Hello Misfit Nation! Welcome to another edition of "Lessons for Hannah!"
In November of 2016, we introduced a new format that we are putting alongside our regular episodes called “Lessons for Hannah.” Hannah is my daughter and one of the main inspirations for the Misfit Entrepreneur. I wanted to have a place where she could go and learn from her daddy and his Misfit friends throughout her life….even after I am gone. If you haven’t listened to the first episode of "Lessons for Hannah," I urge you to as it gives some more background and tells the amazing story of how Hannah came to be in our lives.
"Lessons for Hannah" are short, very useful, and sometimes comical lessons, that I have learned which I want to share with you and give to Hannah to help in your lives. Because I want Hannah to have these for her life, I’m going to speak as though I am talking directly to her. These episodes are a lot of fun and if you think there is a lesson that we should include in these episodes, please don’t hesitate to send it over to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to share it.
This week’s Lesson for Hannah
There is something in this world that has existed from the beginning of man-kind and it has the power to change the world. It has the power to take people and lift them from poverty to riches. It has the power to help people on a world-wide scale. It has the power to make life better, easier, and more enjoyable. It has the power to create whole new ways of thinking or entire industries.
And what’s more, it is also very small. In many ways, it is very simple. And even better, is that it is infinitely abundant, it never runs out.
Sound too good to be true? It’s not. What I am talking about is an idea.
Victor Hugo once said, “All the forces in the world are not so powerful as an idea whose time has come.” He’s right. Ideas change the world. A simple idea of creating a place where the individual was given the freedom and right to life, liberty, and to pursue their happiness created the United States. A simple idea that man could fly, propelled the Wright Brothers to find a way to make it a reality. Almost everything you see around and use today came from an idea. The internet, smart phones, cars, heck even a toaster, started as a simple idea in someone’s mind.
Everything begins with an idea. Ideas are the most powerful things in the world. And they can be created and used for tremendous good and extraordinary evil. Nazism started as an idea, was turned and weaponized into a movement and ultimately killed millions of people in its wake. Same with the ideas of Stalin, Mao, Polpot and others. Over 100 million people were killed because of their ideas.
I use these examples to illustrate the power of ideas and to make you aware of the fact that this power can be abused.
But, a great example of an idea taking hold and standing for thousands of years is that of Christianity. I recently watched a movie about the life of the Apostle Paul that was fascinating and such a great illustration of an idea that can do so much good. Paul was first known by another name, Saul of Tarsus. He was a persecutor of Christians. He hated them because they did no follow the traditional doctrine of the time. And one day, Paul was blinded during his travels and Jesus appeared to him. Shortly, after per the prediction of Jesus, a man came and healed Saul. He became a believer and became known as the apostle Paul. He went on to be arguably the most influential person in the Bible next to Jesus. He traveled well over 10,000 miles on foot setting up churches and preaching and sharing the story of Jesus and the faith of Christianity. Even after being imprisoned and sentenced to death by the emperor Nero in Rome, he continued to write letters from prison and teach. Many of these letters make up what is the New Testament today. In fact, half of the books in the New Testament are attributed to Paul. He truly did amazing things and never wavered from his principles or core beliefs.
So, why am I sharing this with you? It’s simple, what could compel a man to devote his entire life to teaching and spreading the word of something? An idea. And for those listening, whether you are Christian or not, the example of Paul is a great one to see what the power of what an idea can do and drive a person or group of people to become. You can apply the example to your religion or belief set.
Understanding this, as you look throughout history, you can see why ideas are the most powerful things in the world. Why did Mother Teresa do what she did? A powerful idea that she believed in. How did we get to the moon in less than 10 years? An idea. An idea that we could do what everyone said was impossible.
Hannah, every day in your life, you will have ideas. Learn to recognize them, understand them, and use the good ones to help you create your life and leave an impact on the world. How do you know a good one, you might ask? My best answer is to trust your gut. If it aligns with your principles and values, has the ability not just to help you, but others, is worthy of being shared with others, and most importantly, is something you believe deeply in, then it is probably a good one. The key is to act on it.
And no matter what, not all ideas will work out, but that is the beauty of it – ideas are infinite, there will always be more. So, enjoy the ride and make the most out of the ideas you create and the ones that are shared with you that resonate with you in your life.
Here’s to the power of an idea!
I love you,
Best Quote: “All the forces in the world are not so powerful as an idea whose time has come."