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Obvious to you, amazing to others

Updated: Feb 1

I want to share a post written by Derek Sivers talking about the value of sharing your ideas.

Derek says:

“Any creator of anything knows this feeling: You experience someone else’s innovative work. It’s beautiful, brilliant, breathtaking. You’re stunned. Their ideas are unexpected and surprising, but perfect. You think, “I would never have thought of that. How do they even come up with that? It’s genial!” Then you think, “My ideas are so obvious. I’ll never be as inventive as that.”

I get this feeling often. Amazing books, music, movies, or even conversations. I’m in awe of how their creators think like that. I’m humbled. But I continue to do my work. I tell my little tales. I share my points of view. Nothing spectacular. Just my ordinary thoughts.

One day someone emailed me and said, “I would never have thought of that. How did you even come up with that? It’s genial!” Of course I disagreed and explained why it was nothing special.

But then I realized something surprisingly profound:

Everybody’s ideas seem obvious to them.

I’ll bet even John Coltrane or Richard Feynman felt that everything they were playing or saying was pretty obvious. So maybe what’s obvious to me is amazing to someone else. Hit songwriters often admit that their most successful hit song was one they thought was just stupid, even not worth recording. We’re clearly bad judges of our creations. We should just put them out there and let the world decide.”

My experience

Whenever I create a project, whether it be a YouTube video, album, concert, podcast, conversation, writing, I always try to remind myself not to judge the value of it, but simply share it. I believe that creativity doesn’t have a judgement tag. My job is to express and to create with an open mind. I’ve learned that the more I freely share my seemingly ‘ordinary’ insights with others, the more possibilities there are to reach my ideas for others to be amazing and interesting.

What about you?

Are you holding back something that seems too obvious to share? There might be a chance that your thoughts will be amazing to others. Don’t be a judge, but do your work which is to share. 😉 I am certain that there will be at least one person who will appreciate what you have to offer to the world.


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