Recently I read Seth Godin’s book “Poke the Box”. It’s a short, snappy book that’s a kick up the behind for people like me who have lots of ideas, designs and dreams but never get round to actually doing them; that business I wanted to start, that book I wanted write, that house I dreamed of building . It’s all about starting; how we wait for someone to pick us or invite us to start a project; how real wins are getting projects shipped, not in getting the credit when it does. When success is in the shipping, as long as we finish the project, we can’t fail.
One of the illustrations I found so engaging was his depiction of a dandelion:
“Take the dandelion: a single dandelion may produce 2,000 seeds per year, indiscriminately firing them off into the sky at the slightest breeze, without any care for where the seeds are heading and whether they’ll get an hospitable reception when they touch down. And indeed, most of those thousands of seeds will likely fall on hard, unyielding pavement, there to lie fallow and unconsummated, a failure in the genetic race to survive and copy. But the disposition of each—or even most—of the seeds [isn’t] the important thing, from a dandelion’s point of view. The important thing is that every spring, every crack in every pavement is filled with dandelions.”
Artists and innovators need to constantly, relentlessly, unceasingly create. To promiscuously sow their ideas, each perfect and beautiful, filling every crack and available space with them. True pioneers spread their ideas like dandelion seeds. Most of those ideas will fall and die but, inevitably, many will find soil in which to grow and flourish and be fruitful.
The challenge is getting into the habit of starting.