In the creative world, there are no original ideas. Instead, it’s a remix of many things

Truly, there aren’t any original ideas. Any innovative idea is a often mashup of other ideas. I don’t care how the fuck egoistical you are, you are no fucking creative genius. Don’t ever tell me that you came up with the fucking idea all by yourself with zero help.

Look at the iPhone. When it was first presented by Steve Jobs in 2007, it was a truly revolutionary phone. Why was it? Because it has everything a phone could do, calls and text messages, listening to music, and on top of that, it had a mobile browser that scrolls like butter. Rather than a clunky phone, it had the most important factor over all other phones in the market — usability.

But it isn’t unique at all. The phone of a phone wasn’t unique. Touch screen capabilities wasn’t unique. Phone calls wasn’t unique. Text messages wasn’t unique. Mobile browser wasn’t unique. Keyboard wasn’t unique. Speaker phone wasn’t unique. Portable music player wasn’t unique. Camera wasn’t unique. iPhone was a fusion of all these technologies, plus the usability factor. Wired ran an amazing article with tons of backstory.

Steve Jobs summarised creativity as:

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after awhile.”

Okay if creativity is just about connecting things, then was can I do to be creative?

There’s no magic formula to it. There’s no one true way of reaching the creative state. But I do have some thoughts on how to start:

  • Get exposed to as many experience your bank account allows;
  • Learn concepts or conceptual models, this unlocks big picture thinking;
  • Learn mental models, this allow you to see different perspectives;
  • Talk to interesting and creative people, surround yourself with similar minds;
  • Keep your eyes out for inspiration, they can be found anywhere.
  • Take copious notes because there’s so much your mind can absorb. Also, you can lay out all the notes and try to find connections between unrelated subjects;

At the end of the day, the most important thing is taking intentional action in reaching the creative state. As with anything, mastery comes with practice. The more hours of deliberate practice, the better you get. You can’t expect to be creative without practice.

When do you actually create something amazing, as you will one good day, don’t forget the sources of inspiration. Make sure to give credit where it’s deserved. Just as you are given credit for finding connections and creating something amazing. Your work will one day be the source of inspiration for someone else. You wouldn’t want to be plagiarised. It does no harm to give credit, yet it does every harm to uncover uncredited inspirations.

If there’s any video that you watch in this article, let it be this:

Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash

Accumulate karma

Be nice and polite to people.

Always smile.

Give the benefit of doubt.

Think empathy.

Gratitude.

What goes around, comes around.

Always give first., you will receive it back, one way or another.

This is the concept of karma.

Accumulate enough in order to give more.

It’s all we want to do in life — to receive kindness.

To receive kindness, we have to first give kindness.

Today, give kindness.

Photo by Sabine Schulte on Unsplash

Good fortune is what you make for yourself; Dissecting Meditations, a personal journal by Marcus Aurelius Part #14

What you are getting into: 341 words, 2mins read

Here, I will share my contemplations upon reading the published personal journal of Marcus Aurelius, a roman emperor from 161-180 AD. Thoughts mainly stemmed from Stoicism, and Marcus Aurelius used the notes for guidance and self improvement. It’s a translated book by Gregory Hays, or you can read it online.

For this and upcoming posts I attempt to dissect quotes I favour upon reading the book.

Photo via Unsplash

I was once a fortunate man but at some point fortune abandoned me.

But true good fortune is what you make for yourself. Good fortune: good character, good intentions, and good actions.

To never rely on good fortune. Accept that good fortune is created rather than bestowed. Wishing good fortune is futile upon reading this pithy quote. Hard reminder that one shall not wish for good fortune in dire needs. Instead, thou shall work towards developing a good character, having good intentions, and good actions. In time to come, good traits will bring good fortune.

“Fortune favours the prepared mind.” — Louis Pasteur

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” — Seneca the younger

You know these quotes.

You know in order to have what people call ‘luck’, you need to be prepared.

You know you need to do the hard work.

You know you need to put in the hours.

You know you need to stay focused.

You know you need to keep going after the grind.

You know you need to say no to distractions.

You know you need to have an unhealthy obsession in perfecting your craft.

You know you need to work.

You know you need to develop good character.

You know you need to train your mind.

You know you need to empower your mind with knowledge and skills.

You know you need to build the life your want.

You know you need there’s nothing stopping you from getting what you want, except yourself.

Now go get it.