What’s Obvious

Author and entrepreneur Derek Sivers once made a wonderful obser- vation. He said that many people marvel at the ideas of their peers and exclaim, “I could never come up with something like that. All my ideas are too obvious.”

The funny thing is, according to Sivers, those brilliant and amazing ideas often feel just as obvious to the person having them. As he put it, “Everybody’s ideas seem obvious to them.”

Do you ever feel that way? Like all your ideas are just too easy, too obvious? I’ll bet you do. I do too, but I’ve learned over time that what’s obvious to me isn’t always obvious to others. I have a different set of life experiences, a different grouping of ambitions, and a different lens I’m looking through to find answers. Because of that, any solutions I’ve been working on for a while are going to feel vaguely familiar even though they might seem totally revolutionary to others.

As you go about your work today, be mindful not to dismiss an idea simply because it feels too obvious at first. It may be obvious to you but not to others. Brilliance often feels commonplace at first.

Just because it seems obvious to you doesn’t mean it’s obvious to everyone.


Have you ever discarded an idea because it seemed too obvious?

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