The Internet allows you to go down rabbit holes and not even realize that you’ve done it. So, I was reading a paper from Stanford University that talked about “Are Ideas Getting Harder to Find?” (Their premise is “yes”.) And then I read an article about “The Surprising Benefits of Being (Slightly) Crazy“. There was a comment in the article about Temple Grandin revolutionizing the cattle industry and how she did this while being autistic.
The phrase that caught my attention was “thinking in pictures”. It resonated with me because, to be honest, that’s how I think. For instance, when I’m writing fiction I “see” the scene being played out in my head and I try to write down what I see. When I read fiction I see the scene in my head and the words get translated into images. When trying to come up with a solution to a problem I visualize the problem in my head and solve it visually. I have always been more visual than auditory focused.
So what does someone like me do? Take an Autism quiz. I discovered that I have an Autism Spectrum score that is “higher” than average and “above the clinical threshold.” I’m not sure how to take that information. Maybe it explains some things about me and maybe it is nothing at all.
It was fascinating how a single article in my inbox on ideas being hard to find led to me self-diagnosing as potentially somewhere on the Autism Spectrum.
But that’s how ideas are born, following a trail and the myriad of tributaries of that idea until you find an answer. It might not be the answer you were looking for (ex. Post-It-Notes) but it is an answer. The concept is that you follow all those paths looking for an answer. Not a pre-conceived answer, but an answer, because sometimes the answers are surprising.