I can’t find my one big idea

Mental Omnivore


The Context

Prolific creators value any moment as a potential moment of conception. Because any interaction may contain that tiny, seemingly innocuous detail, the divergence, that results in a significantly different outcome. Quantum physicists would call this chaos theory. It's also known as sensitive dependence. Initial conditions in which a small change at one place in a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state. The most common metaphor for this behavior is the butterfly flapping its wings on in one part of the world, causing a hurricane in another. The simple flapping of the wing represents a small change in the initial condition of a system, which causes a chain of events that has large scale impact.

The Tool

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Mental Omnivore

MENTAL OMNIVORE — Allowing anything you think and everything you experience to become part of your creative reservoir.

Anything could be something that changes everything. Call it foolish optimism, but it sure is an exciting way to experience the world. What about you? How often you overlook people, places or experiences that might offer meaningful ideas? Nobody has to be perfectly aware every second of the day, but it's never too late to uncover little moments of conception. It's less about time and labor and more about intention and attention.

Scott's Take

Scott's Take

My entire career was born out of a trashcan full of ripped up, used nametags. That was my creative moment of conception, and it changed the vector of my life for better and for always. Had the nametags not been there in that moment, the trajectory of my overall system would have been vastly different. Have you ever had any moments like that? If not, perhaps you’re not paying close enough attention. Because if you want the world to arrange itself for your creative work, you have to become a master of deep democracy. Allowing anything you think and everyone you meet and everything you experience become part of your reservoir. Perhaps that makes my nametag a butterfly. Sticking on that label all those years ago was my first experience with chaos theory, and now it's hard not to see it. I notice those butterflies everywhere. Because to me, everything could be another nametag in the trash can.

The Rest

The tricky part about chaos theory is, it's disorderly, complex and impossible to predict. It can't be forced or faked. Many companies try to replicate this type of science every day with proven formulas of products and campaigns that will go viral, and most of them fail miserably. However, when chaos theory does work, wow. Hold onto your butts. Are you calibrating your radar to notice potential moments of conception?

The Benefits

Create chains of events that have large scale impact
Calibrate your radar to notice potential opportunities
Discover remarkable ideas in unexpected places
Use your whole life to inform your work

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