In the days before microwave ovens, popcorn was a mess to prepare. Every completed batch left behind a large, oily pot, a matching lid and a bowl littered with unpopped "old maids."
Jiffy-Pop was the solution to this mess. By spending a few cents more for Jiffy-Pop, your popcorn would arrive not in the standard see-through bag, but in an odd sort of disposable frying pan. The recipe however, remained the same -- stand over a red-hot stove burner and shake like crazy.
As the kernels exploded, Jiffy-Pop's expandable aluminum foil lid grew larger and larger until it reached the chef's-hat size that signaled completion.
Like the goofy looking design of a NASA space shuttle, where the gas tank is larger than the orbiter itself, a fully-popped package of Jiffy-Pop looked equally ridiculous but flew with the public just as well. It was an unusual, but successful idea.
Odds are, you've never heard of "Jiffy-Bacon."
But only because my father never brought his idea to market.
Bacon is every bit the mess to prepare that popcorn ever was. Dad's idea was to sell it in the same disposable frying pan as Jiffy-Pop, solving the same problem for bacon-eaters that Jiffy-Pop had already handled for popcorn-eaters.
Of course, back in 1968, this was radical thinking. Today, foods packaged in their own ready-to-prepare containers have become commonplace.
Isn't that what an idea is?
We see a problem. We look for a solution within the framework of knowledge we already have. We mentally combine different elements of things we see around us, turning the problem over and over in our minds. Then miraculously, moments, days or weeks later, in pops that unique, never-before-considered combination -- an idea -- ungainly perhaps, but nevertheless, it's the solution that we needed.
Ideas work with far more than jiffy foods.
What problems do you seek solutions for? There's no need to shake ourselves like crazy.
Just ask ourselves questions. What can I do to become happy...or healthy...or rich?
And then relax. Open our minds to any possibility, including the unusual and unlikely. THINK.
Sitting in a quiet place, poised with pen and paper, we'll soon capture a flood of ideas that cascade into our minds with all the power of a busted dam.
Just from the power of asking.
Respectfully asking for ideas is the first step to their appearance. Capturing them on paper is the first step to applying them. Applying them is the process that sends more. Gratitude insures they continue to arrive.
Over time, and use, we begin to trust that the solutions we seek can be discovered by merely asking for their answers. The truth is, everything we need to successfully navigate our lives is already connected to the other side of an idea.
Like the space shuttle's gas tank, we are connected to an energy source far larger than ourselves. Ideas are merely evidence of this connection.
Go ahead and quietly ask. Ideas are the unlimited food we can harvest for life.
Mike Johnson is an energetic writer & entrepreneur. Learn more about Mike's offerings at www.MikeJohnson.biz