Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Zen of innovation.

From the book Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert:

They say that an oak tree is brought into creation by two forces at the same time. Obviously, there is the acorn from which it all begins, the seed which holds all the promise and potential, which grows into the tree. Everybody can see that. But only a few can recognize that there is another force operating here as well -- the future tree itself, which wants so badly to exist that it pulls the acorn into being, drawing the seedling forth with longing out of the void, guiding the evolution from nothingness into maturity. In this respect, say the Zens, it is the oak tree that creates the very acorn from which it is born.
And this is how innovation happens. And how great brands emerge from the heap of ideas, as well. Look for the longing in the void.

Thanks to my friend, Noel, for sending me this passage, and to Anon in the comments for calling my attention to its source. Much appreciated on both counts.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi - some friendly advice, i just read that exact quote written by Elisabeth Gilbert in her book: EAT, PRAY, LOVE - you might want to reference her out of respect for her authorship - even if she has based it on existing Zen philsophy.
Oh - and innovation is often based on pre-existing ideas that many often pretend are new... it is important to acknowledge where you get your inspiration from...

Scott Crawford said...

Thanks Anon,

I wasn't aware that this story of the acorn was included in "Eat, Pray, Love," since I haven't read it. The passage was sent to me within an email from a friend. But I certainly want to give credit where credit it due, so I'll update the post accordingly. Many thanks for the heads up.