“Invention, my dear friends, is 93 percent perspiration, 6 percent electricity, 4 percent evaporation, and 2 percent butterscotch ripple.”
~Gene Wilder as Willie Wonka

New ideas are born from sweat…and a bit of magic.

So often we think that creativity and true invention should come to us easily, with no effort at all – like the proverbial light bulb over the head. Or we believe that it requires tons of effort and hard work. I’ve found the truth to be actually neither of those; it’s something else entirely. My best ideas seem to come when I put in enough effort to work up a sweat – and when I count on a bit of magic and/or grace to pull me through.

Making a full-out effort and putting your all into a project may leave you exhausted at the end, but somehow there is also strength and invigoration that comes with it. Great results often come from tremendous effort…especially when we then take the time to remember that more than just effort is required to make things happen. You need a little bit of “butterscotch ripple” for good measure. I’ve found the 2 percent butterscotch ripple to be the point when I take a break from the project, walk away, allow ideas to ferment and fester…and sprout something new and exciting.

It’s not always clear where and when the final breakthrough ideas will come. They may appear while you are in the shower, taking a walk, or feeding your dog. What’s important is to give a project or issue your all, and then make space for the butterscotch ripple. Then amazing things can happen.

Where are you putting in too much effort? Where are you not putting in enough? And where do you need to leave room for the butterscotch ripple to work its magic?

Pick a project that requires invention and creativity – give it all you can, and then give it space and see what happens.

To see how coaching can help you tap in to your creativity, contact Robyn at rmcleod@chatsworthconsulting.com.

New York: 212.537.6897 | Pennsylvania: 610.254.0244