The Big is allowed to roam free. It’s given permission to soar. To fly. To go where it will. To travel unbidden.
The Small has to be caught. It’s everywhere. You can’t possess it completely but you can try to catch as much of it as possible.
One without the other is useless. The Small props up the Big. The Big without the Small is just a fuzzy outline.
Imagine a book. Most have a central concept. A seminal idea. A message. This message is backed up by anecdotes and quotes and a discussion of it’s flaws and strengths and applications.
The Big Ideas are the message. They never leave you. They are so important that it’s impossible to forget them. They exert a hold over you that borders on the tyrannical.
You see the Big Idea everywhere. When you’re in the shower your mind turns to it. As you try to sleep the Big Idea keeps you awake. As you go about your day applications of the Big Idea come to mind.
The Big Idea is carried within you. You don’t need to write it down or store it away. You can’t lose it.
Small Ideas are the opposite. You lose them. There’s so many that we can’t even pay attention to them all. They are the observations, the evidence, the quotes, the stories, the supporting material for the Big Idea.
Big Ideas march remain unshackled. Small Ideas must be caught. So we have notebooks and index cards and Evernote and a hundred other mechanisms that allow us to capture fleeting glimpses and observations.
The Small Ideas are like millions of butterflies fluttering around us. To examine them in finer detail and analyse their worth we must catch them with a net.
What are your Big Ideas? Do you let them explore and grow and feed?
What are you Small Ideas? What mechanisms do you have in place to catch them?
Two forms of creativity. The Big and the Small.
Both are essential.