Welcome to #InspireAfricaProject! Ideas are the major forces that transforms the society. If not for ideas, we will still be living in caves and grass houses today. Ideas took humanity from the hunter stage to where we are presently. Just imaging if there is nothing like air planes; how can an American come to Nigeria? How can a Nigerian travel to Australia in a faster and easier way? Although we can travel by sea, but ship is also a product of idea.
Just imaging if we are still traveling on horse back today; the world would have remained backward. Ideas gave us a faster means of transportation. People were going through hell during surgery before Sir James Simpson invented chloroform to induce patients to sleep. If not for ideas, how would humanity have sophisticated medical equipments that can drain the entire blood from patient’s body during surgery to minimize bleeding?
Have you ever imagined a world without social media, the Internet, computer, smartphones, trains, electricity and every other things we use today? Guess what? What we have seen so far is nothing compared to the uncommon ideas that are yet to be worked on. Ideas rule the world. Ideas push humanity forward. One idea can change a whole system within a day.
Ideas are fruits of your thinking. But they’ve got to be harnessed and put to work to have value. Each year an oak tree produces enough acorn to populate a good-sized forest. Yet from these bushels of seeds perhaps only one or two acorns will become a tree. The squirrels destroy most of them, and the hard ground beneath the tree doesn’t give the few remaining seeds much chance for a start.
So it is with ideas. Very few bear fruit. Ideas are highly perishable. If we’re not on guard, the squirrels (negative-thinking people) will destroy most of them. Ideas require special handling from the time they are born until they’re transformed into practical ways for doing better things. Use these three ways to harness and develop your ideas:
1. Don’t Let Ideas Escape. Write them down. Every day lots of good ideas are born only to die quickly because they aren’t nailed to paper. Memory is a weak slave when it comes to mind preserving and nurturing brand-new ideas.
Anytime I coach businesspeople and professionals, I usually insist that they have what I call, Idea Diary. I always tell them that no matter how crazy a thought is, they should document it. No matter how busy they are, they should document anything that looks like an idea that pop-up in their minds.
Carry a note-book or small notepad with you. When you get an idea, write it down. A man who travels a lot keeps a clipboard beside him so that he can write down an idea the instant he receives it. People with fertile, creative minds know a good idea may sprout any time, any place, so they move around with their idea diary to document them.
Don’t let ideas escape; else you destroy the fruits of your thinking. Fence them in. Document them. Don’t give them room to escape. I literally wrote one of my books, The Pursuit of Excellence inside my car, on my way to a speaking engagement. The moment the idea of the book dropped into my mind, I pulled over, brought out my idea diary and wrote down the title, divided it into chapters, wrote the introduction, and structured how the book would be. If I didn’t do that, that book would have died.
I prepared one of the life changing slides I will be using in Abuja today and tomorrow in my car, on the 4th of September, 2013. The moment the idea dropped into my mind, I pulled over and wrote it down in my idea diary. Don’t allow any idea to escape, no matter how crazy it my look when you received it.
2. Review Your Ideas. File these ideas in an active file or the idea diary you move around with. The file can be an elaborate cabinet, or it can be a desk drawer or just a diary. But you must examine your storehouse of ideas regularly.
As you go over your ideas, some may, for good reasons, have no value at all. Get rid of them. But so long as the idea has any promise, keep it. Some people go through their ideas first thing in the morning, others go through them before they sleep. The most important thing is to go through them when your mind is active so that you will gradually find creative ways to turn them into wealth.
3. Cultivate and Fertilize Your Idea. Now make your idea grow. Think about it. Tie the idea to related ideas. Read anything you can find that is in any way akin to your idea. Investigate all angles. Then, when time is ripe, put it to work for yourself, your job, your future.
When an architect gets an idea for a new building, he makes a preliminary drawing. When a creative advertising person gets an idea for a new television commercial, he puts it into storyboard form, a series of drawings that suggest what the idea will look like in finishing form. Writers like myself with ideas prepare a first draft. That’s how I write my books and articles.
Shape up the idea on paper. There are two excellent reasons for this. When the idea takes tangible form, you can literally look at it, see the loopholes, see what it needs in the way of polish. Then, too, ideas have to be sold to someone: customers, employees, the boss, friends, or investors.
Resolve to put your ideas in salable form. An idea written or in some sort of picture or diagram form has many times more selling power than the idea presented only in oral form. Why do you think companies print brochures? That is the easiest ways to sell their products. Just imaging a salesperson telling you about his fantastic product without showing you what it looks like, will you purchase it? The answer is no.
One of the reasons why I encourage people to have a mastermind group is to help them to harness their ideas. After putting down your ideas in your idea diary or file, you need someone to critique it. You need people whom you trust to take a look at the ideas, and show you what you didn’t see. Before a company rolls out a product, it goes through many experimentations. Many people looked at it, examined it, and made their input.
Surround yourself with people who can help you flesh out your ideas. They can be your staff, a partner, a mentor or mastermind group members. Don’t allow any idea to escape from today. No matter how busy you are, kindly write them down, or dictate it to your personal secretary, or even get a recorder and record it. One idea well harnessed can turn you into a billionaire.
Napoleon Hill said, “First comes thought; then organization of that thought into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination.” Dear friend, let your imagination visit heaven and bring down uncommon ideas that will make the world a better place. Wisdom is profitable to direct!
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