No regrets about this idea

21 October 2013

Vincenzo Camuccini, "Morte di Cesare", 1798

The word ‘idea’ should be a verb, not a noun, because no idea is real until you turn that inspiration into action…Ideas without action aren’t ideas; they’re regrets.

That’s what writer Jeff Haden says in his post, “8 Business Principles that last a Lifetime”.

Professor Wikipedia says, “The capacity to create and understand the meaning of ideas is considered to be an essential and defining feature of human beings”, and according to the philosopher Plato, “…it is the ideas which distinguish mere opinion from knowledge, for unlike material things which are transient and liable to contrary properties, ideas are unchanging and nothing but just what they are.”

So… ideas can be changed with action, but they become something else?

After consulting several dictionaries I concluded that ideas are the result of thoughts. To have thoughts you must think. Think is a verb – using your mind to form ideas and judgements.

So…let’s verbify the word ‘idea’:

I nspire
D evelop

E nergise
A ct

When we feel inspired, our mind or soul is uplifted – shifted out of its normal pattern by some kind of creative or spiritual breath. Then what?

We think about that change – we start to develop the idea.

The more we think about it – sniff at it from various angles, describe it out loud, visualise how it might take shape, consider how it might impact on others – the more energy we transfer to it; the original inspiration begins to breathe on its own.

When we act on the idea – do something to make it move from us to others – we start to share knowledge.

Professor Peter Smith and Dr Dror Ben-Naim acted on their idea because they believe they “have a moral imperative to share knowledge beyond our own students.” Here’s what they reported in The Australian:

A YEAR ago, we put up a modest web page outlining our project to build a new, technology-enabled model for medical education.

Those few paragraphs elicited inquiries from the American Medical Association, Harvard University and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, among many others.

On Friday we officially launch this initiative, the Biomedical Education Skills and Training Network, or aptly, the $4.5 million BEST Network. In doing so, we are cementing a global lead for Australia in technology-led innovation in medical education and introducing a new model that will not only revolutionise how we teach and learn in medicine, but has similar potential across higher education.

Ideas without action are just ides, the halfway marks. Or turning points if you’re scholars of Roman history.

And we all know what happens when you turn your back on ides…just ask Julius.

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