There’s a blogger that I follow who often refers to something that a particular (very famous) musician did or said, or uses them as an example. The musician is clearly an inspiration (and perhaps an idol) for the blogger, and influences their thinking.
It can be quite jarring to me, because I never think about this musician; I never listen to their music. I never read their tweets. I never watch their videos. There’s no malice or anything, they’re just not a part of my life!
At first, I’d often find these references or examples to be unusual or strange, and I’d struggle to understand the significance of why they chose that person to reference. The blogger often refers to the musician in ways that are completely unrelated to music, which can throw me.
But then I realised; he blogger sees the world through a lens influenced by that musician; I don’t.
There are a myriad of different things that influence my thinking but that don’t influence yours; some you haven’t even heard of, others that you’re simply not interested in.
The interesting thing is how our influences change over time. Since I visited Asia, I often find myself relating new input (including films, books, and articles) and perhaps even new experiences to things that I have seen. It wasn’t possible for me to do that before I had travelled.
I think that this is one of the main benefits to learning - other than learning a new skill, anyway. Some ‘social’ topics like History, Religions, or Cultures have a low perceived value (and there might even be a stigma to learning them!), but I argue that the non-skill topics provide a peripheral value that sculpts the unique tapestry of your thought patterns. This serves to turn you into a more unique individual in the long term, with unique ideas that grow out of your unique experiences.
In the era of homogeneous brands dominating the world, we need your original expression now more than anything.