WHAT COMES FIRST?
Thursday, March 25, 2021 - daily column #6708
Children ask where babies come from – and we struggle to explain a complex subject in simple terms.
So here’s a more grown-up question, where do ideas come from?
Do ideas come from within our minds?
Or triggered by outside influences?
Chicken or egg?
I’ve tried lying in bed, eyes shut in silent darkness – trying to generate an original idea; for me, it just doesn’t happen that way, but when I get moving, something happens. Inexplicably ideas flow.
First the idea, then action?
Egg, then chicken?
Or the other way around – so, which comes first?
These seem impossible to answer – word games unless we cannot find an answer when we need one.
The blank page doesn’t generate the idea, and before one can leap from mind to page, I need a trigger of some sort.
Sometimes the trigger is something I see or hear, or read. Still, it’s as easy as thinking about today’s stack of problems or reviewing yesterday’s notes – but just as quickly, that takes me down a rabbit hole of yesterdays’ things rather than exploring a new day of something fresh.
Yearning for something fresh to think about, something new to do, or some opportunity to explore, invigorates my journeyman mind with the zeal of an untrained eager apprentice.
Getting up helps.
Moving helps more.
Physical activity seems to spur mental activity – or maybe it’s not connected at all. I’ve often wondered what triggers the best bits I write, and I’m left with confusion too.
Interesting musing today Mark! I’ve often thought the same thing as you’ve stated, regarding the presentation of written work. It seems to me, that in this day and age, the art of writing is taking a decidedly back seat to the issuance of ideas and concepts. At my work, I am the best writer. I’m an engineer. I know, those two sentences should not mix, but somehow I bought the message fed to me by my high school English teachers: ‘written communication is critical to success’. For me, it has helped my career quite a bit (I believe) but for others, I see that not only do they not care, depending on who the audience is, it doesn’t seem to hinder them too much. I see this with successful engineers these days. Many of them struggle to put a coherent sentence on their time sheets, MK, Calgary, AB