ISSUE-077

The best ideas arise from a passionate interest in commonplace things.


Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.


Where do the best ideas come from? Some might argue that a passionate interest in commonplace things is the key that gives rise to a best idea. Granted, I do not deny the importance of one’s passion in motivating him or her in the pursuit of knowledge, but from my point of view, the best ideas cannot spontaneously arise from simple passion and interest. Instead, there are at least two factors that play a crucial role in generating best ideas: imagination and knowledge.

It is understandable that many people would place a strong emphasis on one’s interest. After all, it is commonly assumed that a passionate interest is the perpetual motivating factor that pushes us forwards in the quest of knowledge. Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of the electrical motor giant Tesla, is a great example. Difficulties are never absent in his life, and yet he always managed to overcome them with his unwavering interest in the application of electrical vehicles. However, interest alone does not guarantee the birth of the best ideas, because while we can be highly motivated by our interest, what lead to the best ideas is not necessarily the product of simply being motivated. Knowledge and imagination, in my opinion, are where the best ideas truly arise from.

First, knowledge is the foundation of most, if not all, advances in our society, ranging from science and technology to literature and music. As a result, the best ideas are almost always the breakthrough on existing knowledge, and apparently without a solid foundation in what we already know, progress cannot be made. Let’s still take Elon Musk as an example. His brilliant ideas on not only electrical technology but also space exploration are deeply rooted in his profound understanding in science, engineering, economics, and even politics. Without such knowledge it is impossible for the ideas such as Supercharging and FalconX to come into being. Second, imagination also plays a key role in forming best ideas for the reason that the advances in our society are fueled by innovations. Steve Jobs, the ex-CEO of Apple, can be a great example. Before the introduction of iPhone, people only treat cellphones as a simple tool for telecommunication. Yet, it is Steve Jobs’ imagination that gave rise to a marvelous idea that brings a phone, an Internet browser, and a portable music player into a single entity. The success of iPhone today demonstrates the value of this idea that is eventually rooted in wild imagination.

To sum up, while a passionate interest in commonplace things can motivate us to pursue what we love, it does not necessarily mean that best ideas can be formed. Instead, the best ideas arise from the accumulation of knowledge and free imagination.



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