Genius? Visionary? Adventurous? Cutting edge? Catalytic?
OR ... Naive? Dumb? Impractical? Out of touch? Ridiculous? Pie in the sky?
Frankly, when new ideas emerge, it's hard to tell them apart. I have been lovingly celebrated for being creative and "an idea person." Good!! And I've been criticized, ignored and dismissed for being just too creative... "an idea person!" Bad!!!
It's difficult to argue that new ideas have changed the world. From planes that fly to computers that sit on your lap and tubes for videos. However, ideas ALSO challenge what's normal, what's working and what's cool today. New ideas often require us to move outside ourselves and think different. Ideas have consequences. AND, some ideas really do stink! Maybe most of them! Some ideas should be flushed before they get in the way of real work. It's just not always so easy to tell!
Is brainstorming a great use of your time? Or a waste of time? Is writing up a business plan for an idea fabulous for you at this time? Or is it foolish?
Either way: be nice to your ideas.
Few things are created and perfected at the same time. Baby birds need to be incubated as do alligators, paintings, companies and careers. Ideas rarely start out just right. They may take years to be ready for the public! Yet, the temptation is to think that our ideas should have instant marketability, momentum and investors waiving money? Realized the hard way: Even good ideas come across to most people as stupid, asinine and wretched. And I know that I've destroyed great ideas before they had the slightest chance. Haven't you? As it's been said, "If it was easy, everyone would do it!" Birthing and raising new ideas is work! Sometime really hard work!
The temptation: Try to microwave ideas and make them acceptable to the masses before they're ready. "What do you think??" may must be our own people pleasing. OR we can share them with the words written on our foreheads: "Please stamp out my fire" The fact is... they probably WON'T share our enthusiasm, vision or passion. Why do we think they'll just fall head over heals in LOVE with our new idea??
I confess I have judged other's ideas and others with them way too quickly. At times, my awesome wife has needed to hold up a mirror to help me see my own squint, judgmental face...."What??" I do it too! Even if I so hate when I get that face from others... Hmmmmm... How do you spell hypocrit?
Let me suggest three ways to care for your ideas and keep them from those of us who get the squinty, judgmental face. Hipocrites.
1. Don't judge your idea before you've given the chance to let it express itself in the real world. Just write it down and plan to come back to it. Create an idea file.
2. Don't share it with just anyone. Some people do not do well with new ideas. You don't need their approval and they most likely won't give it, like it or see good In it. Who are the safe people who will know it's still in the tiny infant stage? Let them know that this isn't full-baked. Just be really, really careful.
3. Don't share it too soon. You may need to turn it over in your own mind more before releasing it for public consumption.
According to Eleanor Roosevelt' "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." She might have added: And the beauty of their own ideas.
Keep that future alive! Dream new dreams... Take risks... Be nice to your ideas! AND be cautious. The idea you save may be your own.
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