I sometimes get some pretty strange ideas. Sometimes I get amazing ideas. Sometimes some of my ideas just don’t pan out. The thing is that I have ideas, get ideas, and do things because of ideas.
Have you ever asked, sarcastically or otherwise, “Who’s idea was this?” And no one was willing to claim it. Even if it was a good idea, people just stand around with glazed looks in their eyes. I am known to react, as one would, by asking “Well, someone must of thought this was a good idea at one time?” or “Seriously. This is a great idea and none of you are willing to say it is mine?”
Then there are the occasions when you would give anything to have an idea. A way to solve a problem, fix an error, help others or just something new and interesting. Where is the idea when you really need it?
So I had this idea…. what if you could order ideas… for everyone? Like ordering a round of drinks at a bar and these ideas would be free or on the house, so to speak. One could just stand up and shout to the idea keeper, “A round of Eureka’s on the house!”
According to Wikipedia a “round of drinks” is a set of beverages, generally alcoholic, that is purchased by one person of a group for a group. It is generally purchased as a single order and it is often customary for the people of the group to take turns buying the group rounds.
The phrase “on the house” simply means that something is paid for by or courtesy of the owner or the establishment. Usually this is done if you are unhappy with your service. For example, while eating in a restaurant the order has been messed up, you never received your order or something disgusting was found in your mashed potatoes. The owner or manager of said restaurant could say that they are sorry and your meal is “on the house.”
Ever wonder why we say “Eureka!” when we get an idea or solve a problem? No, the answer is not the amazing (in my humble opinion) television show by the name of “Eureka” that aired on the Syfy Channel from July 2006 to July 2012. The answer is tied to a Greek scholar, inventor and mathematician by the name of Archimedes.
So the story of Archimedes and the Eureka Effect goes like this…. Archimedes had been hired by a guy named Hiero of Syracuse to assess the purity of an irregularly shaped golden crown. You see, Hiero had given his goldsmith pure gold to be used to fashion the crown; but he wasn’t sure that his blacksmith had been honest. So Heiro takes the crown to Archimedes and asks him to determine if the crown is pure gold. Archimedes is a really smart guy and if anyone could find a solution, it would be him.
At this time in history, Archimedes has the equipment for weighing objects with a fair amount of precision but he couldn’t verify volume which is important in determining density. Why is density so important you ask? Pay attention because this fact will be important later in our story…. gold is twice as dense as silver.
Archimedes has been struggling trying to find the answer for Heiro. I can’t remember how long he had been working on the problem. Finally, he decides he needs a break and he goes to the bath house. He gets undressed and sits down into the water. He notices that the water level rose after he got in. He sees the solution to his problem. Archimedes jumps up and shouts “Eureka! Eureka!” and runs back to his study, through the streets of Syracuse, completely naked. The Eureka effect.
Archimedes understood that the amount of water displaced must equal the volume of the part of his body that he had submerged. He realized that the volume of irregularly shaped objects, like Hiero’s crown, could be measured by their volume, thus indicating density. Archimedes measured the crown using volume and found that the blacksmith had cheated Hiero by removing some of the gold and adding the same amount by weight of silver in place of the gold.
How do we hold onto these ideas once we get them? There are many ways of capturing ideas. I know artists who carry small sketchbooks with them everywhere to capture moments, do a quick sketch, capture a color scheme or take notes. Another friend of mine, who is an author, carries a small lined notebook where he jots down notes about character development or a description that he can use in a story later. A filmmaker friend of mine carries around a mini tape recorder in his car. He says that he always gets the best ideas while driving. When the idea comes, he is prepared. He records it and reviews it later.
Another friend of mine who is a poet, says that it doesn’t matter where he is or what he is doing, when he gets an idea for a poem, he stops what he is doing and quick writes it down. He told me that he has had to get out of the shower to write down a poems and decided to keep a notebook in the bathroom just for this purpose. He also said that he has many bits of napkin and envelopes with poems on them.
When I am doing my creative work and I am really in the moment, I can feel the ideas coming to me. It is like each step is perfectly laid out, one right after the other. It is in these times that I know I am doing the creative work that I am meant to do. My own personal Eureka Effect.
I wish that everyone could have the Eureka Effect. That people would feel like they could admit to their ideas, good or the ones that don’t work out. That in those occasions when an idea is desperately needed and would make a huge difference, we would have one. That everyone would have ideas that would help them grow. We would have ideas that helped make daily lives easier for ourselves, the people we love or just people in general. That these ideas would inspire us to be kinder and make the world a better place.
Keeper of Ideas lets have a round of Eureka’s on the house!!!!