The Buddhist meditation teacher and podcaster, Tara Brach, tells the story of a man who sees a dog near a tree in the woods. The dog is snarling and snapping viciously, and the man feels angry and afraid. But as he comes a little closer, he notices the dog’s leg is caught in a trap, and the animal is in terrible pain. Now the man feels compassion and sorrow for the suffering dog and understands why he is snarling.
Great ideas are more common than you think. I have several of them every day. Book titles, catchy phrases, new business innovations. I am a genius in my own mind. But (and yes, there is a but), the sheer brilliance of my thinking can evaporate when I start to write it down. What seemed deep and substantial before I wrote it, seems thin and wispy on the page. It can be a shocking moment. Authors are the ones that keep going past the shock and work out ways of substantiating their ideas.