We’ve all had them. Ideas that are special to us. Ideas that seem like they could turn into something good given enough time. It might be an idea about creating something or becoming something – but we sense that this idea is special, and has the power to be transformational for us.
A good idea is like a tiny seedling. It is still young and delicate. It can be easily harmed, squashed, or damaged beyond repair.
Our job is to protect that idea until it has enough strength to stand alone.
So what are we protecting our idea from?
Well, that’s what I call them, anyway.
Ideas grow in a place in your mind that is much like a little garden. Your job is to keep the elephants out, because no matter whether it’s a well-meaning and friendly elephant, or an angry, rampaging, or just plain mean elephant , elephants have the capacity to stomp on your good ideas and cause irreparable damage.
An elephant might be a family member who says to you, “Honey, don’t be ridiculous, you’re not artistic. Didn’t we decided you were going to be a dentist? Stop being so dramatic and go finish your studies!” You deflate. The idea is crushed beyond salvation. You cry a little when no-one is watching and then go dutifully study teeth and gums.
They might be a friend, who laughs or rolls their eyes when you share your idea with them. “That’s the stupidest thing I ever heard!” they might say as tears of laughter run down their face. You look at your idea after they’ve gone and it’s wilted and sad. Suddenly it seems hopeless to even try and revive it.
Or it might be a teacher, a room-mate, someone who you trust, a competitor, or even someone who in loving you and trying to support you still tramples on your dream. “Oh, that’s so interesting, but wouldn’t it be better if you…” Suddenly your good idea doesn’t look anything like the way it did when you started, and it just doesn’t make you feel the same way about it any more.
Worse still, they might steal it, and put it in their own garden! One day you come back to work on your idea only to find that someone else beat you to it and it’s thriving over there – and will never be yours again.
When an idea is tender and young you need to put a protective fence around it. Maybe you’ll need to keep it in a diary or a safe place. Maybe you’ll need to keep nurturing it in your mind. But respect this idea, cherish it, and help it to grow. Don’t invite elephants into your garden. Don’t even let them catch a glimpse.
If you love and nurture your idea it will grow. You may even find some people who can help you tend that idea, so that it strengthens and blossoms. As you get excited about it and clear about it, you’ll attract what you need to get your idea to thrive.
One day it will be strong enough and big enough that even an elephant can’t squash it. And then it will have the power to transform your life, and maybe even the lives of others.
Believe in your dreams. You are given them for a reason. Honour them, cherish them and trust that they have the capacity to grow into something beyond your most wondrous imagining. ♥ xx