My Idea: Will it Float?

Posted: September 18, 2012 in Artists' Corner, Leadership Development
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Dreamers, innovators, those of you who are full to the brim with ideas… You there. Yes, I am talking to you. I know how it feels. When I was 9 years old, I was ready to change the world. I was going to write a book by the time I was in sixth grade. I was going to have at least three different careers when I grew up. I was going to make a difference.

How many times have you had a great idea and it seemed to die and you don’t know what went wrong? I want to submit to you that so much of it is timing. There are different reasons that our ideas work or don’t work and so little of it has to do with the merit of the idea itself. Some ideas float and others sink like rocks.

Other than the fact that your idea may just stink, here are some reasons your idea may fail:

1. The idea is not as fully developed as it could be.

Einstein once said that he was not necessarily smarter than other people, it was just that he stuck with problems longer. We so often miss this key to success. You may have to sit on your idea and rework it for 20 years before anything happens. Maybe you will meet someone down the road who has the missing piece to your idea, the piece that will solve everything.

2. The venue or people with whom you’re trying the idea just don’t fit.

I have had this happen many times. I have had a vision for something that I thought would be really cool and no one really got it no matter how hard I tried to communicate it. Then I would see something similar happening with different people in a different venue. I was encouraged to find that my idea did work somewhere, it just did not work in the location where I was. If you are coming up against a brick wall, you may find that waiting for the right place, the right people, and the right time, will accelerate everything.

3. You don’t have the power or skills to make it happen.

If you are part of a church, business, or organization in which you are not the leader, you may find that your idea is too big for your level of influence. While some leaders are insightful enough to use great ideas that are not theirs, many will not have such wisdom. If the leader of the organization does not see the value of your idea like you do, your idea may be doomed before it ever takes flight. Some ideas are too big to try without the authority to back them up. Someday you may have this authority. Someday it may actually work.

My mother taught me to write everything down. Thanks for that, Mom. I have ideas that have been locked away for years. Who knows if they will ever take flight? But pieces of them are all valuable to me and I would not be a good steward of them if I forgot them or tossed them away. There may be a day when I need that idea, or a piece of that idea for something I am doing. It will be fully developed, in the right venue, and I will have the power to make it happen. Until then, don’t stop dreaming! Your ideas are precious. They hold more power than you might dare to think.


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