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On Fragility...


New ideas sometimes don’t even make it past the inner critic who whispers about how weak it is, how others have probably thought of it already, and how others will laugh, criticise or turn away from you. Like will-o-the-wisps, they are easily extinguished. Ideas, for the very large part, need nurturing and pondering if they are ever to see the light of day or even spark the next level of thinking.

See also

confidence, criticism*, doubt, failure, fear*, resistance, risk, robustness


‘A new idea is delicate. It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn; it can be stabbed to death by a quip and worried to death by a frown on the right man’s brow.’

Charles Brower

‘An idea must not be condemned for being a little shy and incoherent; all new ideas are shy when introduced first among our old ones. We should have patience and see whether the incoherency is likely to wear off or to wear on, in which latter case the sooner we get rid of them the better.’

Samuel Butler

‘Yet there is nothing more dangerous than to be premature in exploiting a change in perception.’

Peter F. Drucker

‘A good idea is like a lighted match, easily blown out by the cold winds of rigid management.’

Richard Kinder

‘Creativity is so delicate a flower that praise tends to make it bloom, while discouragement often nips it in the bud. Any of us put out more and better ideas if our efforts are truly appreciated.’

Alex Osborn

‘Who were the fools who spread the story that brute force cannot kill ideas? Nothing is easier. And once they are dead they are no more than corpses.’

Simone Weil

Ideas won’t keep. Something must be done about them. When the idea is new its custodians have fervour, live for it, and, if need be, die for it.’

Alfred North Whitehead



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