Wednesday, March 01, 2006

INITIATIVE...Where Have You Gone?

Much of my time over the last several weeks has been spent exploring the blogs that have been selected as favorites of some of my favorite bloggers. In my cyber travels, I found myself on the blog of one Nichelle D. Tramble. The time I spent at her blog was time well spent for several reasons, not the least of which was the interview she had posted with author Elizabeth Gilbert. As a "wannabe writer" myself, this interview delivered one of the most insightful forays into the mind of a published author I have been priveleged to experience. The funny thing is that though I have never read any of Ms. Gilbert's work, [and even now, I'm not sure I'm planning to in the near future], I took away much from the exposure. The thing that stands out the most in my memory is the following excerpt. This was taken from an answer Ms. Gilbert gave to the question of Whether or not she had given away story ideas or received them from others in the past? [paraphrased]:

"Not to harp on my theory that ideas are living things which only want to exist, but. . . ideas are living things which only want to exist, and they will live in your head for years and years sometimes until they begin to get the point, "This guy is never gonna get this job done," and then they will jump somehow into somebody else's head, coming to the attention of someone who WILL get the job done. Ideas are restless in this way and will never give up until they find the right host to bring them into life." "Tramblings with author Elizabeth Gilbert" .

I found the above passage to have a certain profoundness of logic that was so crystal clear that I felt the need to analyze further this concept, and how it plays itself out in various aspects of life. A very visual person in my thought processes, I can almost see "mental movies" of all the times I passively allowed opportunity to pass me by due to my unwillingness to step up and take the initiative. Now don't leave me hanging out to dry alone in this; as I know that I can fill a cruise ship with all the folks I know personally who [no "fun" intended] fall into this same boat.

Before reading Ms. Gilbert's thoughts, I had never considered a very fundamental truth about the wonder of ideas. That truth is that ideas do have a curious power to exist! They [ideas] have an uncanny ability to come to fruition and though they will try to hang in there with you for awhile, like a frustrated lover whose attentions are continuously rebuked, an idea will sooner or later jump ship and sail away on a boat that will pamper it in the way that it deserves. Sometimes you hear people say, "Ideas are a dime a dozen"; I disagree. Ideas are very expensive, and good ideas are priceless. The cost of neglecting a good idea is incalculable, so make sure you avoid this bottomless pit. If we take a moment, each of us can think of at least one [and I'm being intentionally generous here ;)] situation during which we allowed a great idea, opportunity, or other worthwhile endeavor (i.e. "the perfect match") to slip through our grasp because we were otherwise engaged, tired, not paying attention, or simply procrastinating.

Today, this propensity to miss out on what could be the pivotal opportunity in our lives will end! No longer will we sit back and passively allow life to pass us by. Never again will we feel our jaw drop as we watch someone else waltz off to Wonderland on the profits of an idea that we had years ago but never followed through on. Not a single one of us will ever again look with envy upon the next guy or girl thinking "If only.....that would have been me." The things we want for ourselves are attainable. So go on, allow yourself to get "outside of the box" you're in. If your desire is to write a book, start by writing a letter...who knows where that first letter will take you. Plans to start a business...get to work on that first business plan so that your presentation to the Small Business Association will be flawless. More education you say...what time are you reading this blog because online courses can be taken 24/7. Today, we become Masters of the Universe, Captains of our own Ships, Kings and Queens over all we Survey! And in lieu of all these things, we will minimally get our asses off the proverbial couch, turn off the proverbial remote control, and push the power buttons on our ideas!



DP said...

I dont know if Im buying what ms Gilbert is selling. what i DO know is that ideas only can live as much as you breathe breath into them. ideas are like plants, they must be cultivated and grown...they do not exist in and of themselves.

IF you let your idea die...its dead. Just because another's idea resembles yours, doesnt mean it WAS yours. YOUR idea is YOUR hands.

That is like looking at your neighbors beautiful flowering rose bush and saying...


no. That is HIS rose bush...yours is dead, remember?

now if yall will excuse me, i have some rose bushes to tend to. Thanks for the nugget, Sharon.

Sharon said...


**ideas only can live as much as you breathe breath into them.

-This is the key takeaway I was trying to point out...that's why the piece is about taking the initiative necessary to bring "your" ideas to fruition. However, I also accept that if you sit on an idea too long, somehow that idea will eventually be realized if not by you then by someone else. To quote the movie Jurassic Park, "Life finds a way!"; ideas in this way are like life and will "find a way". I'm merely suggesting that though it MAY BE [and about this even, I am not sure] a different "rose bush" that is being cultivated by your neighbor, why potentially shouldn't YOU reap the rewards of introducing the concept of the "rose bush" if you conceived the idea light years before your neighbor did, but sat on it.

**IF you let your idea die...its dead. Just because another's idea resembles yours, doesnt mean it WAS yours.

-Not to be too existential, but being a person who believes that "there is NOTHING new under the sun", I think there may be room for argument. I think that God grants opportunities to us all in the form of the "idea", and demonstrates his disdain for idleness by duplicating that very same idea elsewhere if we choose not to acknowledge his gift as demonstrated by our very inattention to its "cultivation". Using your "rose bush" example for instance...maybe it is THE very same rose bush b/c when you hesitated, your more proactive neighbor purchased the exact sapling bush or the seeds you would have purchase if you had been the more proactive of the two of you...just a thought. Of course, this is not the key focus I was trying to deliver in my post as this is a personal perspective of mine. However, I wanted to give insight in light of your comment into another point of view, to which I odd though it may be, happen to subscribe.

Thanks for your comment and stay on top of your rose bushes my friend!

LadyLee said...

Dang, girl... I ready to run out and take over the world!!!! LOL!

Great post!!!

Dee said...

I soooo needed this today!!!!!