I must apologise if this post sounds like I'm scolding. I really want to see people do better.
I do not limit plagiarism to only academic work; it’s the ideas you take from other people and refuse to make them unique to you or your circumstances. It’s the content you see on social media, and you feel it’s okay to copy it and make it yours or pass it off as yours. It’s the designs that are unique to a particular designer that you feel you must copy. What happened to recreating with a twist? It’s the snitching on your competitors and pretending that their ideas are yours. It’s all these things. There is an enormous difference between being inspired and copying. They are two different things that must not be confused.
Intellectual work is deep work. We live in a world where the noise is deafening, and there is no more originality. People fail to connect with their core. I did a webinar some weeks ago on how to get ideas to fuel writing and content creation, and it was interesting when I shared with people how I generate ideas. Ideas are all around us, but we must connect with our inner selves to find and use them.
I firmly believe that it’s a scarcity mindset that makes people sit and think they can take other peoples’ work. Where is your abundance mindset? Why are we so rich, but yet so poor? Why have we been blessed so uniquely, but we cannot appreciate the uniqueness of what we have? Why do you have a rich voice but decide to cower to sound like the other person?
Plagiarism, just like poverty, is a state of mind, limiting yourself to thinking that you cannot create, write or develop content without taking other people’s work. You indirectly state that you cannot create when you plagiarise. Who wants to work with a non-creator? Who wants to work with someone who doesn’t understand their zones of genius? Who wants to work with someone that indirectly and directly says I have no ability to think for myself? I certainly won’t want that.
Before we look at ways to stop people from plagiarising, people must be cured of the need to plagiarise and receive the mindset of abundance even when they write. You must rework how you think and reworking the way you think includes refusing to be intellectually lazy.
Stop thinking everyone out there has said everything that there is to say. You have something to say or create and in fact you are sitting on a goldmine. Stop jumping on Instagram to see what other people have created before you create yours. This is such a trigger for intellectual theft.
There is a better way to think; there is a way to engage your thought process, and plagiarism is certainly not the way. If we all sounded and looked alike, how would we communicate our messages so uniquely and powerfully to the people who need to hear them? If the previous generation copied themselves, where would the diversity of our thoughts and knowledge come from? You have a zone of genius, and each time you take other people’s work; you alienate that zone of genius.
I’d conclude with this, Anytime you take another person’s work and pass it off as yours, you deny yourself the unique opportunity of being creative and your ability to grow.
Look out for my next blog post. This year, refuse to take other people's work. After all, the 7th of the 10 commandments in the Bible categorically states that we should not steal. Plagiarism in any of its forms is stealing. I say to you today, please do not do this. If you used to, now is the time to stop. A people await you to show up and show out and if you plagiarise, you miss out on reaching the people that you need to reach out to.
I’d love to know what your thoughts are on plagiarism.