Taking time to reflect on your creative genius

By the time you work through an idea, it will have lost its original intent.

The most compelling ideas are often the ones that seem inevitable, like they were of course going to occur. Creating the iPhone seems like common sense for Apple to have some back in 2007. The invention of microwaveable food seems obvious to us today. It would be hard to imagine how people worked, or traveled, or communicated, without the Internet. But for some time, all of these things had to struggle to exist. It’s easy to forget that nearly everything we take for granted was first an idea, probably an idea that was rejected or neglected for a while, until it wasn’t.

The same thing goes for smaller, personal creative ideas or achievements. You find yourself struggling with a project only to come up with a novel solution on how you might push through it. You find a faster or more efficient path to work or school. You learn how to squeeze an extra five minutes in bed every morning. You move so quickly into the new idea that by the time you reflect on it, or realize it’s occurred, it seems like common sense.

Of course the writer fails to relish in what she’s written, the words have been on the page their entire existence! Except before they were written the words had to fight for a reason to exist within the writer’s mind, let alone on the page. But once the words touch the page, it’s as though they’ve always been there.

When we’re feeling least creative that may simply be a flag for ourselves to step back and reflect. To acknowledge all of the things, big and small, we’ve been able to accomplish thanks to our creativity. These things can be difficult to spot at first because they’ve felt inevitable, obvious, or as though they’ve always existed. But of course they haven’t always existed, or been obvious. We’ve cultivated them into existence, into our routines, and that’s worth remembering.

Why take a minute to remember this stuff? Because it’s everything that we become accustomed to which reflects our ability to be truly creative. So creative that the very concepts and behaviors we’ve come up with have so naturally integrated into our lives. As though they’ve always existed. As if they were meant to be.