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« New job, new place, new priorities | Main | Shiny Objects — No. 8 »
Tuesday
May312016

Ingenuity

One of the things that energizes me is seeing examples of ingenuity within everyday life. 

I felt that way after seeing this Wall Street Journal video highlighting a relatively simple but brilliant way to cost-effectively expand mass transit along congested highways.

 

Think about that: Without building new highways, subways or elevated tracks, someone curious — and that's a key word — peered into thin air, imagined for a long time and ... shazam! ... envisioned a commuter train that moves above existing highways. Genius! You can bet that China, a nation with global aspirations and massive gridlock, will take this idea to fruition. 

Minutes later, I watched this Wall Street Journal video, which carried a similar theme: 

Again, we have an example of someone curious taking a long look at the status quo and giving it a sharp twist. This electromagnetic gun is fascinating in that it may revolutionize relatively ancient technology — while still using old technology! 

Both are examples of ingenuity and curiosity at its best. Bright minds often do their best work by daydreaming first, sorting through hundreds and thousands of crazy ideas, then winnowing down to the few that might be magic. And, if need be, repeating that process over and over. 

Sadly, too few of us take make the time for strategic daydreaming, thinking it's wasteful when there is money to be made now, numbers to hit now, others to please now. You could say we're no different than the Chinese commuters stuck in congestion. At some point — now, tomorrow or next year — an offramp to somewhere else may be the more rewarding path. 

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