I saw a Tweet the other day (and now I can’t find it to quote it word for word) that was something along the lines of
“you know you’re committed to a great idea when, even though it was your great idea, you step aside and let someone else accomplish it”
Not the exact words, but I think I have the general idea in there.
It kind of bothered me. I’m not sure where I land on it. I’m pretty sure where I live in it, though. I am full of ideas. Bad ones, good ones, and sometimes even great ones.
It seems like when I share an idea or make a suggestion, *poof*…weeks or months later I see someone else carrying it out in one way or another. And I didn’t get any credit for it or get to be a part of it other than the initial idea. I often think that the person basking in the glory of said successful ideas would probably have zero recollection that an idea just like it ever came out of my mouth. And not that it matters, it just seems to happen to me a lot in life. Sometimes I wonder if I should just keep everything to myself and never talk or make suggestions. It’s very tempting to think this way.
The other day I sat across a table from someone I had encouraged to sign up for a program. They were sharing with me that they had experienced a huge epiphany about the program they were participating in–it was showing them what real life for the people they were trying to reach was really like–and that they were so glad they had signed up to do this.
I sat there dumbfounded.
And instead of nodding my head politely, I actually voiced it this time, “I told you that. Remember? That’s why I practically forced you to sign up for this program, so you could actually experience and understand…oh…nevermind…”
Despite me trying to gently but obviously lay it out there for this person, I could tell that I was up against a “this does not compute” moment… and I was just making Charlie Brown’s teacher “wat-wat-wan” noises in their direction.
Although I hate that initial sinking feeling, I’ve starting getting used to it and changing my thought path. Because although it happens to me regularly, it keeps me humble. Like, very humble. As in sometimes I feel so bad about myself and my near invisibility that I softly sing the “Mr. Cellophane” song from Chicago to myself. No one ever hears me sing it, so it’s ok.
But I can’t keep quiet. I’m committed to great ideas and experiences happening to people and I don’t need to take the credit for them, just make sure that they keep happening.