It's a romantic ideal that in a flash of insight we finally come up with a brilliant idea to overcome some challenge. Truth is it takes us time to wrestle a problem to the ground. Lots of ideas have to be considered, tried, tested, and tweaked to get us to an elegant solution.
While Linus Pauling was referencing his own work in science, his quote applies to many areas. Where we live, where we work, and who we spend our time with can take some trial and error before we strike just the right place and people. This is my third try at living in New York, and I think I got it right this time. There have been a lot of ups and downs over the 10 years since I first moved here. Finally, I found a way to make this place home.
Pauling's quote also holds up in entrepreneurship, too. I've now been doing interviews with a variety of entrepreneurs for five months and I've asked each of them for advice to others who are considering starting a business. All of them have said to give it a shot, recognizing that it takes a couple of years to really get a business off the ground. We might need to kick around a number of different ideas for businesses before we hit upon one that makes our hearts sing, that makes us want to dive in with everything we've got to make it work.
Having lots of ideas requires patience and persistence. We have to be willing to try and try again, and again and again. We need to be patient with ourselves and believe in the slow steady process that leads to true insight and learning. Flashes of quick genius happen once in a while. What is a much more of a sure bet is that if we keep trying new ideas, one will certainly rise to the top.
The photo above is Linus Pauling holding a molecular model. It can be found at: http://osulibrary.orst.edu/specialcollections/coll/pauling/pauling-qv09-198xi.050.jpg