acceptable instead of trying to find their own style. Social media is one of the biggest drivers of this problem; when people post perfectly choreographed pictures and comments of what they want the world to see, on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, this clearly puts pressure on the masses to adapt the ‘script’ of what is a good life.
Another aspect of self-identity is personality. However, due to copy-pasting, many individuals now appear to have multiple personalities. They present themselves in one way to a group of people and in another way to another group of people. And it is not uncommon at all to hear of individuals getting into trouble, only for their family and friends to swear that “They could never be involved in something like that”. However, when they find out more and the truth comes out, they’ll try to come up with all kind of theories of what could have possibly pushed that person to do that. Often, later they discover that the bitter truth is that he or she had actually been living double lives. And so you may ask; why is that?
Well, many people have learned to adapt to their environment instead of developing their own personality. They change like a chameleon to fit in wherever they are. And this also goes as far as religion, whereby some people live by a different code of conduct throughout the week only to become ‘good Christians’ on Sunday or during the Christmas mass.
It is true that human beings are creatures of society. Their well-being depends on the affiliations they make throughout their lives. Relationships with parents, siblings, relatives, friends, colleagues and the society at large affect the way we see ourselves and live our lives. Unfortunately, some people fear isolation so much that they are willing to compromise themselves to ensure not to be left out of a group.
Groups have existed for centuries. Some people are attracted to others especially when they share the same background and culture. However, once they join a group, they’ll conform to the ideals of that group. In fact, group thinking (the herd, flock or mob kind of mentality) is an issue that comes up whenever a group of people will do something inappropriate. The influence of peers can be very strong and it can lead one to do things they never expected they could do. When you are in a group, your comfort level rises and it is all too easy to copy the behavior you see around you.
The same goes for religious affiliations. Many individuals are born into religion. They adapt certain teachings simply because their parents are of that religion. Few people actually take
the time to sit down and really understand these teachings. This is why many people who profess to be of a certain religion rarely conform to the ideals of such religions. They’re basically lip syncing! But they will faithfully attend religious functions and participate in religious holidays. For example, many countries with very few Christian citizens have no qualms about celebrating Christmas. They are caught up in the holidays simply because Christmas is something that many people have embraced.
Self-respect is something every individual should possess. When you respect yourself, you will carry yourself with dignity and integrity. Your character and conduct are things you should value highly. And as such, you’ll want to work to develop them instead of blindly copying other people.
While there are various disadvantages of copy-pasting, the truth is that even with these disadvantages, there are still lots of people who are drawn to copy-pasting life! But for what reasons…?!
Why a Copy-Paste generation exists
There are various reasons why people copy-paste instead of trying to figure out how things work by themselves. Some of these reasons are:
1. The issue of authority
The world glamorizes charming, well-spoken people. Such people are seen to have ‘authority’ and what they say is often considered fact, simply because they said it. Great writers who can weave words into a great article are highly valued. Unfortunately, some people become overwhelmed when they read the work of such writers. Instead of coming up with their own writing, they proceed to copy-paste the writings as they reason that these writers said it best. At best, they may copy some parts and then cite the source which is academically accepted.
2. Celebrity culture
One thing that has a big effect on people is the way they view celebrities. Athletes, musicians, actors, reality TV stars and social media personalities all have a huge following. And the internet enables individuals to follow every move they make. However, their curiosity does not stop at that. They go ahead to copy what celebrities are doing, what they are wearing and even what they are drinking or eating (think of the different celebrity fad diets out there). Additionally, many celebrities are used frequently to market products due to their large cult-like following.
Unfortunately, the celebrity culture also affects ‘ordinary’ people who want to get noticed by posting photos or videos. Many people go to the extent of using photo-editing software so that they can ‘show’ people how well they are living and where they have traveled. Most of their posts are just make belief and have nothing to do with their actual daily reality. The celebrity culture robs people of their time as this is the time they should use to build meaningful relationships with the real people around them.
3. Instant gratification
The copy-paste culture is largely invested in instant gratification. They want things right now! And the thought of working hard for something often seems like a foreign concept to them. Nowadays, many teens who are starting out their adult life want to acquire everything which took their parents years to acquire; and more. Banks and lending institutions have made it even easier for people to purchase all these things on credit. Every day, millions of people go into debt because they spend what they don’t have. The buy first-pay later principle has made some people reckless. Instead of weighing the things they want and figuring out their priorities, they can get everything now and pay later. That is a temptation many people have surrendered from. It is clear that the credit industry fully supports the copy-paste generation.
4. Lack of critical thinking
Another reason why the copy-paste generation exists can be attributed to a lack of critical thinking. Critical thinking is crucial to anyone who wants to question why things happen. If you lack critical thinking, you will just accept things the way they are. This means that you will be vulnerable to the influence of other people. In life, there are people who are charismatic and knowledgeable. And it is easier to follow what they say instead of trying to question them especially if you don’t know much about the subject. If you do not have critical thinking skills, you’ll find it very difficult to separate fact from fiction. You will not know what to look out for in order to make informed decisions. This is why many people find themselves making decisions based on what their family and friends tell them. It is natural that you want to try out something because a friend recommended it. However, some people make life-changing decisions based on what they hear instead of gathering the evidence, analyzing it and looking at it objectively.
5. Lack of knowledge and skills
When you’re unsure of what you are doing, it is easier to look at other people to show you the way. There is a good reason why DIY (do-it-yourself) books, blogs and videos do so well. People lack the skills to do certain things but they’re really keen to save money by following detailed instructions from others so they can achieve success. In essence, the very name ‘do-it-yourself’ suggests that an individual is ultimately responsible for the product. In truth, however, the individual is following someone else’s instructions without which he will be unable to come up with the product intended.
6. Fear of failure
Fear of failure can cripple you if you let it. It can prevent you from doing things your own way and from taking chances. If you fear failure and you know of someone else who achieved success in the very area you are struggling with, you’d do well to study the methods of that person. However, some people take it a step further and copy everything the individual did in an effort to achieve success. Unfortunately, the reality is that it is difficult to replicate exact circumstances and in many cases, what worked for one person will not work for everyone.
No one wants to look bad and especially not when we’re in front of our peers or subordinates. Your ego can prevent you from seeking answers or asking questions. Some people would rather get lost than ask for directions. When they don’t know something or when they fear they’ll lose face, they resort to copying or downright stealing other people’s ideas. They rather risk being caught than appear to be weak.
Yes, let’s not beat around the bush here, we should not forget and underestimate that there simply are many lazy people in the world today. And by copy-pasting ideas, products or entire life styles these people execute a way of time management. By taking shortcuts they safe themselves valuable time that could be spend on other things. Like waking up late in the morning, or surfing the internet all day, or researching how to Copy-Paste even more….! However, at the end of the day these activities are less gratifying for an individual then taking the time to develop ‘a thing’ from nothing into something.
So yes, there are many reasons why a copy-paste generation exists. This, however, does not mean that you should just follow and copy other people blindly. You should dig deep into whatever it is you wish to dig into before making any decision. In simple terms, you can re-invent the wheel or make something completely different by thinking completely outside the box. But why should you do that? Well, let’s discuss that in the next chapter.
Why you need to re-invent the wheel
A lot has been said about the copy-paste generation and clearly, the disadvantages outweigh the temporary enjoyment that can be found from taking the easy way out by copy-pasting things and ideas from others. However, one of the biggest reasons people copy-paste is because the wheel has already been invented; they truly see no reason to re-invent the wheel.
But, the thing you need to understand is that re-inventing the wheel is really not about copying and pasting what is already there. It is about taking your time to discover what you would do when there was no wheel. ‘The wheel’ refers to thinking within certain limits, within the box. And inventing a completely different and fresh mechanism refers to thinking outside the box, without the wheel. The wheel, in this case, represents products and ideas that mankind has put forth into the world.
But really, why should we bother reinventing the wheel, anyway? Well, here are some reasons:
1. Remove redundancy
Redundancy is a waste of time and resources. If you have two things or two people who do exactly the same, then one is redundant. Imagine you are a manager in a company and you are charged with the responsibility of ensuring that your company succeeds. The first thing you will need to do is to know how the company works, right? However, if you are already in a system that does things in a certain way, you will find it easier to adapt to that system. But you could also decide to go a step further and study the system to figure out how things work. This way, you’ll be able to capture issues such as redundancy, streamline the system and ensure productivity. After studying the system, you may discover that it is not the best system anyhow and you can introduce improvements.
2. Make improvements
It’ll be hard to make improvements if all you do is copy and paste. Re-inventing the wheel calls for thorough studying to find out how things work. And when you study something, you’ll find its flaws and strengths. This way, you can make improvements where necessary. Think of innovations such as the phone. In past years, only a few people had access to the telephone but constant improvements led to the birth of the mobile phone and its many variations. Thus, ‘re-inventing the telephone’ has ensured that billions of people today have access to it!
3. Develop multi-purpose products
Think of all the products that started off by accomplishing a single task. Here the phone comes to mind again. In the past, phones were for calling or later for sending messages. However, as more and more competitors entered the telecom market, more and more features appeared in mobile phones. Nowadays, you can call, send messages, receive emails, listen to music, watch videos, take pictures and play games on your phone. Quite amazing right? And this clearly shows that re-inventing the wheel can sometimes make life easier and even reduce the need to purchase several other products.
4. Create durability
Once upon a time, the wheel was made of wood. However, over the years, various inventors came up with different materials that ended up making the wheel more durable. In this case, re-inventing the wheel was a good thing as it allowed people to figure out ways to make it stronger, lighter and more durable. Similarly, there are some great ideas and theories out there today that may only just need exploring. By taking the time to study them deeply, you can make these ideas better and maybe even create life changing products.
5. Make products environmentally friendly
The reality of climate change has made people more conscious of the effects they have on the environment. It is no longer about making the best product alone. It is now also about making the most environmentally friendly innovative products. Going green has been an aspect many companies have embraced. And all of this is simply possible due to the ‘re-invention of the wheel’ mindset. Without studying different and new ways of making products environmentally friendly, it simply wouldn’t have been possible to do so!
6. Childproof products
Apart from making products environmentally friendly, re-inventing the wheel also takes into account several safety measures. Over the years, products made from materials such as lead have been shown to wreak havoc on health. Manufacturers have to come up with new products that are much safer for the health of human beings and animals. They also have to find ways to make their products child proof. Nowadays it is not uncommon to have parental guidance features on TVs and PCs. Innovation and improving already existing products is what made this possible.
7. Learn its importance
You may have heard of the importance of learning about history to know where you are going. Re-inventing the wheel gives you the opportunity to learn how things are done. In truth, just the act of building something from scratch even if it is from detailed instructions makes you realize the work that goes into building things. For example, many cooks follow recipes. However, as they study the recipes and do the actual cooking, they make little adjustments to suit their taste buds. In their case, re-inventing the wheel gives them the experience as well as the wisdom to make esteemed changes.
Ok, with all of this in mind, you may be thinking by now “so, how than do I reinvent the wheel?” Well, that’s what we will discuss next.
How to re-invent the wheel?
Now that you know why you should re-invent the wheel, let’s go one step further and define to re-invent the wheel.
1. Change your perception
Perception impacts the way you see things and how you react to them. If you perceive that someone else is more important than you, you hand that person power over you. And instead of questioning what this person has to say, you’ll deem his word as final. All this equates to copy-pasting, which you really should change if you want to harvest all the benefits.
This is why it is important that you change your perception. Keep in mind that everything ever made can be questioned. For a long time, scientists believed that the earth was flat, the universe was static, and the sun revolved around the earth; but later other scientists proved these theories wrong. New scientists could only prove the previous theories wrong through testing and coming up with different theories to explain the same phenomenon. So, get out there and challenge ‘authoritative’ sources, change your perception, adopt a thought-provoking mindset and take current knowledge with a pinch of salt.
2. Leverage your talent
The one thing you need to leverage to re-invent the wheel is your talent. Every human being on the planet has something that he or she is good at! Really! So, let that something ‘work for you’ as you seek to delve deeper into things; figure out how they work and how you can make them better. Don’t be satisfied with only one writer or author. Instead, look into several and critique their work; and then make your own conclusions. Come up with your own theories or hypothesis and then see if it holds water by testing it. You may realize that the other person missed something that’s critically important. By doing this, your own work will always be of the highest quality.
3. Invest your time
Nothing comes easy. For scientists to develop some of the theories, laws and products that exist today, it took some of them decades to do that. Obviously, with a copy-paste attitude, it’s clear that you don’t want to spend decades researching about something, testing it and ensuring that it is free from loopholes.
But to re-invent the wheel, you’ll need to invest your time. Many students find themselves creating mediocre work simply because they wait for the last minute to do it. The so called and very present ‘last-minute.com’ approach. This means they’ll be under a lot of pressure to complete the work. Hence, some end up copying in an effort to turn in work that will still earn them good grades. Time management is crucial to anyone who wants to make his world better. You need to make a plan, do your research, figure out the tasks you’ll need to do and plan when you’ll do them. When you invest your time to learn about something, you develop greater appreciation for it. Investing your time also ensures that you make fewer mistakes and you’ll catch the little things that you would have missed if you were in a hurry.
4. Get experience
If you intend to re-invent the wheel, you’ll need to get some experience on how to do it. This means training yourself to question and criticize things. Instead of accepting what you are told is final, you’ll need to establish whether the speaker is basing his information on facts (and you’ll have to discover if these are indeed facts and not unconfirmed theories full off assumptions) or speculations. Ask for clarification and determine if the information sources are trustworthy. Question everything from advertisements to news items. This way, your mind will develop its natural curiosity and you’ll be able to spot things easily. And this’ll come handy when you are trying to find flaws and benefits in products and writings.
Don’t be afraid to experiment. Many individuals who end up developing great products have done so through experimentation. Experiments not only show you what works but more importantly, they show you what doesn’t! If you fear failure, you need to remind yourself that failing in one area does not mean you’re failing in life. It only means that what you’ve done does not work and you’ll need to do some revision, try another method and make some adjustments. Always endeavor to learn from mistakes instead of being weighed down by them. This way, you’ll stay eager to experiment.
In simple terms, think like Thomas Edison after failing to make a working lightbulb even after a thousand tries… Edison said: “At least I have found out by now a thousand different ways on how not to make the light bulb!”
6. Develop critical thinking
Critical thinking enables you to ask the tough questions. When you think critically about things and situations, you will not be fooled by status and won’t be ruled by emotions. Instead, you’ll look at facts and evidence and discover how to make better decisions and apply different solutions. One more aspect of critical thinking is that it allows you to look at various options. This way, your mind is constantly working to come up with the best. Instead of copying things, critical thinkers understand the subject and draw their own conclusions. In simple terms, critical thinking gives you the freedom to re-invent the wheel.
7. Take action
You cannot re-invent the wheel if you do not take action. And it all starts with preparation. For example, when you’re told to work on a certain project, the first step is obviously to ensure that you understand what this project is all about. This will require you to ask questions and read material on the subject. You might also need to interview experts, do research, find a mentor and maybe even give out questionnaires. All these actions are active, not passive. You cannot re-invent the wheel by sitting down and by doing nothing; you need to take action! The best way to go about it is to break down the bigger actions into smaller actions. And when you tackle one action at a time, you will be motivated to continue your venture.
It should be quite clear by now that a copy-paste generation really exists amongst us today. But, even so, there are also people in this world who are genuinely interested in learning new things and improving upon existing models. Some of them are thinking outside the box, by not letting existing products, services, theories, hypothesis and laws limit them. It really doesn’t take much time for us all to pause for a moment and think about the choices we can make. The more information we have, the better choices we can make. And this doesn’t mean that we should straight up copy-paste and believe what the ‘experts’ are saying today.
Yes, the wheel was invented a long time ago. But as we have seen, it has gone through several improvements and revisions to make it stronger, more durable and multi-purpose. All of that wouldn’t have been possible if someone hadn’t taken the time to study and improve it.
And therefore: “Never-ever shy away from re-inventing any odd wheels!”
Thank you again for downloading this book!
I hope this book was able to give you more insights and help you understand more about our current “Copy-Paste Generation”.
The next step is for you to decide whether you should adopt the copy-pasting mindset or start thinking outside, or even better …. without the box!
Finally, if you enjoyed this book, would you be kind enough to leave a review?
Thank you and all the best.
Eric Landa ()
Preview: ‘Why we start things but never finish them’
When a new idea springs to mind, do you become so thrilled and hit the ground running while working to bring your idea to life? You can see it clearly: “This is it, this is the next big thing!”
You relentlessly work on your new project with so much enthusiasm that you barely sleep. However, when time passes… something happens. A lack of accountability or support makes you lose momentum and eventually you lose interest altogether when you realize that achieving your grand vision takes a lot longer than you expected.
Have you experienced this before?
Next, you’ll formulate a better and ‘fresher idea’ that totally overhauls your entire dream. You convince yourself that the initial idea is no longer worth your valuable time, at least not at the moment… Because this new idea really will be ‘it’ this time, it is so much better than the first one.
You get so excited and can see it already; this will be awesome. And before you know it, a beautiful passionate creative force sweeps you off your feet until you want nothing other than to work on it day and night. The sweet feeling of getting things done is the drug that drives you.
If you are a creative entrepreneur, this honeymoon phase of ‘new idea – love affair’ is surely relatable. And I like this metaphor a lot because in essence, starting new projects is similar to falling in love.
It is explicitly stimulating and filled with a hazy feeling of newness, “this shiny new thing”. And we’ll get so excited that we’re totally obsessed and probably want to work on it 24/7.
In the early stages, this freshness and excitement totally blinds us to a point where we pay little attention to the obstacles and challenges we will soon face. But quick enough, reality strikes and we come back to planet earth. It is then where we realize we may have no reliable support or accountability to finish our project; or rather, we lose interest and start working on something new.
If shiny new ideas easily distract you and you constantly start new ideas primarily to move on to even newer and better ideas; especially when the going gets tough; chances are you’ve only ever made it through 50% of anything, before you ditched it for a bigger, better or cooler idea.
Well, if this describes you, you’re a victim of the “Shiny Object Syndrome” (SOS).
But do not worry, it is not fatal! However, SOS can cause you to constantly move in circles with a seeming busyness that never amounts to anything concrete. After all, it is not easy to finish what you started when you don’t notice when stagnation is happening.
You are not alone!
It may be comforting to know that you are not the only victim of this agonizing tendency. Many others, me included, have suffered from this before; therefore, I can totally relate to this. SOS was and is a recurring issue in my life!
When I was a child, I really loved drawing comic books. I even came up with my own characters and story lines. I felt engulfed in such a powerful creative, flowing energy that I just couldn’t keep up with it at times. I had one idea after another, each of them wonderful! And I wanted to do them all!
I drew so much that my parents even got frustrated of repeatedly having to buy me new notebooks and pencils. The thing is, I started a bunch of short stories, comic books, songs, and even a mini-video series, but never actually finished any of these.
I would get bored halfway and then have a new-better-shinier idea that captured me instead. And being adventurous, I would plunge into this new idea full force, as the old concept got the back seat as though it never even had existed. After all, this new idea was so much better.
Well, you can imagine what happened next.
Halfway through the final copy of my first booklet, Mystic Romance: The Trilogy, I got a new idea. The main character should not be a girl who falls for the knight in shining armor, instead, it should be a young woman who saves the world and finds her long-lost sister. I shelved the other almost complete idea and which much enthusiasm, embarked on the new idea. Guess what: I never completed that second manuscript.
I had dreams of publishing a comic book series and I was going to do it!
But it never happened. This trend continued for a significant part of my life; every time my mind birthed a new idea, I’d get excited and work tirelessly towards realizing that idea, but something always kept me from seeing my idea through to fruition and I forever ended up finishing none of them.
Here are some of the things I wanted to accomplish:
1. I dreamt of publishing a series of comic books, but finished just one booklet and never published it.
2. The photographic concepts I drew in my inspiration book 20 years ago are still sitting on the shelve waiting for completion.
3. The ‘Sailors dream’ novel I was going to write; well, I only wrote a single chapter.
If you can relate to this, do not despair, there is light at the end of the tunnel. You can learn to finish what you start instead of wasting time on things you’ll never finish.
Let me fast forward to today…
If you take a drive around any major city, you’ll immediately see a different world. Typically, in the classy neighborhoods, the lawns are perfect, well maintained, and you see nothing else but trees, plants and flowers.
However, when you go into what society considers as ‘cheaper neighborhoods’, you’ll see things like automobiles rusting in front yards and other things not so pleasant to the eye. You might wonder why these people never clean up this mess.
Being an observing person, I came to learn why they do not bother cleaning up that mess, given I have friends who also collect such vehicles behind their homes and on their front lawns.
They fail to clean up because they’re trying to repair those wrecked vehicles!
The story behind every truck or car in poor condition is not that it needs a new transmission to be ok, or it requires work on its engine. In most cases, you’ll find that the car was an unusual buy, on a shoestring budget, or already in its broken state at the time of purchasing. And most of these people believe that someday, they will fix the car, and fetch money for it.
The misconception here is that the unfinished car or truck is somehow giving its owner value. It makes the owner believe that the unfixed car is some untapped wealth or power they are yet to exploit.
Unfortunately, many of us have lives similar to this; we possess untapped power we are yet to take advantage of, and so we have a couple of unfinished things.
In fact, I know so many people who have immense potential and could be incredible lawyers, artists, athletes, businesspeople, and more, but like the yet to be fixed car, they’ll never achieve their full potential because they never finish what they start.
Entire populations of people are talented but live in total mediocrity because of never finishing what they started. If you would enter several homes (especially those with rusty cars on their lawn) you’ll discover even more unfinished and half done projects.
You may find a bathroom under renovation for years while the family showers in the other ‘not so good’ bathroom.
The only reason there are no collected cars in most city lawns is that the relevant authorities won’t allow it; however, if you enter most homes in the suburbs and cities, you’ll spot many unfinished projects.
Starting things but never finishing them is not a new trend, no, it is an age-old tendency that has kept countless people from being the best they can be. In one of his motivational talks, the late Myles Munroe said, “Don’t die old, die empty, that’s the goal of life. Go to the cemetery and disappoint the graveyard.”
And the late Steve Jobs used to say: “Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful, that’s what matters to me.”
Unfortunately, throughout history, many famous people have died without ever completing something that could’ve greatly influenced life as we know it. In fact, the world has many famous procrastinators who started something, but never saw it through.
As stated earlier, starting but never finishing is not a new trend. However, just because it is not a new trend does not make it okay. Starting something and never finishing because you moved on to something new is an undesirable habit that’ll keep you from ever achieving your goals and desires.
*Before we move on, it is important to understand why we start something only to leave it halfway done in favor of something else.
Society has transformed itself into a copy-paste culture and we as a generation are now considered a “copy-paste generation”. Where are the Isaac Newton’s, Archimedes’, Einstein’s and James Edison’s of our time? We follow a template in almost every aspect of our lives. From the businesses we establish and the products we make, to the schools we attend and the drugs we take; there seems to be something similar in far too many things that exist today. This book will challenge that status quo and make you think of the endless possibilities in the world today, waiting to be discovered...