I was about 10 years old when ankara outfits became the vogue, beautiful patterns and styles decorated the streets everyday making my mind run wild with ideas – I recreated every style I saw and made new ones – all in my head. One day, in the midst of my imaginations, my eyes caught a bag; what if it was styled with or even made of ankara? I had thought. Accessories! I screamed. Then I began to design – shoes, bags, neck pieces, earrings, bangles, brooches, hair bands and ….oops, (they haven’t made those yet). But again, it was all in my head. Fast forward to my 1st post graduate job, I was seated in the office and a lady walked in with three bangles adorning her right wrist; her bag, shoes, earrings and a nice little brooch were all patterned in the same design, a perfect match for her plain blue denim dress. Looking closer, guess what I discovered? They were made of ankara, I couldn’t help but imagine how it would have felt and what I would have achieved if ‘little 10years old me’ was the inventor of these items which I had already visualized over 10years ago.
A more recent incident shook me even more than a couple of other similar experiences. Just yesterday, it was like dejavu when I called up an IT savvy friend of mine to discuss an idea that crossed my mind some three years ago. I could not afford the startup capital at that time, so I just stalled. I had now decided that he could be my technical partner and get a percentage of the business profit for his services; I wasn’t going let to my ideas slip by anymore without actualizing them. His response to the briefing I gave over the phone was, I don do am already, heheheee. The default questions that followed were when? For whom? This year, he responded. Joint effort, he added. I felt like the ground should open up and swallow me. When the idea came, I was working the same guy on a project for one month away from the office; couldn’t I have just shared the idea so that we could find a way around it? Or at least I could have mentioned it to him a year or two later when I had figured out that a partnership would be the way to go. Hmm (sigh), if you’re feeling sorry for me at this point, please grab the closest reflective object you can find, look into it and make sure we’re not in the same shoes.
I have a theory of ideas, call it a hypothesis because it hasn’t been scientifically tested or proven; I like to think that an idea would usually come to mind through a unique combination of a set of observations, experiences and thinking process. Therefore, if by chance, two or more people happen to engage this unique combination, whether or not they are separated by space and/or time, the same idea would drop in their minds. In essence, whether you have ‘idea rushes’ like me or, one or two ideas jump at you from time to time, those ideas may not be concealed forever if you choose to “delay till eternity” before actualizing them. It is dangerous to delay because someone somewhere may just be basking in the same unique combination that brought you that idea and ‘boom’: it would occur to him/her too.
An inventor is not necessarily the first person whom a particular idea occurred to; the inventor is the believer, the risker and the doer. If nine out of ten of your ideas have been initiated by someone else, you better jump on your feet and begin to run with the tenth because somebody is probably catching the vibes of your ‘unique combination’ right now. Einstein was probably not the first to think of relativity nor is it impossible that Mark Zuckerberg and co were not the first to think about an online community through which people could chat and share their thoughts in both words and pictures. Often times, the difference between the commoner and the achiever is ACTION. One of my bosses recently said that we imagine that our elected presidents should be ‘supermen‘ because we expect them to do what most of us usually would not; to ACT ON or IMPLEMENT ideas or solutions to problems ‘after all the extensive research, committee formations, analysing and strategic planning’ which we claim to be carrying out – we’re always too busy building our ideas that we forget to do what matters: implement them.
Most people love to watch movies but only a few would pick up a movie manuscript to read because it’s not half as interesting as seeing it played out. The producer has to scream, ACTION and have the cast play their roles because it is only in ACTING that practical corrections and adjustments can be made to achieve the best of the ideas in the script. A seminar speaker said that there are only two kinds of people in this world – producers and consumers. DO NOT WAIT until you begin to pay to consume something you could have produced yourself. On a lighter note, a comedian opined that the patient dog eats the fattest bone because the faster dogs have eaten up all the flesh; funny but true – that’s not to underplay the lesson of patience but to emphasize the importance of making your moves at early enough. Act on your ideas today, it is dangerous to delay!
By OBBIE Luya
Image source: Google image
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