In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts: they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
Have you ever read about a new invention and thought, “Doh! I should have thought of that.” How about hear a beautiful piece of music and thought, “I could have written that!” When it comes to a lot of pop, you could even add a “I could have even sung that and played guitar on that album.” Do you ever get this feeling while reading a novel? In between thoughts of “That’s brilliant!” there are notes of “Hey, I could have written that…”
Have you ever thought quietly inside, “I DID think of that”, and feel a nagging frustration that you never did anything about it? Maybe you couldn’t have anyway. You were too busy with work and family. You didn’t have the money or contacts to make it reality. That book that never got out of the drafts inside your head. That symphony sitting just under the surface that never made it to ink. That brilliant startup idea that Google just paid 100 million for. Whatever. That is what I believe Emerson is speaking of.