The curse of so-called original ideas

by | Jul 20, 2020 | Commentary | 4 comments

As Nas said, in his track No Idea’s Original,

“No idea’s original, there’s nothin’ new under the sun, It’s never what you do, but how it’s done.”

He was not the first to say it and he won’t be the last. Yet….it is often hard for us to accept that ideas are a dime a dozen. Personally, I am sitting with multiple notebooks from over 15 years with idea after idea. I have folders in the cloud with proposals for countless concepts.

There was a time when I used to beat myself up when I saw an idea that I had thought of previously being implemented. A lot of what-ifs. The two things I have since learned and come to terms with. If you don’t do anything about it, then, as the expression goes, it is simply pie in the sky. And, you don’t have to follow through on every idea that you have.

There are some ideas that are potentially brilliant that I will never follow through on. There are business concepts that are potentially lucrative that I will never get around to doing. And that’s alright. We are all dealing with limited time, resources and energy.

The more you hang onto them, the more head and energy space they take up. A business and life coach I spent some time with had me make a list of all the projects and ideas I had, at the time, prioritise them, select a few of them for follow through and discard the rest.

Thomas Edison said,

Having a vision for what you want is not enough. Vision without execution is hallucination.

This is not to say that ideas aren’t important. This is not to say there is a space for stretching one’s imagination and creativity. There is and it is critical for our continued evolution as a species. But, on a micro level, it is as important to be comfortable with the ideas that are for you to take forward and the ones that should be left to others. And not feel guilty about it.

No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.

Robin Williams

Just decide on which ones you are going to change your patch of the world with. That is what your legacy will be. Regardless of how big or small your patch may be,


  1. Kimberly

    I enjoyed reading this. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Kojo Baffoe

    Thanks Kimberly.

  3. Moroesi Ntsikeng

    This was very validating. I am yet to learn how to let rest all the ideas that will be forever bound to my journal, rather than occasionally resurrecting them during conversations purely out of guilt.

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Kojo Baffoe

    Thanks Moroesi. One way of dealing with them is actually listing them, going through each one honestly and deciding whether to pursue or scrap. Once scrapped, discard it completely.

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