The thing is, after Cas moved in, Sam has gotten more blackmail material against Dean than he knows what to do with. Pictures snapped of the two of them sleeping together on the couch, legs tangled and faces relaxed into easy smiles. Or the way they cook breakfast together in the mornings, Cas working over the stove while Dean clings to his back like a particularly sleepy limpet. Or the fact that, more than once, Sam has gotten out of bed late at night for a glass of water and found Dean trying to teach Cas how to dance to old records playing softly in the corner, his eyes bright and laugh quiet as he guides Cas’ footsteps with gentle prodding. Basically, it’s completely sickening just how utterly and completely ridiculously cute they are, and Sam wants to gag with the very idea of his older brother being cute about anything, but the very worst thing about it is, is that even with the blackmail material of his life, he doesn’t want to use it, because for the first time in so long, he knows that Dean is, well and truly, happy.
“We speak of three kinds of laziness. The first is simply to spend all your time eating and sleeping. The second is to tell yourself, "Someone like me will never manage to perfect themselves." In the Buddhist context, such laziness makes you feel that it's pointless even trying, you'll never attain any spiritual realization. Discouragement makes you prefer not even to begin making any effort. And the third kind... is to waste your life on tasks of secondary importance, without ever getting down to what's most essential. You spend all your time trying to resolve minor problems, one after another in an endless sequence, like ripples on the surface of a lake. You tell yourself that once you've finished this or that project you'll start giving some meaning to your life. ”—
Matthieu Ricard, in his book of conversations with his philosopher father, “The Monk and the Philosopher”
The best ideas you'll ever have are the ones you've already had
Because the only ideas you can have are founded on what you already know.
You can’t dream up things that don’t exist if you don’t already know about the pieces required to make them up.
This explains why ideas rely on a certain state of culture and readily-available resources to come to fruition. The Internet wasn’t invented in the 1800s because the sum of it’s parts didn’t exist yet. Similarly, the iPhone, war drones, flower delivery services, the Nintendo Wii, and your grandparent’s famous oatmeal cookie recipe, all weren’t created before their time.
What you know is more powerful than your imagination, but imagination and having a lot of existing ideas is what makes it possible to have really big ideas.
Two great quotes come to mind on the subject, both from Steven Johnson’s 2010 book “Where Good Ideas Come From”
The trick to having good ideas is not to sit around in glorious isolation and try to think big thoughts. The trick is to get more parts on the table.
So yes, the best ideas you have are the ones you’ve already had, but you can get more by consuming more. Read more, walk more, talk to strangers more, click on weird links, share your ideas with others and invite them to share their ideas with you.
If you want to really have good ideas you’re going to have to consume and experiment occasionally too. Johnson’s second quote reminds us of this:
The patterns are simple, but followed together, they make for a whole that is wiser than the sum of its parts. Go for a walk; cultivate hunches; write everything down, but keep your folders messy; embrace serendipity; make generative mistakes; take on multiple hobbies; frequent coffeehouses and other liquid networks; follow the links; let others build on your ideas; borrow, recycle; reinvent. Build a tangled bank.