Though we have spoken a lot about dealing with our fears, it is not enough to just overcome your fears. Overcoming fear and doing nothing afterwards is not the focus of our discourse. We are more concerned with what you want to do that needs your fears properly handled. A fearful boxer, who decides to face his fears and ventures into the arena, is better than a very bold and courageous boxer who has never fought a battle. It is important to understand that facing our fears is only in an attempt to steer towards a particular goal, idea or desire we have been deprived from by these fears.
Ideas have been and will always be the building blocks of tangible accomplishments in all its forms – you think about something and then proceed to doing it. They are products of thought, imagination and/or deep reflection. Though it is true that everything starts from an idea, it must be noted that what ideas have is potential power, nothing more. This means they can be converted to powerful sources of blessings and rewards if acted upon, or remain as debris in the mind if left to decay. It is our responsibility to act on our ideas. No one will do it for us.
Talking about the power of an idea, I would like for us to take note of the following:
- 1. It is not what you have or know, but what you do with what you have or know, that changes your story.
It is not about how many brilliant ideas you have or talk about, but the ones you act on that will change your story. Remember that ideas are the building blocks of all that we know and now see; from spiritual truths to scientific innovations. They were conceived in the mind and then executed. Imagine the innovators of our time only knew and for some reason – which we will plainly call excuses, failed to act? Things will definitely still be as they were during the Stone Age.
If you think your idea is as good as you say it is, do something about it – act on it. Stop coming up with all the excuses in the world as to why you can’t, won’t or failed to, because in the end, the world really doesn’t care if you acted on your ideas or not. You owe it to yourself.
Excuses, fear and procrastination have sent many innovative ideas to the grave and the trend keeps repeating itself. Choose to have a different story written about you. Do something with what you know and even if it doesn’t work out as planned, at least you tried.
- 2. If you think you can, or you can’t, either way you are right.
The mind is the master weaver of man’s circumstance, or reality, to be more general. This means that your outward results are a manifestation of your inner self and thinking patterns. You create your own reality by what you accept as your subconscious truth. So if you think your ideas will fail, don’t bother giving them a try, because believe me, they will. But if you think they stand a chance, ways to make your thought pattern your reality will be made available to you via nature by divine powers.
Stop asking What if
One of the reasons why we come up with many ideas and fail to act on any one of them is because we entertain too many “What ifs.” What if it fails and they run away with all my money? Or what if I loose it all? What if it doesn’t work out, what if, what if? Though these are possibilities and concerns we ought to look into, as optimism should never be used to replace realistic thinking and fact finding, there certainly is a distinct difference between being realistic and factual and being downright negative and cynical.
Remember: it all boils down to what you think.
- 3. The only foolish idea is the idea not properly planned and acted upon
Many think their ideas are dumb and as a result, they end up not sharing or executing them. Well, to repeat: the only foolish idea is the idea not properly planned and acted upon.
This does not mean that planning and acting on an idea is a guarantee that it will be successful. It however is the only thing to do if success is what you aspire, because one thing is for sure: the easiest way to make sure you never accomplish anything in life is to over analyze and then do nothing with what you have.
You never will know until you try.
There is potential power in every idea you conceive. The question is: What are you going to do with it? Many, for fear of a whole lot of things have given up on their ideas without even giving them a shot. Just remember that with the appropriate plan in place, plausible ideas can be turned to gold.
It is better to try, even if it means you fail, than never to try at all for fear of failure. Words we should never get tired of hearing.
- 4. The time of conception and the time of execution of an idea are very different.
Not all ideas must be executed immediately they are conceived. Don’t rush it. But don’t procrastinate either. Be patient, not delaying execution because of fear. When the time is right, you will know. One way to know is by staying optimistic about your idea.
Having an idea now doesn’t mean you must act on it now. This is one of the reasons why most ideas fail and people tend to give up. They executed an immature idea. Because they were excited they rushed into doing things without adequately planning for them, and as the Bible says; “He who makes haste with his feet misses his way” (Prov19:2 RSV). You must be able to ascertain the time is right and when you are sure, don’t waste any more time.
- 5. A good plan or system increases your chances of success. So come up with one.
Sometimes, it is not about what the idea is, but about your plans and the system you put in place to execute the idea. Note again that these are no guarantees that the idea will work out as planned, but they surely will minimize your chances of failing while stepping up those of succeeding.
I am reminded of the story of two gentlemen who were awarded a contract to supply water to a certain village. While one of these contractors immediately started hauling water in two silver buckets he bought, from the nearby river to the village, the other went away for a while, wrote a business plan, got interested investors and came back a couple of months later with a plan to build a pipeline linking the river to the village. At the end of this great story, we were reminded to always ask ourselves anytime we are contemplating acting on an idea: “Am I hauling buckets or building a pipeline?” (For more information on this, I strongly advice you get, Rich Dad’s Cashflow Quadrant, by Robert T. Kiyosaki.)
Most people get excited and jump into action without even making any concrete plans and in the end, things get tougher than they would have been provided an adequate layout and system of execution was in place. Sit down and make a plan; know what your target for that idea is and what you must do to meet that target. Then move on to build a system to help you attain that goal, always remembering to start small and never keep your eyes off the grand goal.
Dream big, but start small, or at least start with what you have.
- 6. Acting on your ideas is no guarantee they will be successful.
Not to sound pessimistic or anything, but it is important that we know this. However, it is equally important to understand that what we may call failure in essence always has a lesson to teach and the idea we think failed was probably the very idea God wanted to use to teach us that lesson.
So either ways, not trying is the wrong choice as you might miss the success you could have had if you tried or miss the lesson you ought to have learned if you “failed”.
I recently lost what I would think is a great deal of money in an idea that went sour, but truth be told, and this is not some pry to get any attention, I really was glad I actually followed my instincts, because in the end, what I got from that one failed experience has taught and saved me a whole lot and will continue to do so for a long time. This has been my experience a couple of times, but I always end up being grateful for it.
In effect, never let the fear of failure keep you from doing things you are passionate about, things you have dreamt of doing. Again, you never will know unless you try.
Also, never take failure, especially in something your instincts told you to do, to mean you are headed the wrong path or that you took the wrong path to begin with. This has often been the case as friends and even family members further emphasize it with comments like; “I told you so” and all the like. But just because you failed doesn’t mean you were headed out in the wrong direction. Failures or setbacks are vital ingredients in the success equation. I put it to you that those who have tried and failed, more than once even, are better and closer to success, provided they don’t give up, than those who sit in their comfort zones and tell you why everything you think of doing won’t work out.
And what does it even mean to fail? Does failure mean not trying or trying and identifying ways in which something won’t work so you better know what ways will? You answer that for yourself.
Even if an idea doesn’t work out as properly as you thought it would, you would have left that experience with more wisdom and practical knowledge which will serve as an invaluable asset in shaping your future choices and decisions. Those who fail to try anything never learn anything either and those who fail to learn are planning to fail already.
Valuable life lessons are seldom thought in the four walls of a classroom. Having an MS (Masters in Swimming), does not make you are qualified swimmer. Until you get in, and try it out, you are no better than the commoner on the streets.
- 7. Though plans and times may change, never let your ideas die.
The way you thought you were going to go about executing an idea or the time you thought you were going to execute it might change, probably due to spontaneous circumstances you were not prepared for, and it’s okay, not to encourage excuses or procrastination though, but in the end, don’t let ideas you believe in die. This is not to say that every idea you get must be acted upon. Certain ideas, as stated earlier, after carrying out more research and getting more counsel should best be left unexecuted. But for ideas that won’t leave you, ideas that are plausible don’t let them die.
Some of you may give excuses like; “Many other people are already doing it”. Well, how many people own grocery stores in your neighborhood, selling virtually the same products? Others may say they are late. It is better late than never. For some of you who think you can’t pull through with your original plan of execution, you can always change your plan to something you will be more comfortable with, but in the end, don’t let plausible ideas go to waste. Avoid giving excuses and go out there and do something.
There is nothing as powerful like an idea whose time has come and there is no greater way to miss opportunities than to fail to act on ideas whose time has come. Remember that if it were easy, everyone will do it. The fact that they aren’t should make you understand that it’s not.
You can make it if you don’t just try, but do all that is necessary. Your ideas won’t yield fruits simply because you did your best. If your best is not the best, it might not work out. You therefore must be ready to put in the best. If it means going in for extra research, or acquiring an extra skill or anything, you must be ready to go in for it. Always remember that though ideas in their raw forms are not worth very much, when correctly acted upon, one idea can change your story completely.
You owe it to yourself, to God and to the world. If God gave you the idea, trust that He will make a way for it to hit the limelight. But He won’t be able to do much if you don’t play your part. You see, this is how it works: While God wants so much to bless you; He can’t just open up the windows of heaven and start pouring out blessings on nothing or on something you are not very committed to. For the rains to be of benefit to the farmer, he must have seeds already planted in the soil. For the seeds to be of any benefit to him, he must cater for them from the time they sprout till they mature. It is true God makes the plants to grow, but He also waters the weeds and will let them grow together if you don’t do anything.
You have a part to play.