We are all…

Creative.

We are all creative but where does that creativity come from? Where do ideas come from?

shower water wet bathroom stream 653671

One of the places I found solutions to tough software problems was the shower. It wasn’t that the answers were in the water, steam, or even written on the tiles, but I could clear my mind and somehow the answer was obvious.

Another place was the bed. I would lie down with a problem and get up with an answer. Let me tell you a story.

During the startup at Honda of America, our team had to work during the night because of Honda’s production schedule. I worked from 6 pm to 6 am debugging software but this night I was stuck on a problem and could not find the solution. I had worked on the problem for about 2 hours and it was 3 am.

I leaned back and stood against the paint booth with my eyes closed when the project manager walked up and said in a frustrated tone “Have you got it fixed yet?”.

It was tense.

I paused for a second and then said “No and I don’t think I am going to tonight. I’m going to get some sleep and start again tomorrow.” His response continued in frustration and he asked: “Well, what am I supposed to do!?” I replied “I would suggest you get some sleep too.” and I left.

The next evening I fixed the problem I had spent hours on in about 10 minutes. It was obvious to me what was wrong and I solved it.

The point is, that we have to get on a different plane to solve some problems or be creative with solutions. A couple of things I know to be true (even if I don’t understand them totally) is that ideas come from somewhere outside us but it’s also really inside us. Some call it the Muse. Others call it divine inspiration, and still others say it’s our unconscious or subconscious mind.

John Cleese says “We don’t know where we get our ideas from. We do know that we do not get them from our laptops.”

You can see a short clip of John Cleese on creativity here

​Can I make a suggestion? Get out in nature, take a shower, take a nap, or get a cup of coffee. Do something out of your normal routine, don’t take anything to access the internet and just maybe you’ll find the answer you’re looking for.

Thanks for listening,
Jerry