Chapter 4From Spark to Flame

I don't believe that ideas hit you like a lightning bolt, pouring out of you fully formed like some sort of mystical vision or 3‐D printer. Even when it seems like it does, the reality is that your subconscious has been influenced every step of the way since you popped into this f'd up world.

Whatever you are thinking or creating at that moment has been molded and shaped by millions of different stimuli, seen and unseen. What that means is that creativity is inherent in all of us, even if you work in insurance. Since nothing comes out fully formed; the trick is not to capture this blazing vision in its entirety but rather to identify the spark.

The spark. The lightbulb. The aha moment. The quickening. The fingersnap, the head slap, the “By George, I think I've got it” moment. This is what we are looking for. This is what our mental radar is constantly sweeping back and forth in search of, trying to identify those blips of inspiration splayed across our neural pathways, and somehow bring them to life as something concrete.

Identifying those moments when we can say to ourselves, “You know what, that is not a half‐bad idea” is the starting point for making shit up. And really it can be the easiest and most fun part of the whole shebang. Completed and executed ideas? Scary and hard. Short bursts of inspiration with no real outcome? Easy and fun!

So in my perpetual quest to make my life as easy and as fun as I possibly can, I spend a large part of my ...

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