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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > articles >  Your Soul for a Ping-Pong Table

Your Soul for a Ping-Pong Table

Posted on February 27, 2012 and read 2,968 times

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benspic Your Soul for a Ping Pong TableBenjamin Sampson

Can creative people think themselves to freedom?

My friend hates his job. This wouldn’t be worthy of an opening sentence anywhere, except he has a job everyone is supposed to envy, in a place everyone is suppose to love – a creative place.

There’s a semi-homeless guy who hangs out near the same creative place where my friend works, in fact he’s probably seen him leave on his midnight march to the train station sucking back a cigarette like it was his last (and according to him it was always his last).

After all the great ideas my friend has had for other people and companies in the last ten years, both guys are pretty much at the same place. It’s midnight, it’s Monday and neither of them have any of their own ideas to go home to.

Creative industries are full of people who never get to create much. When they do, it usually ends up to be nothing like what they had imagined and almost always ends up being made for someone else.

It’s surprising to find that while millions of creative people in the world have their own great ideas, sparked mostly from what they love or want to fix, there are only a few that stand up and run with them. It’s even more perplexing to discover there are few places that support and help these ideas come to life.

Many creative people I know have had that moment of grace when they begin coming up with their own stuff. It’s a beautiful time for any thinker, sitting there with a half-full glass of beer having a ‘yes, yes, yes,’ moment to themselves but more importantly, for themselves.

But that ‘yes, yes, yes,’ is ultimately followed by ‘how? how? how?’ Then you remember you need to call your friend back, or you get an email about that stuff you should have done earlier because some client somewhere farted in your general direction and then there’s also rent – the smiling assassin that keeps many a closet entrepreneur stuck inside.

Soon you’re reminded of your position in the world as an employee and that you must be creative but never really have your own idea, then you drink and smoke, and smoke and drink, and resign to having a ‘yes, yes, yes,’ moment once in a while but it’s only a sexual one. Besides, the place you work isn’t bad, “they give us free drinks on Fridays and we have a pool table in our office which is pretty cool, huh?” Well, not really.

Ideas, creativity and solving big business problems is a big business, so it’s bewildering to see my friend and countless others who long suffer the birth pains of these ideas still lying in hospital while people far less involved are off celebrating somewhere with expensive cigars, back-pats and big stupid German beers.

Maybe it’s time for creative people to start benefiting from their own minds a bit more? With some seemingly simple creative ventures picking up speed and selling for giant amounts all the time, it seems that even an ordinary idea you conjure for yourself may be better than coming up with a great idea you give entirely over to someone else for a weekly wage and free access to instant coffee.

There will always be creative places around the world. In them will most probably be ping-pong tables, open bars and waterslides in an attempt to make you think ‘I’m lucky to be working here.’ But don’t let that distract you from the call of your own ideas burling up inside and the impending intelligence that says ‘they’re lucky to have me.’

My friend in the creative place that everyone is supposed to love quit his job recently. He decided he wanted to take his pen, pad and all the ideas within it and do something creative with his life, to find out what was out there for him and the only way he could do that – he figured, was to be out there. Besides, he was shit at ping-pong.

Sparked by my friend’s newfound inspiration, writing this piece was my idea, and if you’re reading it, it got made to some degree. And as long as there are people out there who make things happen and help each other and see that going your own way may take less courage than you think and more common sense, then ideas will win in the end. Let’s just hope the people who have them do too.

  • Jeremie Goldwasser

    interesting… What is your friend actually doing right now? (no irony intended!)




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