Closed for the time being

All is gone now all we have left is an idea

A few years back me and my wife had an idea: What if we would let people stay – for free! – on our private island in the Philippines so they could work on their ideas! It was a beautiful idea, We called it Ideas Island, invested, built, planned and finally started to invite guests. The people who got to stay there just loved it. We loved being able to let people stay there for free and we loved the ideas the guests worked on.

Last week that dream got a punch in the face in the form of super-Typhoon Yolanda. All that we had been building over the last few years got destroyed. Our house, our two boats, our infrastructure. Everything. Even our tree-house got blown away. As our caretaker wrote in his first SMS to us when his mobile started to work again: “All is gone.” Luckily our staff is safe! But the dream that we made happen is gone. We are back to where we started: with an empty island with nothing on it.

Seeing the idea of Ideas Island go from idea to realization to over-night destruction has made me realize something: To see one of your favourite ideas come to life is one of the purest forms of happiness there is. To see one of your favourite projects be ruined is not sad. It just leaves you with a feeling of emptiness. From that I have drawn the conclusion that we should all think about what grand, beautiful, crazy or beautiful ideas we are carrying around with us.

What is stopping us from making them happen? Is it fear? Of what? Failure? Of what will happen if it doesn’t become a success? Of what will happen if we invest all that time, money and effort into something that will never take off – or if it all gets blown away in a storm?

Well, take it from me: The joy of giving birth to ideas is greater than the sorrow of seeing ideas die. Immensely bigger. We have nothing to fear. You have nothing to fear. Go back and revisit those gorgeous ideas of yours and pick the one that you really would like to make happen. That one idea that the world really needs. Or the one you just think is a fun, little, cool thing that would make people smile – like our idea of Ideas Island. And then make it happen.

If it does become a success you will feel immortal . If it fails you will not die. The sun will rise again, you will move on – but at least you will feel happy that you tried. Ideas inspire us like almost nothing else in life. The word inspiration means “to breathe in” – in other words, to be inspired is “the oxygen of our mind” – it’s what’s keeps us alive.

Believe in your ideas.
Make them happen.
Tell your friends to make their ideas happen.
You will be glad you did.
Even if you one day wake up to the news that your idea was blown away in a storm.
Trust me. I know.

- Fredrik Ideas Island Palawan