Over a year ago, I had an idea to open an “Athletic Recovery Center”. To give you an idea, it was my problem statement: “I solve the problem of limited access to advanced recovery and performance tools used by professional and elite athletes for people who participate in demanding sports like triathlon, CrossFit, cycling, running, swimming, etc. on professional and amateur levels because proper recovery is a key factor in enhancing performance and injury prevention.“
It meant to be a studio in downtown Toronto. I named it the “Recovery Room”. Nothing like this was in the city at that moment and I was excited to be the first. In fact, such service was not very well developed in Canada at that time, so I had little to no competition on the provincial level. I was inspired and driven as I truly believed that it was going to work out. Few months in, I tested the market and determined that there was not enough demand to run a profitable business. I tried different things, but to cut a long story short – I abandoned the idea.
A year later I arrived in Kelowna. A small town in British Columbia, where I had a meeting with my friend at the local cafe. I pulled into the parking and saw this… “The Recovery SPA”. “No, this is not what I am thinking this is”, I thought to myself. Forget the friend who is waiting, I went straight to the entrance door of this place.
I requested the tour. The owner was walking me around his business, showing different equipment and explaining the purpose of each. I knew it all and I could not stop smiling. This was EXACTLY the place I wanted to build in Toronto. I created the 3D model of the facility and the layout was almost identical. I also had the same equipment listed in my business plan. I could not believe how close to my drawings this guy was. It seemed as if he copied my business plan in it’s fine details. Unbelievable.
I wanted to learn more about how the founder came up with that idea, so I asked him out on a walk. Motorcycle accident, prolonged rehabilitation, then he got interested in triathlons… at the end – “The Recovery SPA”. What was fascinating to me is that we both got inspired by the same idea almost at the same time last year. A guy, on the opposite side of the country, five thousand kilometers away… Very interesting… I thought to myself.
Phenomenon of “Multiple Discovery”
Have you ever heard of the concept of “multiple discovery”? Also known as simultaneous invention, it is the hypothesis that most scientific discoveries and inventions are made independently and more or less simultaneously by multiple scientists and inventors. According to Wikipedia, this is a known phenomenon and there are examples:
- British physicist-chemist Joseph Swan independently developed the incandescent light bulb at the same time as American inventor Thomas Edison was independently working on his incandescent light bulb
- 1886: The Hall–Héroult process for inexpensively producing aluminum was independently discovered by the American engineer-inventor Charles Martin Hall and the French scientist Paul Héroult.
- 1895: Adrenaline was discovered by the Polish physiologist Napoleon Cybulski. It was independently discovered in 1900 by the Japanese chemist Jōkichi Takamine and his assistant Keizo Uenaka.
- 1902: Richard Assmann and Léon Teisserenc de Bort independently discovered the stratosphere.
- 1839: Louis Daguerre and Henry Fox Talbot invented the first photographic methods.
- 1869: Louis Ducos du Hauron and Charles Cros present the earliest workable methods of colour photography on the same day.
What if ideas and creative force are not created by humans? We think that we come up with ideas and create something new, but in reality, those ideas already existed, before we even thought about them. We just received them as the radio receives the signal from the tower. What if ideas are independent living creatures that exist on their own? They are invisible to the human eye, however, it doesn’t mean they don’t exist. They are completely separate from us but capable of interacting with us. Ideas have no material body, but they do have consciousness, and will. The idea’s main mission is to be manifested in the material world. The only way an idea can manifest in our world is through collaboration with a human partner. Only the human can transmute the idea from its raw form into the realm of the actual.
Ideas are all over us, flying around and searching for a capable and willing human partner. They see people as tools for work. Big ideas require a lot of energy, therefore they need strong human beings to give them birth. Sick and low on energy, will not handle such a task. There is all kinds of work to do and each requires a different set of tools. You won’t put the nail into the wall with a fork. You need the right tool. If the task is not very demanding, you might get away with a cheap Chinese toolkit. However, the more difficult the idea is – the better tools it requires for its own manifestation.
The more capable the person is –
the bigger ideas chose to collaborate with that individual
When an idea thinks it has found somebody—say, you—who might be able to bring it into the world, the idea will pay you a visit. Out of nothing, you will get hit by inspiration. The lightbulb will light up.
It’s easy to miss the idea. You aren’t receptive to inspiration when you’re so consumed by your own dramas, worries, anxieties, distractions, insecurities, and duties. If you are attentive, you will start seeing the omens and signs that point you toward the idea. Everything around will remind you of the idea. It will wake you up in the middle of the night and distract you from your everyday routine. The idea will not leave you alone until it has your fullest attention. The idea will try to get noticed by you, but if it realizes that you’re non-receptive to its message, it will move on to someone else. Once you notice it – the light bulb will come on. Eureka! You will get this burst of energy out of nowhere. You will get excited and motivated.
Ideas are clots of energy. They feed their human with its energy so he or she can implement them in the world. There are strong and weak ones. Sometimes you get such powerful ideas, that they almost burn you from the inside with their energies.
Once the idea has chosen you, there are two choices to make. Yes or no. If you had chosen that you won’t pursue this idea – you are free to move on with your life. You are off the hook. Most people chose to come up with excuses and pass on it. That’s an option for many. If you say no, nothing happens and the idea simply flies away to search for another capable human.
If you said yes – the timer starts ticking. Every idea has a lifespan. Some live longer, some shorter. If you don’t take action, it will get weaker and weaker with time. The idea loses its faith in you and starts looking around for someone more capable. It stops feeding you with its energy so you feel less motivated. You are no longer so excited to continue working on it, so you drop out. The idea waits patiently for its human to manifest it. You need to act fast, while the energies are high.
The idea will not wait forever.
If not you, someone else will bring it into the world.
Recognize when the idea chooses you. Cooperate fully, humbly, and joyfully with inspiration. Welcome your ideas with respect and curiosity, not with drama or dread. Remember that it has chosen you, among other people because you are capable. In a way, if you said yes to the idea, you become a slave to it. However, you get the opportunity to live an interesting life making and doing really cool things the entire time. You might become the next billionaire with your pursuits or not, but that’s not the point. If you lived your life passionately, believing in the ideas you were trying to implement, money doesn’t matter. A creative and fulfilled life is much more valuable than money. The excitement and energy are much more pleasurable than a stack of green papers.
If you said yes to the idea – go fully in. Don’t try to get away with minimum work. Don’t cheat. Value your idea as something precious. Hold it gently as a little baby. Protect it from distractions.
- Never fight against it and never abandon it
- Cooperate with it to the utmost of your ability, until the work is done
- Clear the space for it
- Commit yourself to several hours of research every morning
- Make yourself go to bed early so you could get up at dawn and be ready for work
- Say no to alluring distractions and social invitations so you can focus on your job
- Order tools, buy books, reach out to experts and study the subject
- Visualize the end result. Dream
If you fully commit and take it seriously, the idea will grow and start taking shape. If you are not fully committed. If you don’t buy into it and treat it badly – it leaves. It happened to me a lot and it will happen to you. You will feel empty, disoriented and lost. You will start asking what to do with your life. Keep your ears and eyes open. Listen. Be curious. Ask questions. There are beautiful invisible ideas flying around. They are looking for human collaborators. Ideas of every kind are constantly passing through us, constantly trying to get our attention.
Try not to f*ck it up the next time
Elizabeth Gilbert describes her experience with this strange phenomenon in her book “Big Magic”. She got inspired by an idea for a novel about Brazil in the 1960s. The idea seemed epic and thrilling to her. She said yes to it and began to work on it. She did a lot of research and submitted the book proposal to the publishing company. Later on, she had to relocate overseas to deal with some drama and her work had paused.
Two years later she returned home and decided to resume work on her novel about the Amazon jungle. She could not find the inspiration to continue writing. She had no energy to pursue something that she was so passionate about two years ago. All the feelings were gone. She said that it almost seemed as the novel got stolen. As she put it: “It was like poking a stick at a cast-off snakeskin: The more I messed with it, the faster it fell apart and turned to dust”. The idea was gone.
Around the time when Elizabeth completely gave up on her novel, she made a friend. Another writer, whom she met at the library event. They were living in different parts of the world, but they would keep in touch through writing letters to one another. Her new friend mentioned in a letter that she was working on a new novel and that it was about the Amazon jungle. This caught Elizabeth’s attention. A few months later they met in person.
Elizabeth was eager to hear about the Amazon jungle novel that her friend was writing. She said that she also was trying to write a book about Amazon jungle, however, she never finished. “What is your novel about?”, Elizabeth asked her friend. “No, you go first. You were the first one to write about it.”, her friend replied.
Elizabeth summarized her ex-novel in detail. Her friend stared at her from across the table for a long minute. “You have got to be fucking kidding me.”, the friend exclaimed. She was writing her novel exactly what Elizabeth just told her about. Almost to the finest details, two stories were almost identical. The writers had also determined that it was around the same time when Elizabeth completely gave up on her novel and her friend got inspired by that same idea.
They both were professional writers – perfect tools for implementing that idea into the world. The novel idea had chosen its human, however she got dropped. The idea waited too long and left. It found another person who was capable of such work.
Your ideas are not yours
You are nothing but a receiver, an antenna. Don’t try to create the idea – you can’t, you won’t. Instead, expand your skillset. Improve yourself, so you become attractive to ideas. There is no lack of ideas. They are swirling all over us searching for the right human. Be attentive to the signs. Be curious and never stop asking questions. Your task is to reduce the clutter in your head and become receptive. Don’t try to create, but tune your antennas to receive the signal. Stay sharp, be in shape because once you receive the idea – you will need to act. Fast! The inspiration and energy will not last forever, so you have to get moving.