You have an idea about something. Maybe a decision you need to make, a direction for your future. A business idea or project. An idea or thought in any form.
It’s a brilliant, well-reasoned, thoughtful, rational idea. You’ve researched it, analyzed it, thought about it. You’ve crunched the numbers. It “makes sense.”
That’s great. Good luck getting traction on it.
Rational ideas without connection to spirit, emotion, and physical elements will fall flat. What makes ideas take root and grow is that they hook us on all levels: intellectual, spiritual, emotional, and physical.
These realms are connected to the four elements: air, fire, water, and earth.
Intellectual = Air
Thoughts are easy and cheap. Your mind creates thoughts all day. That’s it’s job and it does it well. If you’re prone to analysis and attachment, you’ll find it easy to research and grow attached to your ideas.
The fact that your idea may make sense, or be highly rational, is largely irrelevant. After all, what’s “rational” depends on who is doing the rationalizing.
Thoughts are the element of air.
As long as you are alive you breathe in air and you have thoughts.
Spiritual = Fire
Many people get thrown off by this word, mistakenly believing that it equates with religion or “other worldly” forces. It certainly can include that element, but if that’s not your thing, take it to a more basic interpretation.
What is the inspiration for your idea?
Inspire = in spirit.
Spirit is the element of fire.
What is the spark or impulse that inspired your idea?
Emotional = Water
Whether your idea is for a product, a new strategy, or where to go on your next family vacation, you will need to sell this idea to someone to get it off the ground.
We invest where we are emotionally pulled. Even if you think you don’t, you do.
What is your emotional connection to your idea? How does your idea connect emotionally with others?
Emotions are the element of water.
If you want your to feel a sense of ease and flow in bringing your ideas to form, you must have an emotional connection to your idea and your idea must create an emotional connection in others.
Physical = Earth
The physical level is where many great ideas fail. The idea is great in theory but it must be offered in a way that it is tangible for people.
We long for things that we can grab onto, feel, taste, touch, smell, hear.
Physical form is the element of earth.
What does it look like in practice? How do you bring it into form?
Rationality is Overrated
Look around at ideas that have taken root, that have become embedded in the fabric of our culture. (Notice, by the way, the language here, which is metaphorical for earth and tangible objects.)
These ideas were inspired and they evoked emotion. The easier it is to appreciate the practicality and how the ideas will come into form and integrate into our lives, the more quickly those ideas are adopted. Some ideas are harder to envision in form — those ideas get adopted more slowly, until the early adopters show others how to implement the idea.
Mainstream ideas may seem rational now, in hindsight. But in their inception they did not seem rational.
Rationality is overrated.