Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people, said Eleanor Roosevelt. Great men and women are those with great ideas. An idea never dies. Ideas in the entrepreneurial age usher in prosperity. With the emergence of knowledge economy, human resources determine productivity. Ideas define human resources.
Innovation defines the world around; an idea that triggers innovation can change the world around us. The way we think, the way live, the way we function are subjected to unprecedented changes in the age of ideas with humongous pace. President Barack Obama during his visit to India said that a good idea should lead to a good product or a good service.
Companies across the world in the competitive economy started hiring young men and women with bright ideas rather than lofty degrees with inflated marks. The contemporary economy is characterised not by a linear progression in growth trajectory but can unleash an exponential rise as the idea catapults one to unbelievable heights.
Many engineering, science and technology students have a wrong notion that ideas belong to the world of social sciences only. But, as Albert Einstein, whose idea of gravitational waves was experimentally proved recently, a century later, said, “Even pure Mathematics is, in its way, poetry of logical ideas”.
We make friends, who suit our personality. You tell your friend, I will tell your personality – is the old adage. Based on our life styles, tastes, habits and attitudes, we make friends. Birds of same feather flock together. But, the world of successful ideas demands friendship with people, who have ideas that express consent or dissent with those of yours.
As Amy Meredith Poehler suggests, as you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people’s ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you. Spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.
Birds of different feathers must flock together; it is the confluence that flourishes fresh breeze of ideas. When Einstein and Rabindranath Tagore met, it was a wonderful meeting of world’s greatest minds. Ideas need not be the privilege and prisoner of scholarship alone. A village woman pulls her pot on the water from the tank as she knows that it will be weight-less. But she does not know the Archimedes principle behind this.
A hamali lifts heavy weights easily applying the laws of physics without comprehending them. Our mothers add salt to the curry being cooked only at the end without scientifically understanding that salinity increases the boiling point.
Exploring these daily phenomena in life can unravel scintillating principles of science. India’s greatest astronomers probed the universe hundreds of years ago even without any rudimentary technological support.
Ideas are generated through insightful observation, critical thinking, wide exposure, diverse interaction, extensive travel, incisive brainstorming, etc.
Look at this ancient story. The King Hiero doubted the quality of the golden crown. Archimedes was given the task of verifying the purity of gold without damaging the crown. He sat in the tub to take a bath and observed the displaced water as he entered the tub.
The genius in the great scientist realised that the amount of water displaced was his own volume. Thus, the principle of buoyancy is called the Archimedes Principle. The idea that triggered in the scientist’s mind saved him from King’s punishment and provided Physics with one of its fundamental laws.
Questioning the unexplained phenomena would lead to new ideas. When an apple fell on his head, Newton unraveled the mystery of gravity. Serendipity also led to many discoveries. But, it was not without critical questions that cracked the ideas. Curiosity is the key to get fresh ideas.
The discovery of Penicillin was the product of critical observation that revealed the idea behind the discovery. Information overload in the society, undesirable and unhealthy reliance on technology, mechanical life that stifles leisure and superficial outlook kill your ideas. Tax your brain a little to breed new ideas. Perhaps an idea can change your life forever.