I want to tell you all a story.
A long, long time ago there was a man. This man was, much like all of us, a very highly motivated and driven individual. He worked unbelievably hard at everything he did. His goal was simple: to push the boundaries in everything he did. More than that. To break those boundaries. To go above and beyond what any human being before him (and in many cases, since) had accomplished. And he was extremely successful. One day, while sitting in a garden working away at his latest endeavor, one of the happiest accidents in recorded history happened. An apple fell on his head. This led the man to theorize that matter attracts matter, and thus that the apple was being drawn from the tree in the direction of the center of the Earth, by the force of gravity.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, the man in question is none other than Sir Isaac Newton. And while his theory of gravity is perhaps his most well known work, he was something of a jack of all trades. In addition to his work in physics, he was also an accomplished theologian, alchemist, natural philosopher, astronomer, and mathematician. As far as examples go for people who have successfully diversified, choosing their path exceptionally well in order to find success, they don’t get much better than Isaac Newton.
Now, the story of the apple has been heavily romanticized. There isn’t actually any proof that an apple falling on Isaac Newton’s head caused a eureka moment, leading to the formulation of his theory of gravity, though Newton himself told the story pretty much as it’s been passed down. There are actually witness statements that say either the apple landed near him, or that there had never been an apple at all. The apple had just been an example used by Newton to ask the question “why does the apple always fall down, never to the side or upwards?”
But the truth of the details in this story aren’t really important. At least not for today’s lesson. What is important, is what the apple really serves as. Far more than just an example of gravity at work (those aren’t exactly difficult to find, pick up a random object and then drop it, voila!), the apple represents something far more powerful. It is a shining example of a source of inspiration. And that is what I truly want you all to take away from this.
While many ideas often pop into our heads completely unbidden, with seemingly no rhyme or reason, the vast majority are inspired by something. And this is just as true in the world of business as it is in the world of physics, as above. So while you’re all out there trying to come up with your next great idea, while looking inside yourselves, don’t forget to look to the world around you as well. That idea, that spark for you to nurture into a roaring flame, could come from anywhere. From a song. A television show. Seeing someone walking down the street and noticing something about them. A book. And yes, even an ordinary piece of fruit.
Inspiration can come from anywhere my friends. Keep your eyes open, and your eyes peeled. Find your apple, and bake it into a great big, delicious PIE.