I am an eclectic person when it comes to the things I enjoy in life. With music, I may listen to the Battlefield 1 soundtrack from the Xbox One game or the metalcore band, August Burns Red. Another day, I might listen to Benny Goodman or to the Cats Broadway. When it comes to art, I love Jackson Pollock’s work and I also enjoy Rembrandt’s work. I enjoy outside experiences like hiking and camping. I also enjoy inside experiences like sitting next to the fireplace with a good book or going to a brewery to try a new craft beer.

I am also a creative person and brand marketing consultant who is always looking for new ideas. Whether it is a new strategy for a client’s product or a new painting that I want to start, it seems my mind is always going. I look for ideas by reading blogs and books, browsing social media, and listening to podcasts. I glean from other professionals and experts for ideas, but I found my best ideas often do not come from these sources.

My best and often original ideas come from life experiences. It is when I do not go looking for them that they come to me. It is when I am just enjoying life. They come unexpectedly whether I am watching a movie with my family, looking at Renoir at that National Gallery of Art, having a conversation with my wife about current events, or standing on the Manassas Battlefield overlooking the hills and imagining soldiers preparing for battle.  They don’t come to me in every experience and that is alright. I have noticed, though, when I go looking for ideas in life experiences I miss enjoying life. Ideas, when they do come, are just an added bonus of enjoying life.

So…enjoy life this week. Try a new beer, a new genre of music, or a new book (preferably fiction). Go camping or hiking. Check out a new play or try a new cultural experience. The point is, don’t go looking for the ideas and just enjoy life, and, as an added bonus, maybe your life experience will spawn a new idea.