|Photo by Grendel Khan|
That’s mean isn’t it? To tell someone their ideas are worthless is pretty cruel. But you know what? It’s true, well sort of anyway. I can’t count how many times a day brilliant (or so I think) ideas pop into my head. All these ideas for making my life easier, ideas about inventions that should be made, ideas about a better way to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches without ever getting one in the others’ jar… you know, important stuff. Anyway, if you know anything about me at all you know I’m a daydreamer, therefore at any given moment I have about half a dozen ideas floating around in my already overcrowded brain. Here’s the problem – unless I make a plan and put these ideas into action, they’re basically worthless. If, however, I take one of these ideas and foster it, allow it to grow into something bigger then perhaps it will have some value.
When I was really young we used to hatch and raise chickens. We had the whole set up – incubator with temperature control, an egg candler (a light to see inside the egg), etc. We would take the eggs and wipe them with a dry cloth then place them in the warmth of the incubator. We would place an X and O on each end of an egg to make sure they had been turned and we would make sure to turn them several times a day. Every now and then we would use a light to look inside the egg and see the progress. We would just wait and watch and wait as the chick would grow inside the egg. After what seemed like an eternity, we would see a tiny crack and the chick would work its way out. The whole process takes a few weeks (seems longer) but is very rewarding.
I know, you’re asking “Where on Earth are you going with this and why do I care about your chickens?”
Here’s why you care: Ideas are like hatching eggs. You have to tend to them patiently, foster them, keep them warm, and every now and then examine them from the inside out to see from every angle how this idea in progress is changing and what it might become. Eventually, after we spend some time letting our idea develop, we can clean it up and set it free into the world. Oh, we won't entirely let it fend for itself, but if it's a good one we can, for the most part just sit back, let it find its wings and fly. (Yeah, I know chickens don't really "fly" so slightly bad comparison but that's not the point).
If none of that makes sense, what I’m really trying to say (just taking a long time to get to it) is we need to nurture our ideas before putting them into action (or before giving up on them entirely). Some ideas might take a little longer than others to grow into something more. You know, the best things in life sometimes take a while to become the best things - like wine, cheese, fruitcake… well, maybe not fruitcake. Anyway, the point is you can have the most amazing ideas in the world but if you don’t nurture them and allow them to grow, well, in time all you’re left with is a bunch of rotten eggs. So yeah, they’re pretty much worthless. Have you been letting your eggs rot?