“Good ideas come with a heavy burden; which is why so few people execute them. Few people can handle it.“
There are more good ideas than we know about. Good ideas, or the nugget of a good idea or a derivative <that could become a good idea> are scattered everywhere. You just need to listen closely and you will find a good idea every day <assuming you listen to enough people>.
Hugh is absolutely correct in that few people accept the burden that comes with a good idea.
Good ideas are tough in two ways <okay, more but I will focus on two>.
First may seem contradictory to what I wrote at the beginning, but I am really qualifying what I stated.
There are a lot of good ideas, but the really good ideas are rare.
To clarify, by rare good ideas I mean the really meaningful ones. The ones that make an impact. The ones that make a difference. The ones that make people sit up and pay attention. Ideas are a dime a dozen and listening to them is like mental masturbation. But meaningful ideas make you sit up and think “well, this is the real thing.”
Which leads me to the second thought.
Getting people to sit up and pay attention (or listen).
Well. When people pay attention, and listen attentively, to a good idea they will challenge and debate and skewer <even if it doesn’t deserve skewering>. They do this because “meaningful” means, well, it means something to people – enough that they care about how it may impact them as an individual.
The burden of a good idea is never (really) in coming up with it.
This is just a guess, but I bet there are more good ideas sitting in someone’s drawer <or a bunch of people’s drawers> then have ever been done let alone made public. There are more good ideas than we have time to actually do.
The real burden is in vocalizing, defending and figuring out how to implement. And not many people can handle that burden. They don’t, or can’t, because meaningful ideas are not flippant, they take work. They have depth and dimensions and to defend them you need to be able to not only articulate the depths and dimensions, but even defend the some vague outlines of parts (vagueness always exists with meaningful ideas because they tend to be ‘future value’ type ideas and, well, the future is not predictable).
And Hugh suggests few people can handle it.
I tell kids all the time that they are our future, well, only if they actually accept the burden of our future. So often those who are being asked to accept the responsibility of the future complain about those in the past <or they even resent those in the past> with regard to them shirking responsibility. Yeah. There is a lot of finger pointing that goes on with regard to ideas and the future.
Well. I have a bunch of things to say to that, but suffice it to say I will simply say “nuts.”
Nuts to all that crap.
Ideas are of the present and the future. Lingering in the past is simply a way to avoid the burden that comes along with an idea.
If you have an idea … good … share it.
If you have an idea and you want it to actually happen … good … do it.
Good ideas are a burden.
And it is the people who do not recognize that which will consistently fall into the ‘dreamer’ category. Meandering through life coming up with ideas and wondering <and sometimes bitching> about why no one does these ideas they are thinking about and talking about. These are the people who give dreaming a bad name.
And then there are the people who take on the burden. The ones who have ideas and actually scratch and claw and fight through all the negativity and doubters to make it happen. They wrangle not only with people but with words. They are the ones who embrace storytelling as a tool to create a narrative around their idea (Carse), or embrace metaphors (Lackoff), or simply become lovers of words themselves as symbolic tools (Symbolic Species).
Here is where the deal gets tricky.
Not everyone who has an idea and fights for it has a good idea. I will not call them snake oil salesmen, but they certainly do have some of the same characteristics. Some truly have good intent, but even with good intentions they are out trying to sell you a bunch of “Why” and not “What” and a why without a great what is a bunch of nothing.
Because the people who accept the burden are valuable commodities. It takes a special person. And it is foolish of us to simply disregard those who accept the burden and yet have a bad idea as fools or dreamers or, well, not worth paying attention to.
Because they have a skill.
They are strong enough for the burden. And let me tell ya folks … not everyone has the strength to do that. So when we chastise or joke about those people <simply because the idea maybe even be a little nutty rather than ‘not so good’> we shouldn’t. We should be seeking opportunities to utilize those people’s strengths. In other words, transition them from snake oil salesmen to idea narrators.
Regardless. I am 100% confident that there are a gazillion good ideas sitting out there in the homes of people who just do not want the burden of a good idea.
Hugh is correct.
But. In the end?
Hugh is correct.
Most people cannot handle the burden of a good idea.