Expression Of Ideas Is Your Strength
My wife told me she does not have the strength of ideation. That she is not an ideas person. “No ideation. No strength in ideas”, she said. That made me raise my eyebrows.
I asked her, “Why not?” And she told me 3 reasons: –
- She doesn’t feel her ideas were original.
- What she knows, are stuff that others already have thought about.
- She thinks her only strength here is that she is good at learning and putting all these different ideas together.
Her 3rd point had me really puzzled. So I asked her again, “And that doesn’t make you an ideas person?!”
Often, we all sell ourselves short.
It was Pablo Picasso who said
Good artists copy. Great artists steal.
And it was Steve Jobs who made that line famous.
It meant all good artists have ideas but only the great ones that put the ideas together made it their own. We all can hold a paint brush. And only those who paint on a white canvas are noticed.
Our ideas may not be the most original. And yet, no one really has a monopoly over original ideas. How often have you been told or you told others that your idea or theirs was nothing new?
Listen to this.
While our ideas may be similar to other people, our expressions of those ideas are our own. When we express these ideas in our own ways, we power these ideas in a new direction or with a fresh perspective. When we put different ideas together, we create something new and make it our own.
Ideas find its strength and shape through our expressions. It is our individual expressions of those ideas that showed how we think, feel and behave that is truly an original.
Unfortunately, many get stopped at “it is nothing new”. We drew away, shut up, and too easily brand ourselves tragically as the person that is a “not”. Not original. Not creative. Not an “ideas person”.
Ideas, originality, and creativity do not belong just to the fancy pants. They belong to everyone. They belong to you!
I have been married for 27 years. And the one thing I know about my wife is that she is a fabulously “ideas person”. Every day, she brims with endless creativity in bringing change, hope, joy, strength, and purpose to the family, to her work, and to her friends.
So, let’s stop telling ourselves we have little strength or ability in creating ideas. Worse still, that we have no ideas.
How you express these supposedly “unoriginal” ideas through your own way is your unique strength. The fact that you are taking all sorts of existing ideas, mixing them up and creating new insight is precisely what ideation is. So don’t sell yourself short.
The lack of original ideas may stop you. But it is your expression of those ideas that must move you.
Kim Pong is the CEO and Founder of StrengthsAsia, Creator of the REFRAME MasterClass and the first 20 Gallup Certified Strengths Coaches in the world. He is based in Singapore and works with organizations in Asia in creating an engaged workplace culture for leaders, managers and executives to thrive.