My husband and I have a new Friday night ‘date’ night. We go somewhere for a quick dinner then ‘plink’ around the craft and art supply stores in our area. We usually end up buying some tool or pen or paper that we haven’t tried yet. Sometimes we just wander looking at all the different options for things we don’t actually know how to do. Somewhere along this journey the magic phrase gets dropped, “Hey, ya’ know what you could do…” and then the creativity gets ignited. We start suggesting things or talking through our ideas out loud and sometimes the ideas even stick.
My husband had the idea to create my own stamps for gel prints and stationery. I love letters and craft stores have all sorts of cut out letters for various projects, so I bit. I bought several bags of letters and spent the day making my own block stamps. It was a blast!!! I plan to use them this week to create papers and others paper related items. It was fun, focused and very exciting to see the idea from the store aisle turn into reality.
We all have people in our lives who make suggestions about things we can do, even when we didn’t ask for their opinion. It seems that everyone else feels they have the right to tell us what we should do and they think we should jump right on it. It is wonderful that people are excited to share their ideas, the challenge comes in when they expect you to execute it their way with your time, talent and money. I appreciate the ideas however most end up on the floor of my mind the moment I leave their presence.
So what was the difference with this idea? What did it spark within my own creativity to spur my own enthusiasm and effort? Three things. First, it was an idea that related to what I was passionate about and involved things I am very excited to create – letters, printing, paper and creativity. Second, it was then left at my door to pick up and run with, no other expectations were attached. If I did it great, if I didn’t no big deal. I had the freedom to do what I wanted with the idea so there was no ‘should’ or control or manipulation involved. It was left with me to take it or leave it. Third, my husband was not going to say, “I told you so” when the idea worked. He had the thought then left it alone and had no desire to take the credit. His suggestion was a gift to make my world better and that’s all he wanted.
When was the last time you made a suggestion or shared an idea and it fell flat? How did you deliver your idea? Was it even wanted or did you have the idea and thought the other person should do it simply because you thought of it? Was it something you wanted for them that they didn’t really want for themselves? Or did you give it freely with no strings attached now or in the future? Was your idea about them or about you?Things fall flat for two reasons, the wrong message or the wrong messenger. A great idea from the wrong source will usually die. The right idea presented the wrong way usually gets lost in translation and ends up in a big fat nothing.
I encourage you today to think about your message and if you are the right messenger for the idea? If it truly is a great idea it shouldn’t matter who presents it, but it does. When we freely give of ourselves and don’t make people fell like we are telling them what to do, they usually receive things willingly. The words we choose like the letters in my home made stamps can make all the difference.