Photo by lonoak
Scott’s Thoughts: The Art is in the Doing
Ideas become great when they’re made real.
“It doesn’t need to be imagined, it needs to be written down.”
–Philip Glass, composer & artist
Ideas can inspire us. They can help us dream about what is possible and imagine where we would like to see ourselves. An idea is a form of hope. It presents a pathway for us to follow, an option in our lives we may not have had before.
But ideas only go so far. Like good intentions, they only promote change in the world when they are made real. They’re like thank you notes you intend to send– meaningless until tried. Someone who is “just an idea person” is someone who builds nothing. They remain safely in the world of the imaginary, and as a consequence, they learn very little from their ideas.
All innovation, progress, and art in life comes from the exploration of our ideas, not the imagining. What’s more, better ideas emerge from the execution of previous ideas. Experience provokes new thinking. When we protect an idea by failing to explore its possibility in the real world, we’re really trying to protect ourselves–from the pain of falling short of our imaginations, the pain of disappointment. If we allow this to happen, we ultimately rob ourselves of future greatness because we never learn from our ideas.
If all you’ve done is come up with ideas, it’s time to start trying a few. Yes, some won’t work. Yes, you might feel disappointed when months or even years of effort fail to get you where you want to go. But don’t despair! Even that “failure” is progress towards the next idea and the next ascent up the mountain.
Which would you rather be? A broke agent with perfected plans, or a thriving agent with a few pretty good ideas in action?
Ten honest attempts beats a thousand imagined possibilities every time.