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Ideas: A Stasis Between Desire And Ability

July 18th, 2009 • Brian Caldwell
1 CommentLife's Parentheticals

Ideas are wonderful things that help make us humans feel productive. Yet for some people, an idea alone can be a seductive fallacy if not co-joined with additional, actionable, elements.

The place of ideas in an economic sense is, of course, a priori. We cannot create a plan of action without the seed idea from which to germinate a full plan. Humans cannot build work-flow maps, create processes and implement design methods to reach the moon without the desire to visit the moon. Not to mention all of the innovative ideas that go into the building of “the things that get us there.”

Of course, our personal achievements are throttled by our abilities. If our desire is to see an idea converted into something that other humans use, consume or ponder in some mainstream manner, then we face the daunting task of overcoming our in-abilities. If we lack vision, then our ideas may lead to achievement levels that earn a level of notoriety which remains hidden in the noise of society. If we lack skills, resources, connections, acumen or voice, then we are limited in our chances of achieving any sort of reasonable return on the effort we put into turning an idea from ethereal to substantial, without risking it becoming ephemeral as well.

(Ideas + Action) / Ability = Achievement.

So. Ideas in stasis are at that balance point between what we can intuit in our minds and our desire or ability to identify and achieve a goal.

Is the act of brainstorming as pure sport, simply for the pleasure of the neuronic exercise a waste of time? Of course not! Just as the emptying of one’s mind and staring into the sky to admire the shape and color of the clouds can bring that blissful state of being, so can the creation of ideas bring a mind to joy without requiring achievement to be part of the equation.

So why am I writing this?

There are certain people in our society who feel that ideas without action are worthless. I simply wanted to state that achievement without ideas is impossible and the generation of a multitude of ideas, some of which cannot/should not/will not be acted upon, is appropriate for any individual. Period. Simply for the joy of creation.

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One Comment so far ↓

  • Philippe Valdois

    Reading your post I started thinking about the more realistic situation where someone will create a plan of action based on the ideas on another one, such plan being implemented by a third one (or more).
    Instead of examining the balance of skills needed in an individual we need therefore to do the same with various individuals within the frame of a society, a company or a small group who might plan, for example, a movie, a building, etc.

    The innovator more often than not has only the ability to think and will need in addition minimal communication skills, but the one, or those, who implement ideas need to have not only the skills and will power to do so but also a certain amount of creative skills (ideas, dreams) to share the vision of the dreamer.

    In that sense going back to the individual as you imagine him, able to think, act and achieve, your equation has more chance to be true with an achiever because he will have naturally the ability to discover ideas wherever they are, fitting his purpose, than with a dreamer who left with his ideas might not even be able to communicate and share them with an achiever.

    Also as a thinker he will quickly think about something else before his ideas have a chance to develop.

    Stasis is much easier to achieve between individuals than in an individual.