A defining difference between useless ideas and brilliant ideas is that useless ideas are just plain ideas, brilliant ideas are ones that are made into reality.
One person who really understood the difference between useless ideas and brilliant ones was the famous spiritual teacher, and the founder of Buddhism, Gautama Siddharta.
Gautama knew that the first step in making any idea into a remarkable one was to first make it a reality; he once stated that “an idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.”
Not only did Gautama believe that ideas need to be acted on, but he acted on that idea itself and created Buddhism, a series of teachings that evaluate our human existence.
Hundreds of years later, Buddhism is a major religious faith for millions of people around the globe. The ideas of Gautama have been acted upon and have become incredible. If Gautama had never acted upon his ideas of the world, Buddhism would not exist as it does today, and you wouldn’t be reading this post right now!
An idea is useless unless acted upon.
The value of an idea that resides in your head is substantially less then the value of an idea that has been acted on and made into a real thing. Plain, lone ideas are worth very little, ideas that are made into something that you can see, feel, touch, smell, or taste, however, can be worth a lot.
Even if you just write your ideas down, you are taking them from your thoughts and putting them into the real world. It is in the real world where you can really work with your ideas.
An idea cannot be experienced - and therefore judged - until it is made into reality. You can accurately judge how great an idea is only when you can experience it in the real world.
The first step to making any ordinary, useless idea into a brilliant one is taking action on that idea. As Derek Sivers - an entrepreneurial genius - once said: “The most brilliant idea, with no execution, is [only] worth $20. The most brilliant idea takes great execution to be worth $20,000,000." (source: Getting Real)