January 21, 2012
Everything Begins as an Idea

Know Time illustration.jpg

Everything begins as an idea.

Whether you're in business, school, jail, or debt, that's how it all gets rolling. First there's the idea, then there's the manifestation of the idea -- assuming, of course, that the person with the idea has their act together.

If you have any doubt, take a look around you.

Everything you see began as an idea: The microchip, the chocolate chip, the fishing net, the internet, the company you work for, and the company you keep. All of it. Everything. Even the Universe, some say, began as an idea in the mind of the Creator.

Well then, if it all begins with an idea, where in the world do ideas come from?

There are two schools of thought on this subject.

The first ascribes the origin of ideas to the efforts of inspired individuals who, through a series of spontaneously occurring or purposeful mental processes, arrive at a useful new possibility.

The second school ascribes the appearance of ideas to a transcendent force, a.k.a. the "Collective Unconscious," the "Platonic Realm," the "Muse," or the "Mind of God."

According to this perspective, ideas are not created, but already exist, becoming accessible to human beings who have tuned themselves enough to be able to receive them.

The first approach is usually considered Western, with a strong bias towards thinking. It is best summarized by Rene Descartes' "I think therefore I am" maxim.

Most business people subscribe to this approach, as it gives great weight to the power of the mind.

The second approach is usually considered Eastern, with a strong bias towards feeling. It is best summarized by the opposite of the Cartesian view: "I am therefore, I think."

Most artists and creative types are associated with this approach, with its focus on intuitive knowing -- a way of understanding that does not lend itself to analysis and quantification.

Both approaches are valid. Both are effective. And both are used at different times by all of us, depending on our mood, circumstances, and conditioning.

No matter what our preferred approach, however, the challenge remains the same for all of us: how to honor, develop and manifest our ideas.

This is a challenge made increasingly more difficult these days by the fact that, somehow, ideas have gotten a bad rap.

If you have one (and most of us do), chances are good you usually apologize before talking about it (if you talk about it at all) with some variation of "Uh... er... um... it's just an idea."

Most of us, in fact, have made a habit of discounting ideas -- in ourselves and in others. "A dime a dozen" is all we think they're worth.

And so the prophecy comes true.

Our ideas are diminished, not because they are worthless, but because we do not know how to elicit their value. We do not understand how to cultivate them.

Afraid we will be judged, or worse, fail -- we toss them out long before their time. Like Jack's mother, of Beanstalk fame, we throw our magic beans out the window, doubting they had any real value in the first place.

But they do. Jack's did. And so do yours. At least they might have value. That is, if you are willing to go on the journey to find out.

Which bring us to the moment of truth. The moment of choice. Now.

Ideas -- no matter how exalted they might be, almost always assume a need, desire or intention on the part of the originator.

A person must care enough about something in order to get an idea about it. The bigger one's need, desire, or intention, the greater the likelihood that ideas will make their appearance.

And so, aspiring innovator, I ask you this:

What is your need, desire, or intention?
What is moving you? What is calling you? What do you want to create?

What is your idea -- that 'thing' you want to manifest in this world -- even if seems like a long shot?

Excerpted from Awake at the Wheel

An idea greenhouse
An idea hothouse
An idea outhouse

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at January 21, 2012 10:44 PM


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Idea Champions is a consulting and training company dedicated to awakening and nurturing the spirit of innovation. We help individuals, teams and entire organizations tap into their innate ability to create, develop and implement ideas that make a difference.

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