On Promoting New Ideas

The human brain is an idea producing machine. We constantly get new information. We process the information and come up with ideas about it. Normally our ideas correspond with the ideas of other people. After all, the stimulus that produced the idea was the same. It only stands to reason that our conclusions would be similar.

But every so often, a person develops a new insight that flies in the face of convention. The new idea contradicts what everybody else already believes. When the innovator tries to present his or her ideas, he or she is shouted down and treated like a fool.

Some of us are particularly inclined to new and intriguing ideas. At first glance, you’d think that I was a completely run of the mill, mainstream, white, middle class accountant. I’m not soft spoken, necessarily, but I do like to avoid raucous argumentation. In most cases I prefer to listen to other people’s ideas rather than promote my own.

But I must admit, I’m rather partial to new ideas. I especially love ideas that are contrarian. Anything that flies dead in the face of conventional wisdom will pique my interest. Of course, most ideas that poo-poo universally accepted truths will turn out to be non-starters. There is a reason that popular ideas are popular. There is something to them that people like. The ideas have been vetted by the experts. In short, most common knowledge is worthy of its reputation.

However. from time to time, you can find a gem. These are ideas that are so different that they verge on revolutionary. You don’t want them to be true because if they are, they change everything. From that point on, you have no choice but go against the grain. You’ve been presented with facts that you just can’t ignore.

So, you walk around with these strange but true ideas in your head. If possible, you try to pick them apart. You try to find a flaw. There must be some way to disprove the thing. If the proof is so clear and so obvious, why doesn’t everybody already know about it?  There must be something that you’re missing.

But it doesn’t  matter how long you tussle with the damn thing, its beyond reproach. The idea is pure, its true, and it is consistent from one end to other. You believe it. You make peace with it. The idea becomes a part of you. It will now influence how you interact with the world.

Okay, you’ve got this new idea. Now what?

Well, it depends on the nature of the idea. If the idea will help a lot of people to live better and happier lives, you may want to promote it. You’ll want to talk about it, especially if you like to help others. On the other hand, if the idea is true but won’t really make a difference in the world, you’ll just own it but never use it.

You start off by telling those closest to you about your idea. Your friends take one listen and call you nuts. The more cynical among them will ask “If you’re idea is so good, why hasn’t anybody already thought of it? What, you think you know more than the experts?” These aren’t bad questions, but the tone of your friend’s voice will either embarrass or anger you. Of course, the only answer is “Yes, I do think that I know more than the experts.” Not exactly a winning argument.

Then you’ll tell your family members. If you’re lucky, you’ll have parents and loved ones who will give you a sympathetic hearing. They may disagree but hopefully they’ll be civil. Likely, your parents or grandparents are from the old school. Their days of being open to new ideas are long gone. Your new insight will be written of as some new, crazy thing, that young people are talking about these days.

Fortunately in this day in age, the world is a very connected place. There are websites and online communities for people of just about all persuasions. You can get on there and network. Its always good to know that there are other people out there who have the same, weird, ideas as you do.

But here, you’ll just be preaching to the choir. You may be able to do some strategical brainstorming about how best to spread the word. You can obtain moral support. But if you spend too much time with like minded people, you can fall into a trap. Sooner or later you’ll find that you’ve been closed off to any more new ideas as well.

If your idea is truly a good one, it is important for you to make it known. Don’t let the initial reactions to it deter you. If you know in you’re heart that you’ve got truth on your side, don’t let up. Continue to develop your thoughts and your methods for getting the word out.

A  great way to get your ideas out there is by writing them down. Unlike talking to somebody face to face, writing allows you to take your time and say everything that you want to say. Its common to not a make a point as well as you’d like when you’re debating a person face to face. Your brain moves faster than your mouth and your thoughts come out jumbled.

Writing also allows you to express yourself in a semi-anonymous way. You can say what you really want to say, without being judged by your peers. Even if your friends or colleagues read your writing, there is still some security in it. Anytime a topic comes up that has a bearing on your new ideas, you can say, “just read my article”. This saves you from having to get into an argument.

Starting a blog is free and very easy. Your ideas can get a hearing from people all over the world. If people like what you have to say, you’ll get more readers. Little by little, you might start winning people over to your side. If your idea is really as good as you think it is, you might even change some lives.

To conclude, I urge you to be open to new ideas. Don’t be ashamed or intimidated about expressing yourself. And please, start writing. This way new, good ideas, can be transmitted out to the world.


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