Monday, March 11, 2013

Big Idea Monday- Pick Something

It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do a little. Do what you can.
-Sydney Smith

My neighbor is designing a new medical device to improve an unreliable product that he needs because of a pre-existing condition. Invention sites are full of stories of people turning annoyances into moneymakers. A secretary who hated starting over every time she typed a mistake invented liquid paper. A burr sticking into a man’s foot led to the invention of Velcro. You get the idea. If necessity is the mother of all inventions, irritations may be an aunt? Using this creative problem solving approach applies to more than devices. Is there something that is missing in your life? Is there something not working in a relationship? Looking at problems as opportunities to create something new and different allows you to design something better.“It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do a little. Do what you can.”
For this Big Idea Monday- My idea is to pick something. The idea behind my weekly idea quota was to spur my imagination and get the creative ideas flowing. Nine months later, the quota has evolved into an irritation. I have learned too many ideas are sometimes worse than having none at all. So I am treating this problem of getting distracted and overwhelmed as an opportunity. Going forward, Big Idea Monday posts will be dedicated to sharing creativity tools with no more new ideas from me. Instead, there will be a progress update on my original Big Idea posted July 26th.  The idea was to collect leftover produce from the fields and citrus trees after harvest and donate them to the needy. At the time, I didn’t know there was a word for what I wanted to do. It is called Gleaning and the practice dates back thousands of years. So yesterday, a friend and I gleaned for the first time at a local organic farm. Today, we delivered 55 pounds of tomatoes and broccoli to the St Pete Free Clinic. It is a humble beginning, but instead of feeling guilty for not pursuing all of my precious ideas, I feel a small sense of accomplishment.

Are you pursuing your big ideas at least in some small way?

For today's "Sky's the Limit" on what you can learn: The ice cream cone is my favorite example of an inventive solution to a problem. An ice cream vendor at the 1904 World's Fair in St Louis ran out of dishes. The vendor next to him was selling waffles. They rolled the waffles together to catch the melting ice cream and Voila!

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