Here’s Seth Godin on where ideas come from. For some reason I didn’t write down where I found them but I suspect it was from his book The Song of Significance. I’m not sure I entirely agree (e.g. re watching TV) but still worth posting.
Ideas rarely come from watching television. Ideas sometimes come from listening to a lecture. Ideas often come while reading a book. Good ideas come from bad ideas, but only if there are enough of them. Ideas hate conference rooms, particularly conference rooms where there is a history of criticism, personal attacks, or boredom. Ideas occur when dissimilar universes collide. Ideas often strive to meet expectations. If people expect them to appear, they do. Ideas fear experts, but they adore beginners’ minds. A little awareness is a good thing. Ideas come in spurts, until you get frightened. Willie Nelson wrote three of his biggest hits in one week. Ideas come from trouble. Ideas come from our ego, and they do their best when they’re generous and selfless. Ideas come from nature. Sometimes ideas come from fear but often they come from confidence. Useful ideas come from being awake and alert enough to actually notice. But sometimes ideas sneak in when we’re asleep and too numb to be afraid. 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 this minute. Bigger ideas leapfrog the mediocre ones. Ideas don’t need a passport, and often cross borders (of all kinds) with impunity. An idea must come from somewhere, because if it merely stays where it is and doesn’t join us here, it’s hidden. And hidden ideas don’t ship, have no influence, and make no intersection with the market. They die, alone.
The magic is that there is no magic. Start where you are. Don’t stop.