Using Sparks to Start a Fire

What to do with your great ideas...

As an OD consultant, coach, group facilitator, sometime musician, and unpaid philosopher I find myself in a hefty variety of situations and places.  Related—and seemingly unrelated—ideas and inspirations seem to spring up randomly for me, popping into consciousness with a “look at me” and hopefully getting recognition.  There seems to be a tough row to hoe in tracking them somehow, evaluating which I should put my energy into, and then acting on them in a focused and powerful way.  How is it for you?

—…they are requesting airtime, they are auditioning for a life on this planet, and I am their preoccupied portal to creation and manifestation

Often things will pop up during work or a meeting, or while driving, or in the shower, and the classic altered state experienced while going to sleep or waking.  It seems like its just letting water run through my hands to let them go—they are requesting airtime, they are auditioning for a life on this planet, and I am their preoccupied portal to creation and manifestation, or at least one of them.

Long ago I decided to collect these to use these as building blocks for my life.  “I will act on the good ones!” There are (figurative) mothball-smelling collections of these things lying around.  The now cliché napkins with scribbles, pieces of paper, notes in journals, recorded memos on various devices, and since the advent of smartphones—lists generated in whatever note app that my phone provides. 

— My current evaluation is that I do not have a Hall of Fame batting average when it comes to doing something meaningful, artistic, or functional with these flotsam and jetsam of “inspiration”

These also include a strange subgroup entitled “band names” (Samples: Nude Flies Bonanza, Snack Painting Zombie, 5 Tyne Fork, Painless Dentists, Colloidal Suspension, Proactive Prophylactic).  I also have a jar someone gave me with “Brainstorms” molded into the clay that has a good selection of fragments.

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My current evaluation is that I do not have a Hall of Fame batting average when it comes to doing something meaningful, artistic, or functional with these flotsam and jetsam of “inspiration”.  I have not been successful at creating a process or system for nurture and development.  These seeds, for the most part, reside in the dark; unplanted, un-watered, uncultivated.

To be fair, some good ones have come about.  In recollecting, it seems for me that it is usually a result of the collaboration with someone that I happened to share the idea with.   An interpersonal resonance starts; it somehow strikes a chord in their being, in their mind, in their lexicon.  Through the interaction a synergy happens¾they add their own energy, fresh insight, expanded perspective, and value to it.  1 + 1 = 3.  And in these instances we marched off together to make something happen.

— I’ll make a date with the muse…—

Here’s what I’m committing to: to gather my sparks of inspiration, collect them together from the various bushel baskets that they are hiding under (metaphor is a paraphrased reference to Matthew 5:15…) and bring them into the light of now.  As a part of this process I will invite unique, crazy, and heart-connected friends, collaborators, and colleagues to this date with the muse.

Obviously (I think), when I took the time to write or record all of these ideas, the implication was that I would return to harvest these seeds of promise.  So, I’ll bring them into the light of day, see what is sparked, and decide on a couple of things to take action on.  I’m betting there are some good ideas among the rubble.  Probably some that have already been done by people that also had that station tuned in, and jumped on them sooner.  But we shall see, we shall see.    

--Paul Kwiecinski--