I have ideas. Lots of ideas. By nature, I’m a starter, though finishing proves difficult almost every single time. But if you’re looking for someone who has ideas (and wants to tell you all about them), I’m your gal.
I have ideas for new businesses, vacation spots, party plans and blog posts. I have book ideas, matchmaking ideas and painting the kitchen again ideas.
I have ideas.
The problem? My ideas aren’t always what one might call brilliant. I mean, I call them brilliant. They’re MY ideas, after all. I get kind of attached.
Almost immediately after I announced I’d be holding a weekly Facebook chat last fall, I began questioning the genius of that plan. NOT because I didn’t enjoy chatting with you all; I did! But during a stressful season, adding another weekly commitment to my calendar wasn’t a smart choice.
As I was lamenting this dilemma I’d created for myself (wah, wah, poor me), a very honest friend agreed that my idea was less than bright – and then suggested that, from now on, I run all ideas by her before proceeding. Now that might be a good idea.
Just to rub salt in the wound, my delightful preschooler said this the other day in the car: “Mommy, I sure do love you. But sometimes, your ideas aren’t that good.”
The funniest part of that was how her statement came out of nowhere. That could mean that it’s just nonsense . . . or that she’d been thinking about the situation for a while. Either way, all I could do was laugh. She’s right. Sometimes, my ideas aren’t that good.
I’m not saying I’m like Gob [of Arrested Development], but it’s possible I’ve said, “I’ve made a huge mistake” more than a few times. (Although I still swear a salsa-tasting class or bar or something is brilliant and should absolutely happen.)
Does that mean that all of my ideas are bad? No way!
And neither are yours.
Have you ever had a bad idea? Have you ever had a string of bad ideas? Have you ever forgotten the last time your ideas weren’t, in fact, recipes for distraction, if not disaster?
I’ve had enough ideas that seemed bright but weren’t that I began wondering if I’d ever have a good idea again. I’ve had enough plans that seemed perfect but weren’t that I started thinking I’d never figure out The Right Plan for Me. From that point, it wasn’t a stretch to reach, “Why try anything new? Why try at all?” pretty quickly.
Now THAT is a bad idea!
No matter how many bad ideas or failed plans or flat-out mistakes you have on your record, you are brilliant. You’ve got the intuition, the invention, the innovation to come up with the greatest idea we’ve ever heard.
So don’t stop now.
Your next idea might be the one we’ve been waiting for. That plan you’ve just started putting together, those pieces that are falling into place? It might be the very thing that changes the world.
So if you’re struggling to believe that your bright idea is, indeed, bright, let me encourage you today. Your ideas? They’re GREAT ideas. We need your ideas.
Even if they don’t seem great at first, you never know when they might end up being the next Post-It or penicillin or potato chip (all inventions that started out as “mistakes”!). You have brilliant ideas.
My latest great idea wasn’t anything earth-shattering, but I’m still pretty fond of it. After hearing about a Valentine’s card shower a local radio station is holding for our children’s hospital, I decided we should all bring craft supplies to our Superbowl party and have the kids make cards while we watch the game.
See? That one’s a keeper. And your next idea might be, too.
What’s the last bright idea you had?
Nailed it! This is me exactly, and I carry tremendous guilt for not following through with the projects and ideas that I start. Luckily my husband doesn’t point out this flaw of mine, even though he is INCREDIBLY awesome at following through with things he starts. Reading this today really put things into perspective for me, though. I’m going to try to start looking at it a different way now.
My husband is great at not pointing out my lack of follow-through, too. SUCH a blessing!
You got it just right. The important thing is that you HAVE ideas. Not every idea is going to be profound and game-changing. Be just have to keep thinking creatively until we find those gems.
Great point – as long as we keep thinking, keep creating, the brilliant ideas will come.
Connecting this to your StrengthsFinder post from last week, I just learned that my Input strength can be overwhelming to others. I thrive on ideas, the more the merrier! However, what I consider “brainstorming” or sharing some great concepts can make some of my friends feel frustrated and pressured. Guess my journal is gonna be my best friend on this one!
How interesting! I’m really looking forward to discussing our strengths at work, because I think it will be enlightening about how we all work together.