• Paul M. Wood

2.Open and Closed Ideas: Path or Journey?

Ideally, ideas are bred in a zone without time, judgement and constraints. You think up an idea and it has a weightlessness to it, a purity...and a fragility. It can exist in a moment and then flame out with total invisibility.

Ideas can be closed or open.

Closed ideas are like loops, feeding in on themselves. Surrounding the core of the closed idea is a hard shell of its execution, already figured out to the conclusion of its expression. This idea is FIXED and aligned totally to its realization. You can see the pattern of these ideas institutionalized in mono-creators who look upon the entire path to realization as littered with executors who do their bidding in a kind of servitude.

Closed ideas create their own rigid paths to realization since they are usually conceived of in their entirety. The vision is a fixed point toward which everything points. And the achievement of that idea is relative to how closely it resembles this origin closed state.

Open ideas create a journey to realization with dynamic discoveries along the way that enhance and grow the idea in surprising unexpected ways. There is a trust in the journey that the idea will retain its origin and will attract supporting ideas on the way to realization.

A journey implies travel with unexpected variances with an openness of spirit to attract and react to what comes along the way.

A path is a fixed direction where every step on the path is a definitive realization.

Either way is set at the origin of the idea.

A full-blown “I can run this entire movie through my head from start to finish” idea is usually the closed one, and its process becomes a path.

There are many creators who can see the entire idea realized, and all questions answered at the start, so their process then becomes realizing the classic 5 Ws; Who, What, Where, When and Why.

And other creators who, even if an idea is clear, they are open at every step along the process to enhancing, enlarging, and deepening their ideas.

Next let’s look at the multitude of threats the moment an idea is expressed, and some methods of protecting while sharing.


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