I’m not an advocate of the Devil’s. We all hear enough about why something can’t be done? Why it can’t work? It seems to me that our real responsibility to our friends is not to keep them from falling down but to push them fast enough so that gravity is overwhelmed by speed. Or something like that.
Gordon MacKenzie, author of my favorite children’s business book, Orbiting the Giant Hairball, took on the role of Creative Paradox at Hallmark. His job was to listen to ideas. His response was to pronounce them good. Here’s a quote from a bit of dialog from the book:
“Most newly hatched ideas are shot down before they even have a time to grow feathers, let alone wings. In saying yes to all those who brought their ideas to me, I was simply leveling the imbalance a bit. And it worked. One yes in a sea of nos can make a difference.”
This reminds me to say, “Yes! What a fabulous idea!” And then, when I can I must add, “How can I help you get there?”
One more quote ’cause I love it. It’s that one from Faust, a poke in the stomach as a reminder.
Then indecision brings its own delays,
And days are lost lamenting over lost days.
Are you in earnest? Seize this very minute;
What you can do, or dream you can do, begin it;
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.