The Curse of having more Ideas than Skills.

Does your brain fizz and pop with ideas that just won’t go away?

For those of you that don’t live like this it may sound wonderful, and maybe it is. However it can also be a curse, especially if you don’t possess the skills, money or even drive to give these ideas life. 

For people that have an ideas driven brain, this ‘ability’ may just seem normal, something that everyone must also experience all the time. However after all these years I’ve discovered it’s not ‘normal’. Most people don’t tend to think beyond their immediate paradigm. Even in 2021 ‘thinking outside the box’, isn’t the done thing and many still wouldn’t even understand the concept.

I guess it’s fair to say, most of us as children, start life off with an overactive imagination which can turn a pile of pots & pans into a castle or the pet dog into a dragon or unicorn. As we grow up, our imagination is often discouraged. We are told to stop dreaming and get with the program. Time and time again any ideas or hopes I would share with others were deemed ‘doomed to failure’. 

The truth is that most ideas are flawed and many will fail for a whole host of reasons. However the saddest reason of most failures is because we simply don’t possess the skill set to bring forth into the real world what is  in our heads.  Now, I know exactly what those who are academically gifted will be saying, “Well don’t just sit there complaining, go out and acquire the skills, learn, train your mind, eye and hands to do whatever it is you wish to achieve.”

Yes that seems obvious, but what about those of us for who learning in the conventional way is not possible due to mental and physical handicaps.  Some disabilities may be obvious to all, but many mental problems lie undiagnosed for years or are never discovered. 

I have spoken about my life long fight with dyslexia before, words and numbers are read/written incorrectly or sometimes not at all. When I was a child, my parents knew nothing about dyslexia. My mother would cry as she held up flash cards over and over again, in the hope that the words would go into my brain and I would be able to spell them correctly in the next days test. 

I always tried and hoped I could pass tests, but the truth was I just couldn’t. I was told I hadn’t ‘tried hard enough’ or was lazy. I was even told on more than one occasion to stand on the chair for everyone to see the ‘stupid boy’ that had got the lowest mark, as if public humiliation would cure my learning difficulties. 

My ‘ineptitude’ seemed to span all things sports and even the things I loved such as music and art. I was good at art but not great. I could pick out a tune on a piano, but try as I might, decades on I still can not read music or play the piano in any meaningful way. 

Despite all this, I have had a very interesting life and done some amazing things. Yet everything I have achieved has come at a huge emotional and monetary cost. While ideas flow from me as regularly as hot water pumps from the geysers at Yellowstone Park, my ability to bring these things into form has been like pushing a boulder up a hill on roller skates . 

So I guess the obvious thing is to just give up and just do something ’normal’. As my careers officer said to me in 1983 … “Well, I don’t think further education is an option for you, I think you better just go and work in a shop.“ So thats what I did. This didn’t stem the flow of ideas, it didn’t stop me trying to bring my visions to fruition through art and music. Yet, whatever I created was just like a muffled moan compared to the majestic symphony in my head. 

Despite technology coming along in 1993 which helped me bridge my personal limitations from what I wanted to achieve, my ideas still outstrip my abilities, hours in the day and my financial constraints. It is conceivable the wealthy could outsource all their ideas to people with the skills to give these things life.  The biggest irony of all is that often the most academically gifted musicians and artists are the ones that find it hardest to come up with original Ideas. Sure there are those singer-song writers that can knock out a song in an hour, but they live in very rarefied air.  

So to the big question:- Do ideas have any value
Who can say? You may have a great song or invention in your brain that could heal the hearts and minds of the multitudes. Yet if you can’t bring forth your ideas into reality, the world will miss out and you, as an individual, will just become more despondent at your own body’s inability to realise the ideas and concepts that burn within.

In an ideal world, such ‘ideas’ people should have contact with whole host of idealess people with skills. Together, in a helpful cooperative union, both people could be better than the sum of their own parts. Sadly, why would a talented musician listen to a ‘dreamer with ideas? What stops those with the talent just stealing all the ideas from those the world over looks? Let’s face it, there are no schools for ideas, no Bachelors of Idea Degrees, no Captains of Concepts, no Masters of Dreams. 

Until ideas on their own have value, people such as myself will be cursed to wake up at some ungodly hour and simply say… “yeah, yeah I know it’s brilliant, but why can’t I send these ideas to someone who could actually do something with them and stop driving myself mad.”