The dominion of ideas 2

I want to use this platform today to celebrate a thoroughbred representation of the Fourth Estate of the realm, an astute craftsman of the pen trade and a true son in the faith. Over the years, from his early years in the teaching profession and the Christian faith to his transition into journalism where he has not only excelled but has garnered awards back to back, his consistency, dedication and dogged adherence to the ethics of faith and his profession are a rare occurrence in this generation. In a manner reminiscent of Paul and Timothy, we started a journey of father/son relationship in the Christian faith in the nineties. He has weathered many storms with me in ministry, believing in me and honouring God’s call upon my life and staying the course even when others that he met in the faith and ministry found it more convenient to jump ship. While that relationship has endured till date, he has gone ahead to become the Editor of the Tribune’s Business Pages and so the one to whom I am, through this column, directly accountable. So it is not out of order if I call him my Boss. Neither of us planned it that way but it was bound to happen. I am glad and excited. Fulfillment for me is not about what we have become or raising people to live perpetually under our shadow. It is also about adding value to others and mentoring one’s protégés to not only discover their own wings, but to spread them and take flight to greater heights where they can become greater than us. Sulaimon Oluwakayode Olanrewaju, if you know me with any flaw, you know it is not flattery. So, believe me when I say that to me, my family and the ministry that God has made me Shepherd over, you are a veritable son of consolation. The Lord whom we have served together on and off the pulpit for about twenty years, will continue to make your life beautiful and continually enhance your capacity to add and deliver value to humanity. You will not shipwreck both in faith and in your chosen course in life. While we celebrate what you have become, rest assured that there is much more land to conquer. The fragrance of God’s grace in you will be noised abroad in your generation and for the advantage of generations to come. Happy, though belated, birthday my son and “my Boss”! Cake loading…

In the same vein, I want to congratulate every Nigerian on the occasion of the nation’s 56th Independence anniversary. Although it appears that there is hardly much to cheer at the moment, I am hopeful and resolutely convinced that in time, as we all contribute our quota, our nation will be great. I also want to congratulate Governor Ayodele Peter Fayose and all the good people of Ekiti State on the 20th anniversary of the creation of our dear state. I pray that the state will grow from strength to strength and become prominent in the Nigerian comity of states.

Now to today’s discourse.

Ideas do not require special genius to generate or implement. The most successful people in the world are not the most brilliant by IQ standards. This is the reason why, every so often, it is common to find people who barely made it through a university education employing first rate graduates of Ivy League universities. Neither Thomas Edison nor Albert Einstein was regarded as a first class brain in their growing years. Yet both of them gave the world several breakthrough ideas. Hear Einstein, “I myself have no special talent. Curiosity, obsession and dogged endurance, combined with self-criticism have brought me to my ideas”

Ideas can be volatile. By the sheer avalanche of their occurrence in the average mind on a daily basis, ideas can evaporate as fast as they come to us. This is why ideas must not be treated with levity especially when they give an indication of transformational value. If we agree that ideas are precious even if they have a tendency to be fleeting, deliberate ideation sessions should be part and parcel, nay, the bedrock of personal and corporate growth. So how do we treat ideas when they come?

First and foremost, recognize that no idea is absurd. Ideas are pictures of a possible reality in another realm, time and climate. Once the imagination can capture it, it is a possibility. Our current realities and the limitations they set on our minds may not yet allow us to see it. When I teach in brainstorming sessions, one of the rules of engagement is that no idea must be considered stupid, no matter how absurd it may sound to the rest of us.

Documentation is essential to ideas that will endure. I counsel my protégés to be friends with pen and paper. I personally have a jotter and pen by my bedside since I discovered that ideas don’t respect time and space in coming to you, neither do they give you advance notice! Do you recall how many times you woke up from sleep with an idea and you convinced yourself that you would do something about it, only to simply roll over and go back to sleep, but promptly forgetting all about it by the time you eventually get up from the bed? I know the feeling too. Or that moment when an idea hit you like a bolt from the blues. For some days you were ecstatic about it but never documented it. Then in the frenzy and grind of daily activity, it all but evaporated. Until one day, maybe even a few years later, you saw that idea practically expressed in full execution by someone else and you started pinching yourself in regret of missing what might have been if only you had kept faith with the idea?

It is however not enough to source ideas and document them. You must also spend time brooding on them through meditation. Take time to pray over your ideas. I know we live in an age where it does not sound “politically correct” to mention godliness or spirituality in the public space. I am however unashamedly convinced that ideas that create or add the greatest value to humanity come from God even though transmitted and executed through human vessels. If the idea is divinely inspired, it can only be divinely sustained. It is only wise therefore to revert to the Source for an appropriate template for executing it. In the place of meditation and prayers, we are able to connect with the resources and innate capacity to execute the idea as well as receive guidance on the roadmap to follow… continued.

Remember, the sky is not your limit, God is!