“Ideas are worth nothing when they’re stuck in your mind.”
This is what I politely said to my colleague (and friend) earlier today when he shared his idea for creating a talk show. He’s an affable, popular guy, so I’m sure his idea would do well if he made it happen. Would. If.
My comment may seem harsh, but it was well-intentioned. I vaguely recalled him mentioning this idea a few months ago over lunch. What progress do you think he’s made with the idea since then?
My colleague is not alone. Many of us have great ideas locked in our minds, occasionally giving them lip service instead of true freedom by way of action.
The mind is super powerful. It can limit creativity as much as it can enable it. It’s a sucker for endlessly flirting with an attractive idea, but this, from what I’ve seen in myself and others, is often in vain. The hot idea which the mind so eagerly entertains either stays stuck indoors waiting for the person who ‘talks a good game’ to make a first move, or it is eventually swept off its feet by some other keen, more serious person with a proactive mindset, which is usually the case. Have you ever seen someone take your idea and turn it into a success and then wonder sweet ‘what ifs’? It’s painful, right?
I have a good friend who reminds me that the mouth is also powerful and that we all have the magical power to speak things into existence. I like this saying because it does guard against negativity, but I don’t think it’s a universal truth, especially when it comes to ideas. We have to be careful, because the more we tell ourselves something will happen, the more we run the risk of convincing ourselves to such an extent that we become void of the necessary drive and willpower to make it happen.
Another force to look out for is our archenemy, Fear. It shouldn’t have much power, but it does. It is quite capable of deceiving someone into thinking their idea is weak and better locked away in the back of the mind, where it can’t be seen and criticized. But a strong-minded person can never be at peace when their great ideas are not freely having a positive impact on the world.
When I speak of freeing ideas from mental confinement I am talking about the process of releasing them, not the realisation of them. I’m talking about starting to make things happen, not everything happening instantly. Good ideas are no different from the people who hold them, they take time to develop. Releasing an idea can be as simple as writing an action plan or carrying out research. This is far more productive than just telling others about your ideas without doing anything to make them happen.
Speaking of others, how can you expect anyone to invest (emotionally or financially) in your idea if it’s not present? Most ideas can be made to sound good, especially by those who hold them, but this isn’t enough to get others on board. They need to see and feel something tangible worth investing in.
And don’t worry if they criticize. Criticism, whether it’s well-intentioned or not, can be turned into something constructive and used to develop an idea or the belief behind it.
So, if you’re reading this and carrying many potentially great ideas in your mind, do both yourself and the world a favor and free them! What are you waiting for?