Don’t Let Go of your Flash of Idea
This article has been conceptualized while I was staring on the computer screen and thinking ‘what should I write for Creative Thailand?’. After staring on the screen for a few minutes, the name of this article came to my mind and everything was flowing.
A scientist once said that good ideas often occur to you in 3 places, so called 3B – Bed,Bus, and Bath. This is because while you are there, your mind is relaxed, making you think through problems in your mind. I call these good ideas that occur during this state of relaxed mind as flash of ideas because they occur without any intention. I have several experiences on this and think you may have similar experiences as well. For example, when you meet someone you have met before and can’t figure out his or her name, after a while the name comes to your mind. Or sometimes you can’t find out a solution to a problem. All of a sudden while you were doing something else, you can just figure it out. These are examples of flash of ideas that you see in your daily life.
Flash of ideas is a big and interesting topic. I will explore this in details later. But what I want to focus here is once you get a flash of ideas, without noting it down right away, those good ideas may disappear or be immediately forgotten. So, good creative people should carry their pen and paper all the time so as to capture those ideas in time.
In the digital world today, apart from paper, you also have so many equipments to support the notetaking process, such as sound recording function in mobile phones or writing in tablet computers. It doesn’t have to always be paper-based. However, I prefer paper and pen because it is the easiest and most convenient. It is portable. At least I have a pen with me all the time because it isn’t difficult to find a piece of paper. Finding a pen is harder. Even if you can’t find a piece of paper, write down on your palm. Most of the time, I take note on a portable paper pad before writing down in my other notebook in order to permanently store the notes. If you want to store them in your computer, the best way is to take photos of your notebook or pieces of paper. Even if you lose them, you will always have a backup.
What surprises me a lot is that today many students do not have a pen or stationery with them at all. When they come to meet me and let me sign any documents, many of them don’t have any pen and need to borrow me. Even in the examination room, sometimes they have to borrow a pen from their friends. Notebooks are overlooked as well. Many people have an expensive smartphone or tablet personal computer, but use a very ‘poor-conditioned’ notebook. I recommend that a good quality notebook be bought. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it needs to be durable. The ideas jotted down in your notebook now may not be practical today, but in the future you may search for ideas from this inventory and realize them. So, keep your notebooks well.
Even though getting the flash of ideas is not directly controllable, still you may create frequent opportunities for it to occur. This can be done by relaxing your mind, not being too obsessive with the problems, and allowing your subconscious to solve these problems. In fact, what you can control is jotting the idea down when it happens. The most regrettable thing is to lose the flash of idea because you are not ready. So, don’t let go of your flash of ideas ever!
Translated by Thaya Wichayathian
- 19 may 2011
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