I've always been obsessed with being an original. That obsession often leaves one too far on the fringes. We can only deviate from the norm so far before we're out of touch. Originality is great. Originality is rewarded. What I've found in my pursuit of it is that, like many things, the more you chase it the further from it you tend to get. I've come to find the most direct path towards originality is to take another path altogether. 

Authenticity. Forget the pursuit of originality altogether and embrace what's true to yourself. This may be the ultimate shortcut to originality. Even the world's biggest conformist is a one-off. None of us are the same, even those of us that try to hide their uniqueness in exchange for a warm spot around the campfire in society's comfort zone. If you explore what is authentic to you and express it vulnerably, you automatically set yourself apart and do so naturally.