It’s not enough to have ideas, you have to learn how to bridge them too

Yesterday I had the chance to be reminded of the fact that not all ideas have the possibility of being victories.

I’ve been on a roll lately with writing daily and posting to this blog, and over the last two weeks I’ve watched as certain ideas I’ve shared reach more people or have more of an impact than others. And I’m reminded that the way ideas work is through connections, both in how they’re formed and how they spread

If something I write connects with just one small facet of a person’s life, there’s a chance for the words to make an impact. On the other hand, if the words don’t have anything to attach to, they are easily ignored. The same goes for art, or music, or innovation. If there’s nothing for the idea to latch onto, it gets stuck.

Maybe you’re an artist and every time I write about art you feel compelled to get out your tools and paint. Or perhaps you’re a writer and every time you read something about the process of putting thoughts into a more tangible form, you feel inspired and motivated. But if you’re one of these things, and if I fail to write in a way that allows you to connect with the ideas I’m sharing, then the ideas I’m sharing won’t spread.

Creative ideas are going to be difficult to translate to someone else’s way of thinking—or perspective—because we each have our own unique way of doing each of those things. When we communicate, our job is to ensure the other person can understand us as best as possible. But that becomes challenging when what we’re communicating has taken a certain leap or utilized parts of our imagination that those we’re communicating may not have.

It’s like trying to describe a scene of a park to someone without them having ever seen grass.

That’s part of the challenge with creativity, and one of the many tasks required of the creative thinker. If you can’t find a way to bridge the gap between your ideas and those who are receiving it, the idea doesn’t stand a chance of thriving, or evolving. It’s not merely your idea to have ideas—nobody gets paid to be the idea person—what matters is your ability to take an idea and turn it into something others can connect with, can carry, or can utilize.

Without the connection, ideas fail. Build the idea, but don’t forget to build the connections too.