Losing your ideas

Do you lose your ideas when you share them, shelf them, or when they fail? Or do you lose your ideas when someone else takes it, makes it happen and succeed? Then what happens when people take your ideas and then fail? Do you pin it on them, and go on to try make those ideas work? Or do you decide to discard them instead?

Gaining and having ideas is such a mysterious process but losing an idea is basically a story you tell yourself. Because so many ideas are lost because we dismiss them when they come. And yet we behave as if we lost them when someone does all the hard work of putting those ideas into action and succeed (“he stole my idea”). On the other hand, when people fail with those same ideas, we might also lose them (as if we never had them).

This story is important because it affects how you share your ideas and make the effort to develop them. It is easy to claim and insist some kind of “ownership” and hence the story around “losing it”. But what if ownership of one’s idea is about taking actions, about developing them further, investing into them? Then you can only earn ownership and never quite lose it.