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DON'T SLAM THE DOOR ON YOUR IDEAS
by Bob Garner

Catherine Elizabeth Ponder once said, “Whenever you have an idea, that is God tapping at the doorway of your mind saying, ‘Let Me in’.”

How many of us, when we get an idea to do something - like start a new job or business, write a book, take better care of our customers, or work more effectively with fellow employees - dismiss the idea almost as quickly as it came? How many times do we “slam the door” shut, instead of letting ideas in?

As children in grammar school, we were taught and encouraged to be creative. Strangely enough, as we continued through the educational process (or as I like to say "the domestication" process), creativity became encouraged, yet also discouraged. We were encouraged to "think outside of the box," as long as we remained enclosed in a "larger box." (By the "larger box," I mean the box that tells us not to "rock the boat," "stay in line," "don't question the status quo," etc.)

This "box within a box" style of creativity continues into our working years. Many employers will say that they want their employees to be more creative, when it comes to selling products or services, finding solutions to customer's problems or building better teams, yet many of the ideas that employees offer are shot down, faster than you can blink.

It seems that many of the people who would prefer to do the "real" thinking for us are leery of new ideas. Oftentimes, they state that we should wait for a "better idea," without telling us what that idea may be or from whom it will come. They tell us to "wait and see what happens," then complain that they are still faced with the same problem.

On a more personal note, you may have had an idea of changing jobs, starting a business or accomplishing a goal, only to tell yourself, "That won't work" or "That is too hard to do" or "I'm too (old, young, inexperienced, unintelligent, busy) to do that now."

As Ponder stated, your ideas are God's way of getting your attention. These ideas are, in essence, gifts from God. You would not have been given the idea, if you were also not given the ability, knowledge, and power to make those ideas happen.

Additionally, your ideas are timeless and without form. Living in a time-oriented society, we have a tendency to immediately place our ideas with a timeframe. We try and place the infinite in a finite box. Ideas are infinite. By placing your ideas, immediately, into a timeframe, you lose the essence of the "spirit" of the idea.

That's not to say that you don't explore your idea and develop a plan of action that can include when you would like to see it become an accomplished fact. It means that you don't kill the idea at its birth, by setting up unrealistic timeframes or giving yourself a multitude of excuses as to why your idea can fail.

Ideas breed faster than rabbits. And one idea can give birth to multiple ideas, if you remove the self-imposed timeframes and excuses. Of course, you must be "receptive" to such ideas - for you can't attract anything, until you first open yourself. You can only find that for which you look.

Oftentimes, we take our ideas and "hope" that they will work, as opposed to "knowing" that they will work." There's a big difference, here. If you have taken your idea and thought it through, have allowed other ideas to develop, and then have developed a plan of action, "hoping" that your idea will work zaps the energy out of your idea faster than a bug zapper kills mosquitoes on a hot night in Georgia!

Your ideas are eternal and endless, just like you. They have the Infinite Power behind them to accomplish their task, if you "believe" that they do. Thoughts of negativity, fear, worry, and doubt are like pirates that capture your boat and steal your treasures. You begin to focus on "what if this doesn't work?" or "this isn't happening fast enough -what's wrong?" instead of focusing on the outcome that you desire.

Ideas don't get stale, people do. Here's a challenge: For the next month, listen to your ideas. When you get an idea or are faced with a problem and start thinking about how to solve it …listen.

Welcome all of your ideas - even the ones that you feel are a little bit crazy and weird. In fact, those that are a bit "different" are the ones to which I give attention. Primarily, because I know that the majority of people will dismiss these ideas immediately and not work out a plan to bring them to life. Therefore, others won't be doing what I'm doing and voila …that makes what I'm doing more unique and memorable - which translates into an easier journey to success!

Here's another challenge: Write your ideas down. Put them on paper where you can see them. Take each one and see - without timeframes or excuses - if you can develop a plan of action to follow. Don't be afraid. Step out of the thinking of the masses (those who adhere to the doctrines that they were taught during their domestication).

The truth is - the masses never developed or created anything. Progress happens when individuals take ideas and move on them. Take your ideas and move on them.

A good example is Ron Popeil. Do you know who Ron Popeil is? You may have seen him on television and you may have even bought his products, but you might not know who he is.

Ron Popeil took "crazy ideas" and made millions. Decades ago, he took some plastic and wire and created "The Pocket Fisherman." It was a compact fishing rod that fisherman (or should I say fisher people?) could easily take with them and go fishing. He sold these on what is now commonly referred to as "infomercials." He was the first to not only come up with this weird device, but also the first to create and use infomercials to sell such products. Popeil sold gazillions of these little fishing rods, and now you can see him on television selling a myriad of things, like "Mr. Microphone" and "The Veg-O-Matic" - all products, by the way, that he created from his ideas.

I have met Ron Popeil. He's a great guy and speaks his mind. What is his philosophy? "If you snooze, you loose," says Popeil. "If you have an idea, at least take the chance."

So, turn off your snooze button. Take a chance on your ideas. Welcome these infinite, eternal, and formless "gifts" into your life. Don't be afraid or nervous about the outcome. Just welcome and develop your ideas with care and love. The next time you get an idea, don't slam the door shut. Open the door … and let It in.

Bob Garner is the author of "Masters of Motivation" which has been called a “must read” by business leaders. The creator of a number of CDs that have empowered thousands, Bob writes for numerous business magazines and speaks extensively worldwide on motivation, sales, and success. Sign up now for his free monthly newsletter called "Personal Success" at http://www.bobgarner.com


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