“An idea, like a ghost, must be spoken to a little before it will explain itself.” – Charles Dickens
My bestfriend touched my heart with a beautiful experience she shared with me. It’s her son’s birthday. She told me how many people don’t realize that for her it’s a sentimental time because it takes her back to when she carried him in her womb. She didn’t have the best support. She was a single mom, finishing college, working, and struggling. At one point, she told me how without a car, she’d walk with him in one arm while carrying the grocery bags in her other arm. She described a beautiful experience of carrying him for 9 months. She almost didn’t want to give birth because she loved how each day she got to feel him move and react. They shared these special moments with the rest of the world oblivious. She was the only one who got to feel him grow and communicate with her throughout the process.
I began to think of ideas. We all have ideas. They stir inside us. We spend months with them as they kick, develop, and grow within us. We get to imagine their potential. We visualize the “what ifs” and no one gets to truly experience the idea the way we do, not even when we describe the feeling and details. I was inspired by my best friend’s experience but I walked away knowing I would never truly share her moment. It was hers.
At some point, we should choose those ideas that linger with us and give birth to them no matter the fear. We need to nurture them, support them in their development, then set them free to become what they have the potential to become. The process is painful, stressful, time consuming, yet so rewarding. It is the kind of once in a lifetime experience you get to be a part of if only you choose to commit to the journey.
In 5 days, I’ll be at The Bammy Awards. When your peers nominate you for such an incredible award, you begin to reflect on why you deserve this. You look at all your ideas and what they’ve turned into. And maybe, like me, you begin to reflect on where you were when giving birth. You look at the struggles, hardships, fears, insecurities. When I gave birth to my ideas I didn’t have a ton of followers, readers or support like now. I just began my journey with social media. I have described in this blog, how The 30 Goals Challenge for Educators, #Edchat (the online chat I co-founded with Tom Whitby and Steven Anderson), and the free Reform Symposium Online Conference (which I co-founded with Kelly Tenkely and Chris Rogers), were all started when I was a newbie on social media. None of that matters when you have an idea that is created within you and wants to be birthed. And like any great parent you have to stick it out and nurture it. You have to watch it develop and guide it to its potential. You can’t draw expectations and give up when your idea doesn’t stick to the plan. Instead, you set it free, involve others (yes, it takes a community to raise a child), and bask in its manifestation.
Thank you for believing in my ideas and supporting me as they have developed and taken a life of their own in the last 4 years. I often wonder what the world would look like if we all just gave birth to our ideas and didn’t abandon them when they didn’t live up to what we anticipated. I often wonder what the world would look like if we committed our lives to ideas we believed in instead of wasting time with mediocre tasks that don’t make us happy anyway. I often wonder what the world would look like if we got over our fears and just truly lived the lives we had the potential to live. We have one life, that’s it. If we don’t do it now then eventually the day will come when we don’t get the opportunity to give our ideas birth and see how they might potentially improve lives.
The Reform Symposium e-Conference takes place October 11-13th. It is a free e-Conference in which we are inviting over 75000 educators in 188 countries. You can attend for free as long as you have an Internet connection. Our opening plenary is Dr. Sugata Mitra of the Hole-in-the Wall Project. We will also have a live performance from international electric violinist, Steve Bingham. Be inspired by speakers like Angela Maiers, Steve Wheeler, Chuck Sandy, Rafael Parente (Undersecretary of New Ed Tech of the Municipal Ed Rio, Brazil), Dr. Alec Couros, John Spencer, Jackie Gerstein, Pam Moran, Silvia Tolisano, Steven Anderson, Tom Whitby, Chris Lehmann, Sue Waters, Josh Stumpenhorst, Nicky Hockly, Nick Provenzano, Joe Dale, Jose Vilson, Mark Barnes, and more. German Doin, of Argentina, will talk about his viral documentary, The Forbidden Education, which got 8 million hits on Youtube. We might even get the opportunity to see Will Chamberlain’s student ukulele group play live. Be inspired. Surround yourself with passion for 3 days. Experience the power of over 100 teachers from around the world who gave birth to their ideas and how it transformed their learners. The organizers personally invite each presenter whose idea inspired us.
Give birth to your idea or don’t give up on one you have because it isn’t going as planned.