Today, I want to talk about ideas.
I was inspired last weekend by a moment of serendipity while out with Heather celebrating our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple.
And this moment of serendipity came at exactly the right time, exactly when I needed it to … as the best moments of serendipity often do.
Having just eaten some of the best pizza and salad that Dallas has to offer at Eno’s in the Bishop Arts District …
Heather and I were walking, hand in hand, back toward our car.
As we reached the furthest outskirt of Bishop Arts, we noticed a new store that had popped up since our last visit. As many of the businesses in this area are, the store was actually an old home that had been repurposed into a business.
A lady sat alone on a two-person wooden swing hanging from the front porch. She overheard me mention that this store looked new, confirmed that it was, and suggested we come inside.
It appeared to be a clothing store, mostly for women, but with a few items for kids. Heather and I weren’t in the mood for clothes shopping, but deep down I think we both had an appetite for discovery, so we decided to walk in and see what this new store offered.
Plus, we like supporting local businesses. And there was something about the lady, sitting there alone on her swing, her store brightly lit and ready for patrons, that put us in the mood to want to buy something, should we find something that fit our needs.
We did. In fact, it was the very first item that we laid eyes on.
A children’s book.
You may be wondering how a children’s book fit with our needs in this moment. There are two reasons why.
The first is that Heather and I are expecting our first child, a fact that I am very excited to announce on this episode of Primility Primer. And it’s amazing how that reality changes what your “needs” are, almost overnight.
This means that we have to start developing a voluminous library of fun, interesting, important books to read to our daughter. This book fit the bill.
The second reason why this particular book fit our needs in this moment is because it is a book about ideas — about the power of ideas to literally change the world; but, more importantly, about the responsibility that we have to be stewards of our ideas so that they have the chance to grow, develop, and impact others.
We want our daughter to believe this: that her ideas are important, that they matter, and that she has everything within herself to bring these ideas to life.
So buying this book was a no-brainer.
But there was another reason, a third reason why I had to have this book.
And it’s because as much as I want it for nights in the future when I am reading my daughter to sleep, I want it for myself. Right now. Because it’s not just a child who needs to be taught and reminded about the power of her ideas and her simultaneous responsibility to them, it’s all of us.
And even if it’s a lesson that we’ve heard a thousand times, we can only be better for hearing it for the thousand and first.
Primility is my idea. For whatever reason, it popped into my head, and I decided to follow it through, and it’s made a huge impact in my life, and I’ve taken the step of putting it out into the world … developing it as I go, and hoping that it makes a positive impact on people along the way.
But the road has been bumpy. There have been false starts and shifts in direction. I’ve set content schedules and missed them. I’ve felt moments of incredible confidence and direction … only to see those productive feelings replaced by feelings of self-doubt and confusion.
Will this idea really matter to people?
Will I ever do a good enough job of explaining it? Of teaching it?
Those feelings of confidence are why I’m nearing 100 Primility Primer episodes, which were preceded by years of blog posts prior.
But those feelings of self-doubt and confusion about where to take the idea next are why I sometimes skip weeks, like I did last week.
Ideas are like that.
They can help us scale mountains, but they can also bring us to our knees.
Reading this book aloud when Heather and I got home gave me a much-needed reminder about the power of our ideas and, more importantly, about our responsibility to them.
We all owe it to ourselves, to our ideas, and to everyone who might be positively impacted by our ideas to be prideful, because a healthy sense of pride will drive us to believe that our ideas are important, to be grateful for our role as their steward, and to be willing to stand up and share them with others.
Simultaneously, we owe it to ourselves, to our ideas, and to everyone who might be positively impacted by our ideas to maintain our humility, because a healthy sense of humility will drives us to stay mindful of the effort and empathy that will be required to develop our ideas into something that others can understand, relate with, and be moved by.
This is a lesson that I want to teach to my daughter. And I want her to have a reminder whenever she needs it. That’s why I’m so glad we found this book.
The book is called What Do You Do With an Idea. It was written by Kobi Yamada and illustrated by Mae Besom.
You can buy it at Amazon: What Do You Do With an Idea by Kobi Yamada.
Now let me ask you …
What can you do today with your ideas?
Join the discussion in our Facebook group and let us know.