Have you seen the movie Despicable Me? There is a particular characteristic of Gru that inspires me. I know, kinda crazy. But, throughout the movie he proclaims “lightbulb” whenever he has an idea. Now, most of his ideas end in some sort of catastrophe. I love that. I love the fearlessness of trying anything. Of taking a “lightbulb” moment and just going with it.

Do you have a lot of ideas (lightbulb moments)? Do you share them?

Okay, so it isn’t really that hard to have an idea but it is what you do with it that matters. If you could take the one thing that has been bothering you, that you want to change or fix or make a difference with and put it in front of you, what would it look like? Lets all imagine for a moment that our idea is sitting in front of us in a box. What do we do with it now?

Do we decorate our box? Maybe throw in some control. How do we want it to be implemented? Who gets to see it? Who will the idea first be told to? Who will help make the idea better? How much time will you spend making the idea perfect before it is shared with anyone?

Do you stare at the box for a really long time? I know, there are a few pretty amazing ideas you have that stay in their box. You may keep them close enough to know they are constantly there but never really do anything with them. I have a few of these ideas in my boxes. Maybe, someday, I may share them with you.

Have you ever given your idea a place in a group or workplace or relationship just to take it back? There it is out there for everyone to see, to open, to judge and before anyone even gets to see your real vision you grab it off the table and put it away.

Ideas are an extension of who we are. Those really great ideas, need life. They need to be dressed up in ribbons and bows, they need to be given away, and they need the opportunity to see the light of day.

Your ideas need you to yell “lightbulb” in spite of what may come of them. Catastrophe, maybe. Never light up, possibly. Be the light  needed to create change, potentially. But you will never know if you don’t put it out there for people to share.

I recently put one of my “lightbulb” moments out into the world. It was scary but I did it anyway. And for a few months now, the idea has changed and become something that I didn’t expect. It became a living thing, capable of change and shaping and potentially making the difference I had originally seen in the vision. My idea needed other people to change it and make it better.

It is hard to watch what people do with your thoughts, to watch them keep some of it and throw some of it away. Sharing ideas requires an ability to be vulnerable. There can be too  many “What ifs” for me. But, what good is an idea kept in a box, on a shelf, decorated with bows and never shared with a single soul?