Trust and ideas

Ideas love collaboration.
Ideas hate conference rooms, especially ones with a history of criticism and boredom.
Ideas occur when dissimilar universes collide.
Ideas are born from a meeting of like minds.


How does one make sense of something as elusive as creativity, let alone summon it, control it and apply it?

Birthing and developing idea — bad, so-so or brilliant — represents a series of paradoxes and conflicting personal truths. Mindfulness and daydreaming . . . seriousness and play . . . boldness and sensitivity . . . solitude and collaboration. What are we to make of these contradictions?


Ideas are reactions.
Ideas are challenges, or warnings. A shot across the bow.
Ideas fear experts.
Ideas come from trying new things.
Ideas don’t reveal themselves as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ up front.
Ideas don’t come from watching television.
Ideas are easy to come by.
Bad ideas can’t be worked into good ideas.
Ideas often come while reading a book. Or exercising. Or gardening.
Ideas spring from conversation.
Solitude generates and incubates ideas.
Ideas aren’t easy to build into something lasting and permanent, which is why they’re so easily disrespected.
Ideas don’t come from an organized place, they grow out of the muck.
Ideas come from part of the mind we can’t access, so we can’t really take credit for them.
Ideas are always based on something, somewhere, so no piece of knowledge or trivia is useless.
Ideas are connections between disparate things.
Good ideas come from bad ideas, but only if there are enough of them.
Ideas sneak in when we’re asleep and too numb to be afraid.
Ideas come in clusters, until we get frightened.
Ideas come from fear. And confidence.
Ideas come from trouble.
Ideas come from nature.
Ideas come from being alert enough to actually notice.
Ideas come from immersion and total concentration.
Ideas come out of the corner of the eye, or in the shower, when we’re not trying.
Mediocre ideas enjoy copying what happens to be working right now.
Big ideas leapfrog the mediocre ones.
Ideas strive to meet expectations. If they’re expected to appear, they do.
Ideas defy expectations. They cannot be forced.

Ideas are about trust.


Trust. As critical as the ability to generate ideas is the ability to trust those ideas, and to trust ourselves to realize them.

This trust lies at least in part in knowing we have the skills to bring forth a finished product from that initial idea. But skill is only half of it. There are plenty of skilled but not particularly creative people in every field. What differentiates the creative from the not-so-creative is the willingness to take risks with ideas, to push both the idea and the self beyond the safe and comfortable.