Ideas keep me awake.

I have millions of ideas that keep me awake. I have few regrets, only that I didn’t capitalize on the ideas that I have. It doesn’t matter where you are in life, or that you haven’t the time or money, what matters is that the ideas stay with you. When I was a kid, my mother rarely told me “no”. When she did, I knew it was a hard no. But up to that point I always had a plan, and yes I had a plan if she said “no” as well. Adults would always look at me strangely when I had ideas, and 9 times out of 10 they would accommodate me. A story from my past can illustrate.

5th grade: We were in a newly built building, and everything was fresh, even to the teachers. I had always had ideas of writing, and wrote as often as possible about cars, boats, and airplanes. I walked up to my teacher one afternoon and asked her if there was a school newspaper. She said no. I asked if I could start one. She gazed at me for a while, wondering if she was putting her career on the line by allowing me to indulge my creativity. Then she reached into her desk drawer and pulled out a mimeograph page. Back before the advent of copiers, mimeograph machines were the way that schools mass produced flyers and menus. It was literally a piece of paper attached to a piece of carbon paper, the kind we also used for making copies on typewriters at the time. But mimeograph paper could be drawn on, typed on, and hand written on. The old machines would be turned by a crank, and using your mimeo page you made would take regular paper and press the carbon images onto them, making hundreds of copies of anything you wanted.

I set to work on the sheet and collaborated with my pal Junior to put together a real newspaper, with columns and images, all hand lettered and drawn ( She let me use an expensive mimeo machine, but would not allow me near a typewriter. It would have taken a year for me to type it).

Needless to say, The Western School Express (With my hand drawn logo of a train) would get out two issues before the popularity of the piece got it taken away from me and handed to the school secretary ( I bet she was overjoyed with more work). But it was my idea, and I acted on it. I remember it well.

To this day I still act on my ideas. Too bad I don’t write all my ideas down, and many times don’t finish them. But I know how to do it. I know, and everyone knows how things get done. Somebody stands up. Starts, then depending on your circumstances, has to surrender it to get it done. Don’t be afraid of surrender if you have taken something as far as you can, and never be dissuaded in acting on your ideas.

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