In his popular book The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho tells a story of the journey of a young man named Santiago who has the courage to follow his dreams.

Though Santiago’s aim, in the novel, was to discover his treasure in the Egyptian pyramids, the real treasure was the process he had to go through first.

In his quest to search for his treasure, he ended up working for a crystal merchant for years.

He met an Englishman [who became his traveling companion], The Alchemist, and also fell in love with a woman to whom he proposed marriage.

Do not be in a hurry to get to the finish line. Do not let your need to quickly “make it big” make you miss the wonderful lessons and people that life will bring your way.

When we become too fixated on only the end result, everything in between usually becomes drudgery; just a means to an end.

Ideas work pretty much the same way. Ideas are not eureka moment, not light bulb moments. Eureka moments and light bulb moments don’t just happen, there is a process that leads to them.

Coming up with great ideas is a process.

You have to understand and appreciate the innovation process.

This explains why some startup companies are more innovative than others. They understand the process of farming amazing ideas.

Just like Santiago in the Alchemist, cultivate your mind to see your daily rewards.

Be grateful for that new connection. Be happy about the new lesson you learned from meeting one of your mentors.

What about the person you are becoming because of the struggles and challenges you have overcome so far? Let that mean something to you.

If Santiago never discovered his treasure, it probably wouldn’t have mattered that much to him.


The reward he got from the process, pales in comparison to whatever treasure that was in the Egyptian pyramids.

Understanding the process of coming up with amazing and creative ideas is critical in order to be competitive and sustainable. Whether you are a startup entrepreneur, a poet, an artist, or just an administrator, understanding the innovation process is a journey worth taking.

We are starting a new short course title The Innovator’s DNA on Tuesday, 04 November at 1830 via Zoom. I hope you will join us on this journey of discovery.

Innovative thinking is an acquired skill, it is not something you are born with.

Innovators are made.

The journey is the reward.

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