On ideas

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Look around and you will see objects like table, TV or computer. All these started with a single idea. These ideas may have come from a sudden flash of genius or a product of thinking process.

There are people who look down on ideas. Those who look down on ideas see them as cheap, common and that any Tom, Dick, and Harry can come up with ideas. I would agree if ideas are left to be concepts, or unmoving, but in the hands of those who can put theory and practice together, ideas can have great consequences. As what was said in the movie Dead Poet Society, “No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.”

Here, I want to share my reflection on idea: the different types, that ideas consequences, and that idea comes from our experiences.

Let me first make a distinction. There are 2 types of ideas: normal and unique. A normal idea in the context of business is an idea that is an imitation of an existing concept. An example would be copying a friend’s business. If the friend has an online store selling Apple gadgets, then the idea would be to sell the same products. A unique idea, however, is an idea that is not born out of copying an existing business but has gone through reflection or research.

Going back to the value of ideas, a unique idea has more value, in terms of novelty, compared to that of normal idea. The ultimate judgment though happens only when the idea is put to the test.

Ideas affect ones thinking and action. In Japan, they have a system called noren-wake an idea that a company helps their senior employee establish a business after they retire; the system of noren-wake stems from their cultural concept of gratitude.

Ideas such as noren-wake is a consequence of paradigm/experience. Our actions, according to Philosopher, Martin Heidegger, comes from what we learned from culture, society and what we are fed by media. How we go beyond what we know or experience is for another topic. The point is, the ideas we have are influenced by how we experience the world.

Something else happens when we do something about our ideas. Once we act on our ideas, our paradigm changes. Our thinking changes with our action, our perspective expands, we ask more and we ask better to make better actions. Our actions now are influenced by our former action.

I have taught audience from all class levels and age, the ideas they produce are reflections of their experiences. The tendency of those who have a long work experience tend to be related to their work experience while the younger and aspiring entrepreneurs tend to start based on their interest.

In the end, the purpose of idea is not to come up with more ideas but to create reasons to act. I see ideas like that of the Cross of Christ, and the question is, what is your reason to take it up?

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