Opportunities In Ideas, and Ideas In Opportunities

Ideas are pregnant with opportunities. Similarly, opportunities are fertile grounds for ideas. Because opportunities spring from ideas, and ideas flow out of opportunities, it is harder to imagine circumstances where ideas do not find the incubation space for them to marinate.

One would expect every idea to have its day in the right institutions, such as the family, the places one works, the government, banks, financial houses, research centers, health and welfare outposts, among other institutions I had once enumerated [Refers: Men +Women = 21 Institutions Of Humanity Created]. Because opportunities created and nurtured in these institutions make ideas possible, one would expect a causal relationship. But that is not always the case. Because one has ideas does not compel the institutions to endorse the ideas. Also, one is not always at ease embracing every ideas that institutions create and many times force on the masses.

Ideas are everywhere. In fact, ideas are a thousand for a dime. Everyone has ideas. The test is in making one’s ideas stand out and be noticed. And most importantly be adopted.

It is therefore not possible for every idea to be given a fair hearing in the public or private, and even personal courts of idea mongers and curators. So, some ideas will die a natural death; while some ideas will rise to the top and become the talk of the town on the lips of everyone. Indeed, many of the top-notched ideas may be adopted and constitute parts of the fabrics society adorn.

Three questions arise to occupy center stage in my mind: (1) What makes some ideas fly and others die? (2) What institutions will give opportunities for ideas creation and inventions, then see them disappear, expire? And (3) Can opportunities that give birth to ideas, like mothers giving birth to a child who would do all within her powers to save the life of her child, sit down and watch the ideas (or the child she gave birth to) die?

But one can have ideas without opportunities to express or make them come alive.

Yet, one cannot have opportunities and not have ideas.

Every opportunity exposes one to many ideas given the very nature of opportunities.

Nature of Opportunity

The nature of opportunity is wrapped in change, chaos, continuity, interconnectivity, exposure, multiple experiences, interactivity, and in lateral and horizontal communications, mobility, immobility, technological innovations, diffusion of innovations, dispersion, distractions, displacement, and so on.

Opportunities come in varying shapes, sizes, places, colors, times, and context.

There is always an opportunity waiting to be exposed, explored, exploited, discovered or appropriated.

Each interaction and association from or with, these opportunities engenders new discoveries and adventures into both the self and the institutions with which one is associated.

Every idea, when and if given the right push, exposure, and implementation tools can open several windows of opportunities for many.

But one does not need any push to pursue one’s ideas. Ideas come from the individual who observes, watches, and interacts with the institutions in his or her environment. If one has it, one does not need to wait for approval from anyone.

Ideas are in us. And we live in the worlds of opportunities. So both opportunities and ideas are residuals in us. We just need to explore, exploit, and expose them.

Inner self discovery, like entrepreneurship and adventurism, is taking conscious and deliberate risks in ourselves, in order to engage all and every opportunities that present themselves; or those we create for and by ourselves.

That world-renowned martial artist, actor, filmmaker, Bruce Lee, once confidently declared:

“To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.”

The opportunities and the ideas we are able to sift or siphon from them present more opportunities for personal growth as well as professional development. It is cyclical. The more opportunities one maximizes, the more ideas one have, and vice versa.

In Built to Last, Jim Collins and Porras write on successful visions:

“This can only be accomplished by people who live, breathe, eat and sleep what they are doing…. [I am] associated with a large group of knowledgeable, dedicated [people] who eat, breathe, and sleep the world of aeronautics….”

“Man’s objective should be opportunity for greater accomplishment and greater service. The greatest pleasure life has to offer is the satisfaction that flows from… participating in a difficult and constructive undertaking.” (p.50)

To dare is to take big risks. Collins and Porras concur:

“Far better to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than the rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that know not victory, nor defeat.”

But it is not often the case that the best ideas win. Many a times it is the discarded, marginal, average to ordinary, and simple ideas that win the day. In the case of globalization, everybody everywhere has great ideas for one kind of business or the other, intent to make big splashes, lots of money, and revolutionize any particular industry. But this does not always materialize.

Ideas That Win And Lose

So, what are the ideas that shake the world and create opportunities? The quick explanation is that all great and lesser ideas are always in the individuals.

It is the individual who gives ideas wings. The individual who believes in the ideas has to find ways to make the ideas fly. The individual is the opportunity. He or she is the driving force for the ideas; the energizer, who mobilizes guts, grits, luck, contacts, connections, time and everything else to create, nurture, cultivate, move and sale the ideas.

Then comes the capital to make ideas real and actualized. But the heavy lifting rests on the individual.

In fact, the opportunity is in the entrepreneur who moves to make ideas come to fruition. He or she has to see and invent the ideas for the capital and investors to follow.

In my succeeding posts I would explore the avenues, options and possibilities to making these ideas relevant, contagious, and sticky.


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