Originality by Ralph Waldo Emerson
At some point everyone realizes that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that like it or not, we are who we are; that despite the infinite abundance in the universe, nothing good can come to us except by working that little plot of land that we are given to farm.
Each of us is a brand-new power in nature.
No one else knows what we can do.
We ourselves don't even know until we've tried.
It's not for nothing that a face, a personality, a fact will strike a note with you but make no impression at all on me. Your mind is sculpted that way for a purpose. Your eye was placed in the path of a particular ray of light so that it could testify about that ray.
But what do we do? We don't halfway express ourselves before we become ashamed of that divine idea each of us represents. There's no reason to distrust that idea. It grew out of goodness and harmony, given to us in good faith. But God won't have his work done by cowards.
We turn out happy and refreshed when we put our heart into our work and do our best. Anything else gives us no peace; it's a shortcut that short-circuits. And when we try the shortcut we lose our inspiration, our muse, our creativity, our hope.