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When people ask me what I want for the holidays, I have a simple request: a fresh idea.

Something that sparks my imagination and makes my brain ache when I try to understand it.

You can’t believe how hard those are to come by.

‘But wouldn’t you prefer a book, a writing implement, the latest smartphone, a blue shirt, some fashionably-striped socks, a fine bottle of wine?’ those same people often inquire.

Well, I certainly wouldn’t say no to any of those creature comforts. But when push comes to proverbial shove, there’s nothing I like better than a shiny, rough around the edges concept.

And I don’t care where they come from. I like ideas regardless of shape, colour, and occasionally even the size of the ego that hatched them.

I think what draws me to ideas is their quirky and changeable personalities. One may look suave and dapper when you first encounter it when in reality, it’s a stinker. Another can seem minuscule and suddenly it’s commanding a state.  A third could enter the room as one creature and before you know it, take on a completely different shape.

The trouble is so many ideas these days just seem tired…like they’re carrying the weight of the year – or decade – on their shoulders.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind a good recycled idea. I’m all for renewable resources. But at least turn them on their heads a little, give them an olive or a twist.

Where do you find your ideas? Do they come to you while sitting in front of a computer? When you wake up after a dream? After scribbling a stream of consciousness list?

I stumble – or trip over my ideas – the good and bad ones, when I go for a walk. So next year, I resolve to amp up my ambulatory antics.

Until then, I want to leave you with – not an idea per se, but more of a wishful thought: let’s all try harder to open our minds, shake off old habits and hope that in 2015 we’re struck by many brightly intense light bulbs or at least an inspiring shock.

Happy holidays!

About Martin Waxman


Martin Waxman conducts social media and online crisis training workshops, is a digital and communications strategist and speaks at events across North America. He's the co-founder of three PR agencies, president of a consultancy and has worked in the industry for over 25 years. Martin is a Lynda.com and LinkedIn Learning Author, teaches digital strategy and social media, and is past-chair of PRSA Counselors Academy.

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