Often, without knowing it, we are waiting for a new idea to come and cut us free from our entanglement. When the idea is true and the space is ready for it, the idea overtakes everything*
Secret #2 is more important: Generosity. It is much easier and more effective to come up with good ideas for someone else, much easier to bring a posture of insight and care on behalf of someone else.**
We will have many good ideas in our lifetimes, some may be outstanding, others may not be be for us but for someone else.
Most of all, we hope that one will be transcendent, defining who we can be and what we can do.
It will most likely be something that benefits others, as Seth Godin puts his finger on, above.
John O’Donohue offers five transcendentals that make it possible for a thought to appear as something tangible in our world, claiming:
If the One, the True, Being, the Good and the Beautiful were to vanish, the thought in the mind would have not pathway out to the world.*
Here are five means of identifying that one transcending idea that we most want to give expression to whilst we draw breath, and also keeping us on track:
Being is the deepest reality, the substance of our world and all the things in it; the opposite would be Nothingness, the things that are not.*
Does my idea connect with the reality of how things are in the world: my deepest joy with the world’s greatest need, the power of imagination setting the pressure of reality, as Wallace Stevens puts it?
The One claims that all things are somehow bound together in an all embracing unity: despite all the differences in us, around us and within us, everything ultimately holds together as one; chaos does not have the final world.*
Is it inclusive, embracing and speaking to others, the world and to ourselves?
The Truth claims that reality is true and our experience is real and our actions endeavour to come into alignment with the truth.*
In our openness of mind and discovery of more truth, is our idea threatened or able to flourish?
The Good suggests that in practising goodness we participate in the soul of the world.*
Are we bringing more goodness into a world that holds the good to be one of the most wonderful things we can do for one another?
Beauty brings warmth, elegance and grandeur. Something in our should longs deeply for that graciousness and delight.*
More than being grey and functional, does the idea hold Being, the One, the Truth and Goodness in a way that is also Beautiful, awakening depth, complexity and presence?
*From John O’Donohue’s Divine Beauty;
**From Seth Godin’s blog: The two simple secrets to good ideas.