The Power of an Idea

Bill Abbate

Ideas shape the world around us. Countless ideas have created everything we enjoy in life. Give it some thought, and you will come to the same conclusion.

Ideas created the wheel, the horse-drawn carriage, and the automobile. Ideas created a way to put a roof over our heads, indoor plumbing, and electricity. Without ideas from someone, there would be no transistors, computers, or internet.

Can you think of anything that did not start with an idea? Anything at all?

Two types of ideas

Two types of fundamental ideas exist in the world. First, there are the ideas that form completely new creations that never existed. Some of these ideas are groundbreaking and extraordinary, while others are simple.

Second, are the ideas that improve something that already exists. We see this all the time with our phones. At the rate they are improved and updated, my new iPhone will be replaced by the iPhone 10,000 before long!

The origination of ideas

Where do all of these ideas come from? One place. Our thoughts!

Thoughts have birthed every idea that has existed since creation. Isn’t that fascinating?

All it takes is a simple thought to create an idea that changes the world!

“Thought is, perhaps, the forerunner and even the mother of ideas, and ideas are the most powerful and the most useful things in the world.” George Gardner (1837–1897)

Tangible and intangible

Ideas come to life in one of two states — tangible and intangible. In the tangible state, we create a material/physical object. Once created, the object can generate countless ideas as it is changed or improved.

The other state of creation, the intangible, cannot be seen or touched. It exists as a concept, theory, process, method, procedure, philosophy, etc. It is an idea that creates more ideas!

The intangible form of ideas can “touch” or influence our thoughts, what we do, who we are, and who we are becoming.

Ideas create our entire life and how we live it.

You are a creator

Because you have a brain and think, you create ideas. Since you create ideas, you are a creator.

As a creator, your ideas can create virtually anything!

Too many go through life unaware of how much and how often their ideas are creating or improving something in the world. You create continuously from when you wake up to when you go to bed. Then, you create at night by dreaming. Yet your creations only come to life when you take action.

Ideas are great arrows, but there has to be a bow. Bill Moyers (1934-present)

Your actions create movement, and everything you do throughout each day, moving you back to bed at night. Then, it starts all over the next day and every day thereafter.

Paying attention

When you start paying attention to the ideas you come up with, you will be amazed at how many enter your mind. For example, I did my usual reading when I woke up this morning. Because I started paying attention to the ideas I generate and realized how many come and go, I started writing them down in my journal. That is what helped me create this article.

When you begin paying attention to your ideas, you will realize how natural it is to have them. Whether you know it or not, you are an idea-generating machine! Each of us generates so many ideas it is impossible to remember, much less act on all of them. Every day, week, month, and year, we create so many ideas they would overwhelm us if it were not for short-term memory.

Recording ideas

Let’s now put the rubber to the road– an idea is simply a thought and will remain a thought until you do something with it. Unless you take action on an idea, it can dissolve into nothingness.

How many times have you had a sudden inspiration (an idea) that you forgot because you didn’t write it down? We all have them. You know the type of idea — the kind that seems so brilliant you think you could never forget it. Yet, an hour later, you struggle to even recall it! If you haven’t experienced this yet, live a little longer, and you will! When you have such ideas, record them immediately or risk losing them, possibly forever.

I recently transitioned from writing my ideas in my regular journal to a dedicated idea journal. When I am on a walk or out and about and don’t have a pen and paper handy, I dictate an email on my phone and send it to myself. We have it so good because of tech today!

Review your ideas occasionally and have fun doing it. Look for similar ideas and patterns that help you put more meat on a good idea’s bones.

Try it for a few weeks, and you will be astounded at the ideas you record and the ideas you will have by reflecting on them.

Never forget the old saying:

“A short pencil is better than a long memory!”

Final thoughts

Our thoughts truly do create who we are. Ideas are essential to our existence and are vital for shaping our lives. Ideas can make life enjoyable and exciting while adding significantly to what we accomplish and leave behind as a legacy.

So long as people exist, the world will remain filled with ideas. You never know which will be the next idea that will change the world or make someone extraordinarily famous or wealthy.

Why not begin to think about ideas, pay attention to them, record those that are good, and create something amazing in your life?

I leave you with some wisdom from a “brilliant” person (pun intended!) to think about as you go through your day:

“Good ideas are common — what’s uncommon are people who’ll work hard enough to bring them about.” AshleighBrilliant(1933-present)


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Semi-Retired-Leadership/Executive Coach -Personal & Career Growth Expert -Editor and Leadership Writer at Illumination -Author

Richmond, VA
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