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Credit Where It’s Due

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I must give credit where credit is due. Every human innovation has its roots in something found in nature – we’re inspired by something that somebody else already invented. The belief I’m describing comes from a deeper belief that we are designed to solve problems; that we are walking problem solvers for somebody. We were created to bring solutions.

What do I mean? One of my heroes in creativity was a man who brought the supply to his generation, and in the process changed the way we look at all of science.  The man is named George Washington Carver. A short biography I read, written by his friend Glenn Clark, absolutely wrecked me. In “The Man Who Talks With the Flowers,” I learned he awoke every morning at 4:00am to go walk the woods, in conversation with the God whom he called, “Mr. Creator.” Everything that he did came out of that early morning time. This was the inspiration and direction for his pursuits in the lab; the source of his effectiveness.

Without a constant leaning on the help and guidance of “Mr. Creator,” I, too, would miss the glaringly obvious.  Does that mean that our creativity is a toddler Easter egg hunt – brightly colored eggs hidden so obviously that we could never miss it? Honestly, sometimes, yes. But most of the time, we must bring our every resource, experience, education, and intuition to bear.

Here are a few lessons from the macro-creation that I bring into my micro-creations:

  • The laws of physics came first. The rules come first – the parameters, limits and laws – before anything else. There had to be a frame and a canvass before there was a painting.
  • All beauty is functional. The flower, the tree, and the butterfly – the function came first and beauty fulfilled function.
  • Everything was created to solve a problem.  Creativity disconnected from problem solving is an exercise in chaos. The better you define the problem, the better your solutions will be.

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