The Inspiration Series: Part 1 – The Nugget

The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every creation begins with a single nugget. Call it what you will – acorn, seed, idea, kernel, spark – they all point to the same concept: the greatest creations you can think of began as the tiniest, seemingly-insignificant-in-the-grand-scheme-of-life ideas.

I prefer to use the term ‘nugget’ above all others. The primary definition of a nugget, according to dictionary.com is: a lump of something, as of precious metal.

Our world is made up of ‘lumps of something’; they occur naturally and are everywhere. Ideas are the same; they aren’t hard to find. Wherever you are right now, if you take a look around, I promise you are surrounded by ideas. The trick isn’t finding them, the trick is recognizing them.

In fact, the trick is three-fold:
First, identify that little nugget for what it really is: the moment of creation, the beginning!
Second, acknowledge the process needed to get from nugget to monument: you can’t snap your fingers and go from tiny idea to book. There’s going to be work involved that is as important as the finished product (see my previous post on that importance)!
Third, nurture that nugget! The only limiting factor to how great or small that finished creation becomes is how much you nurture it. Anywhere that you limit yourself, you place limits on your creation.

That’s right, it all comes down to you.

My nugget

One day in April of 2014, my mom came home with a thoughtful look on her face. She retained that look for quite some time before finally turning to me and asking, ‘You know, what do you think would happen if empathetic people couldn’t turn off their empathy?’. I’m not sure where she’d been that day or what sparked the question for her, but I do know she’s struggled for years with how much pain her own empathy can cause her.

I didn’t have an answer. But for some reason, it got me thinking. What would happen to an empathic person if they couldn’t turn it off? (Hint: This is the moment I identified her question as ‘the nugget’.)

I wish I could find the little notebook that I first thought about this question in: the page was filled with circle diagrams spanning out from the large center circle labeled ‘EMPATH’ to any circle that somehow connected, filled with a one-word label. I do remember that one of those circles included ‘ANCHOR’ in it as well. Needless to say, I ran out of room on that little page. (Hint: This is where I acknowledged that the answer to this question, this nugget, was going to involve quite the process). And I bet you know where we’re going next.

NURTURE THAT NUGGET. That single page of connected circles has molded into three spiral-bound notebooks filled with thought-scribbles (a topic for later in this series), characters, events, and a world. My mom’s little nugget-question has morphed into (what will be in time) multiple books worth of material on an entire universe. Any idea that comes to me from that little nugget I write down. The more I nurture that nugget – do everything I can to let it grow and show me what it’s got – the more nuggets I have received in return. Nuggets multiply, people!!

My take-away: Identify, acknowledge, and nurture those nuggets; the more I invest in the nugget, the greater my creation will be.

So where are you in the nugget journey?

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