Great Ideas

5 Ways to Bury a Great Idea

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

We are all born with the gift of discernment; a talent to visualize what is obscure. Why then do we see people with incredible talent fail in achieving what their mind is capable of? The smartest amongst us who fail to throw off the bowlines and sail away from the safe harbor baffle me. They’re the intellect without persona to explore, dream, and discover possibly the greatest idea that amused their mind.

We all have our share of great ideas in the coffin, an idea that has never seen daylight. I’m intrigued to explore the psyche that works behind the death of a seemingly great idea. Let’s explore, shall we?

1. If it’s easy then it’s too good to be true

Often, great ideas are simple yet profound in nature. The person who invented the sticky pad must have felt this enigma. The best of intentions die when the desire that provoked the intention is lacking fire. Last year, I had an idea to start a GPO (Group Purchasing Organization) for the hospitality industry. The idea was simple – create an organization of hotel owners and purchase supplies to gain economy of the scale. One cliché I heard from others is that if it is so easy, why has it not been done yet? If my desire were not kindled with a firm belief, I’d have thrown a blanket over this great idea.

2. It will not work

There are ample unknowns staring at us when we throw off the bowlines. Our negative persona kicks in and takes over like a magician. We all have felt passion for a great idea suddenly taking turn for the worst. When I discussed this idea of creating a purchasing group with friends who own hotels, I expected a tidal wave of positivity and encouragement. Instead, I felt as if I was being punched square in the stomach when I heard, “Well, it won’t work.” Often we believe, either consciously or subconsciously, that staying the course is the best we can ever do. The truth can’t be any further than that.

3. It’s hard to succeed

Christopher Columbus would have never thrown off the bowlines to find this great nation called America if he entertained this cliché. I was told that the idea of a group purchase will discomfort the major players in the industry and they will send Armageddon to bury my idea. If this is how Larry Page and Sergey Brin thought then Google would not be the billion dollar success story it is today. It is our inner feebleness to explore the unknown and have courage to face the adversity that often kills a great idea.

4. I have another great idea

A great idea needs intent focus. Often, it is the persistence that manifests our intention into a reality. An intention is a process of a burning desire coupled with visualization to immerse our focus to believe that the idea has germinated into its physical equivalent. When we lack this form of intention, we tend to shift focus to another idea that’s seeking our attention. Many of my friends told me to toss this great idea to others who are the giants in the industry and work on the next great idea.

5. If they are smart, I must listen to them

How many times have you had an idea, but when you discussed it with someone you consider smart you received a negative response from him or her? It’s wise to seek advice from these smart people, but it is equally wise to discard ostensible rhetoric. The idea was yours; they have no wasted interest in making it happen. Often, they simply don’t want to leave their safe harbor to explore the unknown. It’s up to you to sail away from the safe harbor to seek and discover the greatest idea of your life time.


I consider great ideas akin to flowing a water stream that passes through our palms. If we do not act, water flows right in front of our eyes. It’s only when we move our hands, and sip that water, we feel a sense of accomplishment. Be mindful of what you have in mind today and work on it, otherwise that great idea will die a premature death.

The good news is that no one can bury a great idea without your approval. There are three elements of transmutation from a great idea to a reality – desire, faith and visualization.

1. Desire

Desire is to an idea what oxygen is to our life. Developing a burning desire with constant visualization is essential in overcoming and defeating the resistance, which is always inevitable when you embark on a great idea. Ask yourself, ” Do I truly, in my heart, desire this idea to become a reality?” Often your inner voice will be the best counsel you can ever seek.

2. Faith

Having an unrelenting faith in our desire for a great idea is akin to having gas in a car for a journey of amusement. Develop an intrepid mind that believes in gaining the idea. Ask yourself, “Do I believe that it is possible for me to convert this idea into a reality?”

3. Visualize

Visualization is to a great idea what wind is to sails. We are doomed to fall into one of those traps and to bury a great idea if we do not visualize it daily. Try to seek the benefits it can draw rather than difficulties it may cause. It will provide abundance of positivity to explore, and eventually realize, your great idea.

This guest article was written by Shilpan Patel. If you enjoyed it, please visit his blog Success Soul and subscribe to the RSS feed or email updates. Images from iStockphoto and Ronnie44052.



Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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