Thursday, April 26, 2012

Using Life to Develop Creative Ideas

Life provides rich material to develop creative ideas. There is a story in the Bhagavatham about how Uddhava asks Krishna the question, “Who is a Teacher?” Krishna says: “Look at the sky; far, far away, you can see an eagle swift and strong and free. In a single instant, it can swoop down to earth and capture its prey. As far as vision and speed are concerned, that eagle is your guru. See the lion in the forest; see how majestic is his gait. As far as grace, is concerned that lion is your guru. Watch the sinuous serpent; he is not anxious about his prey. He waits and watches. That serpent will teach you confidence. All of life is designed to teach you. Those who love you, teach you something. Those who hate you, teach you more.” Sorrow and pain are sent into our lives for a reason so that we can empathize with others. Life is the ultimate text book, and graduating from the university of life is the final goal.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Free Fall

The capacity to let go is rare; most humans seek security. But to stand still is to risk even more. It is to risk being overtaken by change. It is to risk being “dragged, an unwilling victim, to be sacrificed on the alter of technology.” Free fall is like bungee jumping. You let go without knowing definitely what will happen. Creative ideas are a kind of free fall. You generate ideas that have never been suggested or heard before. You risk the contempt of your peers, their jeers and laughter. There is the old story of Columbus who discovered America. When he returned, his friends said, “Anyone could have done it. You just kept sailing west till you found America. We too could have done it.” Columbus brought out an egg and said, “Make it stand up straight.” No one could do it. They said, “It can’t be done.” Columbus tapped the egg lightly on the table, so that it cracked slightly, to form a stable surface and then made it stand. Everyone said, “That is cheating. You can’t break the egg.” Columbus said, “Who said you can’t break the egg. You are imagining limitations and boundaries that are not there and then saying it can’t be done. That is why you could not have discovered America.”