On a recent high-school tour, I saw a sign inside a classroom that read, "Thoughts become things." I like that idea. I had heard it before, but I wasn't sure where. I thought it might be a quote from an unknown person or something from a book or play. I decided to research it and maybe use it in an article.
So I went where we always go these days to find out — straight to the Internet. The first thing I ran into was this, from a Metaphysics site:
"Thoughts become things when they are given substance with feelings in the Mind."
It is true that thoughts can become things but it takes a whole lot more than "feelings in the mind" to make a thought — some might call it an idea — become a reality.
Good ideas are a dime a dozen; they really are. World peace — there's a good idea. Well, we've been rolling out "Visualize World Peace" bumper stickers for decades and we're still visualizing, aren't we?
What are the secret ingredients?
I recently had a great experience working with a group of Brothers and Eastern Star Sisters that turned out a "thing" which had originated as a "thought." Together, we published a book. It was the journal of a former Missouri Grand Secretary who lived almost the entire 19th century. He recorded a first-hand account of Masonic events that took place during that time, not just from Missouri, but elsewhere as well.
The journal had been lost for nearly three quarters of a century. It contained information not known anywhere else about our Craft. Upon finding the journal, it was a "no brainer" for one of our Brothers, then a group of Brothers, to have the seminal thought that we should publish it. Eventually, that thought became a "thing." It didn't happen overnight and it didn't happen with "feelings in the mind."
It happened because over twenty people involved in the project were dedicated and put in a lot of hard work. Dedication and hard work — those, my Brothers, are the secret ingredients.
Steve Jobs, you may recall, had a lot of good ideas; and he knew how to turn those ideas into a lot of good things. I like what he said about thoughts becoming things: "Most people have a disease: they think once they've had a good idea they've done 90% of the work. Coming up with the idea is easy. Working to make it a reality is the hard part."