Should You Dare to be Daring,

One Thing is Sure

Joel Saltzman

How do you get a great new idea? First, allow yourself to look for wild, outlandish ideas and solutions, even if they seem impossible at first. As Einstein put it: "If at first an idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it." Yet at some point, we've all been guilty of saying - either out loud or to ourselves, "That's a crazy idea - forget it." To which we can imagine Einstein countering: "Got a crazy idea? Let's take a look!" The lesson? Be daring.

Philosopher Betrand Russel advised: "Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric." What was "once eccentric?" Just about everything. The wheel. Books. Democracy. Women's suffrage. Civil rights. Cars. Planes. Computers. Everything you plug into the wall - and everything you used to plug in.

There is, of course, a major WARNING attached: Should you dare to be daring, one thing is sure: You will be ridiculed, belittled, and worse. "All truth," wrote Schopenhauer, "passes through three stages. First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as self-evident." Or, as Mark Twain put it: "The man with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds."

Yet being called a "crank" (or worse) can also be viewed as something quite positive; a "bell weather" forecasting good things to come. As Ted Turner put it, "If you've got an innovative idea and the majority does not pooh-pooh it, then the odds are you must not have a very good idea." Turner should know; early doubters called fledgling CNN, "Chicken Noodle News."

Your own opposition - your personal pack of naysayers and doubters - may include bosses, coworkers, spouses, in-laws, and more. Having this article gives you the edge. Print it out and use it to (1) keep yourself going, (2) swat away opponents, or (3) stick it under their noses, pointing to where it says: According to Einstein, "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."

© 2006 Joel Saltzman

Joel Saltzman is a speaker, facilitator and consultant who teaches people in business to
Shake That Brain! and discover solutions for maximum profit.
His latest book is "Shake That Brain!" (Wiley, 2006).
He can be reached Toll Free at 877-Shake It! (877-742-5348)