Ever have an idea, but slammed the door on it saying, “That won’t work” or “That’s crazy”? As children, we were taught and actually encouraged to be creative.
Strangely enough, as we continue through the educational process, creativity becomes discouraged. We are encouraged to “think outside of the box,” as long as we remain enclosed in a “larger box.” (By the “larger box,” I mean the box where we are not to “ rock the boat,” “question the status quo,” etc.)
This “box within a box” style of creativity continues through our working years. Many employers will say that they want their employees to be more creative, when it comes to selling products or services, finding solutions to customer’s problems or building better teams, yet many of the ideas that employees offer are shot down, faster than you can blink.
Occasionally, a good idea is let through the door, and – as the writer and inventor Arthur C. Clarke put forth – those new ideas will pass through three periods. The first being “It can’t be done.” The second, “It probably can be done, but it’s not worth doing,” and the third, “I knew it was a good idea all along!” (If you’re in corporate, that should ring a bell!)
While others can slam the door on our ideas, oftentimes we do it ourselves, before anyone else has the opportunity. From negativity and self-doubt to poor planning and unrealistic time frames, we can kill our own ideas, instead of following a few steps to allow our ideas to take root and grow.
With that said, here are a few tips to help you open the door to your ideas – and let them grow:
Keep a Notebook Handy:
While this sounds elementary, have you ever had an idea and then scrambled around for a piece of paper on which to write it down? Perhaps you had an idea, thought you would remember it and then later, while trying to remember it, you couldn’t. The English philosopher Sir Francis Bacon once said, “Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable.” So, take a tip from Sir Bacon and write down your ideas.
Time to Contemplate:
When you can find a quiet moment, review your ideas. Let your brain chew on them, and see how you inwardly feel about your idea. Have a conversation with yourself. Ask yourself questions. Write out the pros and cons to your ideas and study them. Make sure to avoid the knee-jerk responses of negativity that can arise. (Remember a quote from Albert Einstein, “If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.”) View your idea with an open mind, never forgetting that (usually) if you were given the idea – you were also given the way to make it a reality.
From Idea to Reality:
If after your self-conversation, you view that your idea is viable, write down some steps that you should take to turn that idea into reality. Don’t be too specific, just a few basic steps. Picasso attested that one should have an idea of what one wanted to do, but it should be a vague idea. Look at the basic steps and choose the most logical first step and then act on it. Don’t set up time frames that will force you to move fast or deadlines that are impossible to meet. Just let your idea flow and grow on its own. As you move forward, adjust accordingly. Sometimes one idea leads to another better idea, so you dismiss the first idea and move on to the next.
What is important to remember is that when you act on your idea, you step out of the “herd mentality” that most people have. The masses have never developed or created anything. Progress happens when individuals take ideas and move on them. As a funny motivational speaker, I’ve always appreciated the wisdom of entrepreneur and author Jim Rohn who once stated, “Ideas can be life-changing. Sometimes all you need to open the door is just one more good idea.” Follow these three tips to open the door to your ideas.
A funny motivational speaker and funny motivational keynote speaker, Bob is known for his creative way of reinforcing specific points in his presentations with entertainment. Additionally, Bob is an author and syndicated writer on personal and professional development. His new Twitter site offers tweets on abundance, peace, happiness and success – go to @Abundancefaucet.
©2013 Bob Garner. All Rights Reserved. Feel free to post this article, but please use my byline and resource box. Thank you.
Read Full Post »