7607 — it took me my whole life

We live not within our means but within the mind we set (mindset). It is a set, a place, a garden we fill with objects and tend to. If we are setting out, we can make the mistake of valuing something not on what it is but what we are. This mistake happens, all the time, at either end of the income spectrum. Poor people think their great ideas have to be no good, and do not get on them without enough to start, and likewise, and perhaps more often, rich people think their terrible ideas are grandiose. We have an idea and see it not for what its value is, but for what value we think or are accustomed to ourselves having, and divide the idea by our time. But an idea or invention is not how much time is put into it, is not your background, job title, or where you are from, it is how much value it can bring. There is a story about Picasso where he doodled on a napkin, and a woman saw him and asked if she could buy it. He said surely, for a hundred thousand dollars. She laughed and said, “But it only took you five minutes.” He said, “No, ma’am, it took me my whole life.” This is the great failure of attempted hourly accounting. You never stop thinking. Even in dreams, you are thinking. An idea that hits you in an instant did not just find you. It built up from a seed inside of you, watered and wired over a long time until ready to take off. Inspiration is not the coming to of it but the realizing of it, the brief moment of blossoming of the flower, not the whole time, not the seed or the stem or the roots or the sunshine and water that bred it for hours, maybe even years. And in that seeming moment of inspiration you may very well find a hundred thousand, or even five million dollars of real value, which are totally unaccounted for, and could never be, by the instant spent seeing it in the mind, the minutes spent writing it down, the years spent learning the things to think of it. Don’t think of yourself at all. You are a human being; a unique human being, worth an indefinable life, both worth-less and in-valuable. Ideas are the only things that can be valued.

— cole