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- Collecting Seeds with Curiosity: Gathering new ideas and inspirations with an open and curious mindset.
- Watering the Seeds: Paying attention to ideas and understanding the importance of context in recognizing their potential.
- Overcoming Assumptions: Being open to all ideas and recognizing the potential in the most unlikely ones.
In our journey of personal growth and creativity, we often encounter various ideas and inspirations – seeds that have the potential to grow into something transformative.
But how do we cultivate these seeds into flourishing concepts that can change our lives and work?
The Seed Phase: Collection and Cultivation
In this phase, the traveler’s work is to collect seeds, plant them, water them with attention, and see if these ideas take root.
In the first phase of any creative process, we are to be completely open, collecting anything we find interesting. This seed phase is the starting point that, with love and care, can contribute to the growth of something beautiful.
A quote that resonates with this concept is from the book of ‘The Creative Act’ by Rick Rubin, likening it to catching a fish:
“We walk to the water, bait the hook, cast the line, and patiently wait. We cannot control the fish, only the presence of our line.”
This metaphor captures the essence of the creative process, emphasizing patience and the importance of simply being present and ready for when inspiration strikes.
Collecting and planting seeds typically doesn’t involve a lot of effort; sometimes, it just requires having an open mind, to take a path we haven’t traveled down before.
1. Collecting Seeds with Curiosity
- The first step is collect seeds that call to you – these represent new ideas or inspirations led by your own internal curiosity.
- For a business, it may be a problem you’ve identified, a mission you’re passionate about, or a hypothesis you want to test and validate. For a system, it may be a function, a feature, or a specific purpose. For a design, it may be the color, shape, function, and the willingness to see where our imagination takes us from there.
- Approach this with active awareness and boundless curiosity. The more seeds you gather, the richer your garden of possibilities becomes.
2. Watering the Seeds
- Not all seeds will take root, but those left unwatered definitely won’t. Give attention to your ideas, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem.
- Context is key. Among a hundred seeds, number 57 might stand out, but without the other 99 for comparison, its potential might be overlooked.
3. Overcoming Assumptions
- Avoid pre-judging which seeds won’t work. Sometimes, the most unlikely idea can lead to significant growth or a new creative direction.
- Embrace the potential for transformation. A seed can evolve into something entirely different from its original form, sometimes becoming your finest work.
Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.
The Experimentation Phase: Playing with Possibilities
1. Entering Experimentation
- Initiate Experimentation with Selected Seeds:
- Begin by experimenting with a chosen few ideas.
- This stage is about discovering which concepts will thrive and develop.
- Draw Inspiration from Unrelated Sources:
- Allow each seed to remind you of something, like a song.
- Engage with that song or source of inspiration to see how it influences the direction of your idea.
- Embrace a ‘Floating’ Approach:
- Be open and flexible, ready to be guided by the energy and inspiration around you.
- Imagine this process as floating above and beyond known boundaries, unfamiliar territory, floating above and choosing new paths to explore.
- Experiment Without Fixed Expectations:
- Understand there is no one ‘correct’ way to engage with your ideas.
- Try various combinations and directions, letting your strings of ideas lead the way.
2. Creating a Fertile Environment
- Foster an environment where you feel free to express your fears or doubts.
- It’s always helpful to start with an intention and be open to be where that might lead you.
Recognizing Flourishing Ideas
1. Emotional Signposts
- Emotions are often the best indicators of a flourishing idea. Look for feelings of excitement, delight, and a sense of leaning forward into the idea.
- Follow the energy. If something stirs a sense of eagerness and energy in you, it’s worth pursuing.
2. Hope as a Catalyst
- Consider hope and action as intertwined. Act as if all will be well, and let this mindset guide your experiments.
- Remember, our actions can change our thinking. Engaging positively with our ideas can shift our mindset and open new possibilities.
An Invitation to a New Beginning
- Ask yourself: What small seed have I planted? What is being asked of me? What have I always known but forgotten?
We encourage you to share your experiences.
What seeds have you planted in your life? How have they grown and changed your perspective? Your journey is unique, and every step, every seed, is a valuable part of that journey.
Share with us in the comments below.
Self-Inquiries to Cultivate Self-Trust
Useful Self Inquiries and Actionable Practices for the End:
- Reflecting on Ideas Collected: What new ideas or inspirations have I encountered recently? How do they resonate with me?
- Assessing Emotional Responses: Which of these ideas excite me the most? What emotions do they evoke?
- Identifying Potential for Transformation: How can these ideas transform my current perspective or approach?
- Experimentation Rituals: Set aside time each week to experiment with different combinations of your ideas. Document the process and outcomes.
- Idea Journaling: Regularly jot down new ideas, inspirations, or thoughts that come to mind. Reflect on them periodically.
- Mindfulness and Meditation: Practice mindfulness or meditation to enhance awareness and openness to new ideas.
- Community Engagement: Share your ideas with a trusted group or community and invite feedback. Collaboration can often lead to unexpected growth.
- Action and Reflection: After experimenting with an idea, reflect on its impact. What worked? What didn’t? How can this learning be applied going forward?
Source: The Creative Act – Rick Rubin
More Tools for the Toolbox:
- Mental Models: A mental model is simply a representation of how something works. We cannot keep all of the details of the world in our brains, so we use models to simplify the complex into understandable and organizable chunks.
- Hard choice model: A guide to discerning the nature of the decisions you’re faced with.
- Speed vs Quality model: A guide with an emphasis on when to optimize for speed or quality.
- Hanlon’s Razor: This is a mental model that advises not to attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by neglect or ignorance.Research shows that generous acts can result in dramatic health benefits.