Where Ideas Come From

  • Other people: We steal like artists and then we recreate giving attribution to the source.
  • A note: We write down what we want to remember right now, not tomorrow.
  • Disconnecting: Ideas emerge when our brains step away from our work and just relax. That’s why we get great ideas in the shower, when we listen to music or meditate, and while we exercise and drive to work. We need to turn off the brain to reactive it.
  • Research: First we collect, then we deduce and decide. The start of any major project is always the scariest because of surfeit resources, different opinions, and multiple possibilities. But mere action simplifies complexity, and the end becomes clear. As Nelson Mandela once said, “it always seems impossible until it’s done.”

Ideas come from everywhere, everything, and every little experience.

Ideas are the food for our senses. But ideas are always elastic, meant to be retested, rejiggered, and improved.

Life is an idea, for instance, as is the notion of democracy, and they too ultimately fail and restrengthen.

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By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger who writes about Life & Arts. He's also the author of and four books.