If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.
~George Bernard Shaw
To this day, I believe, given the right combination of marketing, capital, fabric and wire, my idea for a windblown necktie – a springboard to a whole line of windblown clothing accessories – is a winner.
Of course, I’m probably wrong. But who knows, maybe it’s already been done? Perhaps, at this very moment, a dapper individual is in a socially-distanced business setting, expounding colleagues on, let’s say, profit and loss margins, and sporting a necktie locked in a sideways and up position, as if caught in a strong breeze or a subsiding hurricane.
Dare to dream. And that’s sort of the point. We all have such ideas, right? Something with think could be “really big,” but for some reason or the other, including the worry that folks might think we’ve lost our level-headed way, we never champion them in the way they need to be championed to become champions.
And why’s that?
I asked Jason Kurtz, a renascence man and a nuanced thinker when it comes to human psychology, an individual who puts this knowledge to maximum use, whether it be in his successful work as a practicing psychoanalyst, published author (Follow the Joy), and award-winning playwright. He says this about this:
I think most people can identify with what you’re talking about. We all have these kinds of ideas. But, what to do with them? I think these ideas fall into two general categories. The first category is fantasy. It’s a great idea. Wouldn’t it be fun to do it? But, it’s not really our passion. We’re not really an inventor or an entrepreneur, we’re not really a writer or an artist, so it’s just a fantasy. The idea may become something we think about, and maybe even regret, but we would never do because it doesn’t really call to us.Don’t like ads? Become a supporter and enjoy The Good Men Project ad free
The other type is when we really, truly, deep down have a wish for ourselves, but are afraid to go for it. From a psychological perspective, this likely goes back to our childhood. How did our parents react to our dreams? Did they laugh at us when we wanted to be president, or go into outer space, or write a novel? Did they help us work to achieve our goals, or did they ignore, or even worse, ridicule our goals and our needs? Most of us have learned that the world is not responsive to our dreams, and we, therefore, don’t try for things that seem unlikely or out of reach. We have a dream or an idea, but feel that we’re not good enough, or we don’t deserve it. And then someone else, who not only believes in the idea, but believes they are entitled to go for it, achieve it, and we look on and feel envy.
I think the first challenge is to know ourselves, so we can differentiate between fantasy ideas and our inner passion/calling. Then, once we know what our passions are, the second challenge is to permit ourselves to take the risks of actually trying to achieve those dreams. We still may fail, but I think it feels immeasurably better to have tried and failed, than to always wonder what might have been.”
Now you understand why I ask Jason questions. I get answers that help me understand. And feel better about my past decisions to either pursue an idea to fruition, or hold it forever in my unresolved intellectual quiver bank.
His take also reminds me of the time when I first got serious about writing and sought to be published. I was sending out a batch of short stories, to journal after journal, and was getting rejected and rejected. One day, a fellow emerging writer, about to start a similar journey, asked me if I copyrighted my stories before sending them out for consideration – i.e. was I afraid that someone else might steal them and take credit?
My response was, “I hope so.” And while I was being facetious, there was some truth to my words. If someone else could get my work published, then at least I can feel good and affirmed that my work was publishable. Then, of course, I could sue their pants off.
Along with my windblown tie, here are four more ideas I am releasing from my brain into the wild. They are up for grabs to anyone who wants to make them happen. I promise I will not bring a lawsuit against you or contest in a garden party that they were mine first. In fact, two I stole from my nephew.
In the Cup – A food truck shaped like a cup, which serves hot food in a cup, or ladles out food to people who bring their own cup.
Earthbox – A comfortable, climate-controlled human-size box that is buried in line with the ground, with entry through a top glass door, that when closed allows the occupant to stare straight up into the sky, in silence and serenity, and observe all that the natural world brings – rain, sleet, snow, smog.
Lyric-Decipherer – An app where people can plug in song lyrics that seemingly make no sense, have no meaning, or connection to reality. In return, they receive explanations on what possible sense, meaning or connection these lyrics have.
Portable Living Statue – A movable, life-size statue of a person pretending to be a statue with a tip jar. Can be placed as desired in parks, tourist areas, or the front lawn to generate gratuities.