Idea of an Idea

What makes a blueprint a reality?

Ideas are a dime a dozen; all that matters is execution.”  I realised the true meaning of this adage very recently.  About a couple of months ago, when I met my friend Sherlin, she excitedly shared, “Babita, listen, I have got a brilliant idea and want it to happen!  I believe that this idea would do wonders and affect lots of lives!”  She told me the whole idea and was convinced that it would do wonders.  I carefully listened, wished her luck and asked her to let me know how she goes with the idea.  A few weeks had passed, and I had not heard back from her.  So I called and asked as to where she had reached with the idea.  She hesitantly told that the idea got faded away, as it not only seemed difficult but was also time consuming.

How many times have you been in a meeting and someone told you, “That’s a great idea; you should take the initiative and make it a reality.”  Most of the time, typically nothing comes out of it.  Several powerful ideas remain dormant because we don’t have the courage, resources, time and/or money to take action.  Similarly, we have a few great ideas floating around in our heads, but unfortunately, most of those ideas either wind up buried, forgotten or abandoned, simply because we either don’t know what to do with those ideas or harbour visions of grandeur that aren’t realistic.  And a few of those who do take action are unprepared and thus find themselves spending their valuable time and money on a dream that simply goes astray.

Thomas Edison was undeniably one of the greatest men in the history of mankind.  Most of us know him as a brilliant scientist and inventor, but few know about his great business mind.  One of his most famous quotes “Vision without execution is hallucination” indicates how much he valued not just the idea generation, but its implementation as well.  He was certainly a man who not only had ideas but also executed them.

Converting an idea into an actuality (regardless of the required investment of time and money) will be difficult!  A thought is often not taken to fruition because of the unexpected challenges that are hard to handle.  But once the idea turns into reality, it’s altogether a different scene.  The history is filled with such legends who took an effort to do so!

There is no dearth of ideas.  Just tell a few of them that you want to develop a centre for old age, and see how ideas pour in.  Ideation is distinctly different from execution.  Whether you are an entrepreneur or a corporate executive, giving ideas life is very much like giving birth to a child.  You must own the responsibility regardless of the circumstances.  No one will ever understand your idea or the dynamics associated with it like you do.  As the old saying goes, “If it were easy, everyone would do it.”  We have to approach the process with a lens that keeps our ideas and ambitions in perspective and on track.

Having an idea is the beginning of the process.  It’s the 1% inspiration to the 99% perspiration.  Once you’ve had the idea, it’s time to buckle up and get to work.  Spend some time adding appropriate details to your idea.  How can it be done or made?  Is it even possible?  Why is it useful?  What evidence do you have for this idea?  A basic SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis can prove to be very handy in understanding where you stand and how you could go about with the idea.  This will likely involve doing minimal research using tools like Google, Wikipedia, Quora or asking friends and family about the idea.  Obviously, the amount of effort in this area depends on a lot of factors: your expertise in the field, your interest in digging into the topic and your seriousness to convert an idea into a reality!  Successfully converting an idea into a reality is a marathon, not a sprint.  We have to pace ourselves so that we can reflect upon the mission at hand.

Ideas are like seeds.  Available in plenty!  But if we want to grow that seed into a tree, we have to nurture it by execution, patience and consistency!  The passionate pursuit of converting an idea into a reality will open new doors to endless possibilities.

One of Edison’s most famous quotes “Vision without execution is hallucination” indicates how much he valued not just the idea generation, but its implementation as well.  He was certainly a man who not only had ideas but also executed them.

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