Everything begins with an idea.
– Earl Nightingale
I have a powerful secret to share with you. You are influential, maybe even magical. You’re able to create something out of literally nothing. Your thoughts have energy, and some say that you wouldn’t imagine a possibility unless it has the potential to become real. Before you write me off as a kook, let me provide a very potent example.
When I was a kid long, long ago in the 1970’s, there was a comic strip called Dick Tracy. The main character, Dick, was a police detective with lots of grit, brains and moxie. One of the things that most intrigued me about Dick Tracy was his “wrist TV”. (Which was initially introduced in 1946 as a wrist radio!) He would use it to summon backup, talk with HQ, call for an ambulance, and more. Long before cell phones, I couldn’t imagine that this could ever be a possibility outside of the funny pages – Where were the cords? How could they connect? Where did the power come from? So many unanswerable questions! Fast forward to the 2000’s and we now know that Dick was using the equivalent the Apple watch decades before its arrival. In fact, Marty Cooper, the inventor of the first smart phone attributes Dick Tracy as inspiration for his revolutionary invention.
Chester Gould, the inventor of Dick Tracy, imagined this invention that is so ubiquitous today in a time when many people didn’t have radios in their homes yet, let alone on their wrists. It’s likely that Gould had no inkling if this imaginary tool would ever become real, but he put it out into the world and the idea itself ended up inspiring scores of people who had the knowledge and motivation to create the “wrist TV.”
So, what’s the relevance of this to you? Here are the three things that I hope you’ll take from it:
Have the courage to acknowledge the things you’d like to have in life. Let your imagination run wild every so often. What do you really want? What would make your heart sing? Is it a promotion, a companion, a new home, a new way of being in your life or even something as mundane as a new Apple watch?
Now that you have this idea in mind, let yourself really feel what it would be like. What would you do? Where would you go? How would you be? Spend some time writing about it, daydreaming about it, researching it. Let yourself believe in the possibility of this idea without any self-criticism or doubt... I mean, what could it hurt to let the idea exist?
Be brave and start to share your idea or wish with others. You can be selective to start with – select people who are open-minded or who have actually done something similar and see what they think. You can couch your thought in a way that people won't call you crazy, such as, "Wouldn't it be cool if..." or "I had a funny dream the other day about..." You may find that as you share your idea that others are excited or inspired by it, or at least don't think it's insane. Others may share their ideas or experiences making their dreams come true and all this can help to nourish and grow your own idea and soon you may begin to see paths to it becoming a reality.
Don’t be afraid to dream. Nothing worthwhile happens without starting with a little seed of an idea. Nurture it and see what grows.
"You have to dream before your dreams can come true." - A. P. J. Abdul Kalam