Sand Alligators and Herman Melville: The Adventure of Opportunity Finding
When I was a kid, I built things from sand on the beach. My inner artist found grand satisfaction by making recognizable things from flat and sand and water. The recognizable thing was sometimes a building - often a traditional castle with battlements and courtyards and moats and towers with embrasures. Sometimes the creation ended up being a giant fish or, as was often the case, an alligator with a long, winding, ridged tail.
Sometimes we get to build from scratch - from the ground up. We get control of every detail, from the vision to the blueprints to the execution. These opportunities bring both the joy and the stress of true entrepreneurship.
The opportunity to imagine possibilities is both fun and invigorating, and disheartening infuriating.
The opportunity of building work from scratch is not afforded to everyone all the time.
When we were children in school, we received assignments. We had to write reports on the literary significance of Herman Melville‘s Moby Dick and the significance of the invention of the cotton gin. The same thing in college, only more college-y. I had to write a long paper on the methodology for the interpretation of historical literature.
These assignments were not anything I would’ve chosen. But (especially in college) I learned how to innovate and create and make meaning out of things assigned to me.
Sometimes we create our own work. Sometimes work is assigned.
But, in the end, neither of these things matter.
Innovation and creativity begin by working well with what you have - whether that's nothing or assigned work. Search for opportunities within the parameters you've been given.
Because opportunities are there. We just have to go on the adventure of finding them.