June 21, 2018

“Instructions Received”: What’s Your Unlikely Source for Inspiration?

Every now and then I am asked to do an interview by one entity or another. Recently, I had the pleasure of answering a few questions from the folks at SparkChamber. Among them:

  1. Where do your best ideas come from?
  2. What is the itch you are scratching?
  3. Early bird or night owl, tortoise or hare?
  4. How do you know when you are done?

Should you be interested in my answers in their entirety, you can find the interview, here.

For the purposes of this blog post however here is my answer to question 1, “Where do your best ideas come from?”

“Usually they arrive during my daily walk to the Post Office… I think best when I’m in motion. On good days I feel like they are ‘instructions received’ from someone far more clever than I.”

Now I don’t know how many of you have had a similar experience (or would like one) but should you want one to solve a problem, puzzle out the answer to a question, or generally step aside mentally so you can get some clarity, I recommend putting on your walking shoes.

Why? Because, as I mentioned in “How to Wow” the phrase “Solvitur Ambulando” — “It is solved by walking,” has always resonated with me.

And while the exact interpretation of the phrase refers to a problem that is solved by a practical experiment, I find getting up and on my feet is the fastest way for me to get clarity—and find inspiration.

With this in mind, then, the top of this post includes two pictures from my daily walk to my Post Office. And while it is not always as bucolic as it was today, it is always calming, energizing, and inspirational to my mental processes.

I look forward to hearing about your inspirational perambulations.

For additional information on problem-solving techniques, check out: “How Can We? Vs. Can We?: An Invitation to Collaboration.”

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