I had a brilliant idea! I was walking my dogs Tiger and Monkey at midnight for our before-bedtime stroll when it happened. Wow, this is going to change everything! The whole world is going to become a much better place for everyone once we do this simple little thing. Our usual walk takes about ten minutes, and I remember the exact spot where it happened. There are many exact spots where I can remember things that happened, hundreds of “a-ha” moments and this was a really big one!
For example, I remember the exact spot where Debbie was reading aloud to me and I realized the proof that the book Dracula was written by Dr. Arthur Conan Doyle and not his close friend Bram Stoker. I remember the exact spot where I was walking with my friend Bonnie when I realized the precise clues Doyle used to show where the Drake Plate was hidden, and that the system could be used to find some of his other buried hoaxes. I remember the exact spot where I was standing as a very young child when I discovered why poop appeared in my diapers.
These may be silly illustrations of remembrances, and there may be hundreds more that I could write about, but the point is that many of my ideas and events have precise locations associated with them.
Now we come to the problem — there have been many times when a remarkable thing, a thought, or even an event occurred at an exact spot and I knew it was very important to me, and many of them I knew were very important to the world in general. I can now remember that I thought about some of these things for several minutes to develop them into more presentable ideas. The strange thing is that before I could write these new ideas down they vanished.
The problem with a really new idea is that it doesn’t link to already existing ideas very well and so it isn’t possible to reconstruct the thought when it has slipped away. Either you remember it or you don’t.
As mentioned above, one of these events happened when walking my dogs, and knowing that it happened at an exact spot near a specific tree across the street from the Co-op grocery store, (37.869164 -122.283501) in Berkeley, I went back there many times in the hope that the idea would reappear. It didn’t. And since I now live Bend, Oregon, a thousand miles from there it will be impossible to use that technique to bring that idea back to consciousness again. I know that it was a great loss. It has now been more than twenty years since that event, so it is unlikely that I would remember what it was, even if I discovered it again.
I did learn a lesson from that event. Carry a notebook at all times! Since that time I even take notes of unimportant things because they might link to an idea that is important. Also, being 81 years old now, unlinked ideas are harder to remember, and yet because of those intervening years of coffee-shop conversations with wonderful people, it is possible to put things together that are deeper than was possible when my total experience was smaller.
I have learned that if you have a brilliant idea, write it down instantly, or if that is impossible talk to a friend and they can help you remember it, or if that is impossible speak your idea out loud and argue with yourself as if you were a doutfilled friend.
Get your brilliant ideas out into the external world any way you can!