Sometimes great ideas actually are just as wonderful as they seem in our heads.
But many great ideas just aren’t.
As much as I would prefer not to admit it, I’ve done a countless amount of things that I thought were really bright notions, only to have them backfire in my face. I mean, I got bangs when I was in fifth grade. BANGS. This was way before I owned a flatiron or knew how to use a curling iron. I’m not even sure I owned a brush back then, but I got bangs. I don’t have bangs hair. This was a horrendous idea that I had mistakenly thought was wise. Oy vey.
Then there was that whole trip to Portland last year that seemed like a really solid plan until I found myself asking strangers for rides and sleeping in the airport. When I had originally registered for the conference I was attending, booked a hotel and gotten a buddy pass from my friends, I figured the trip would be pretty breezy. I should have known better.
And then came the Pop-Tarts fiasco of last week. Cinnamon roll Pop-Tarts might be one of the greatest creations Kellogg’s has ever made. If you’ve never tried them, please go to the store as soon as you can, and let your life be changed forever. I was hyping these up to the CEO of our company last Thursday, and he seemed very intrigued, so I told him I would bring him some. I was out of them myself and knew I’d need to make a trip to the store to get some before work the next day because I’m a woman of my word.
I’m in a work bowling league, and we compete on Thursday nights. We usually get out of there pretty late, and I was too tired to make a pit stop on the way home to pick up Pop-Tarts. I thought about getting them on the way to work the next morning, but I knew that likely wouldn’t happen—I’m usually rushing enough as it is to get out of the door on time. Then I had a genius idea: I’ll get them in the morning on my run. There’s a Walmart not too far from where I live, and that’s the only store that would be open at the time I run, anyway. I figured I would buy two boxes for three logical reasons:
1. I needed more for myself.
2. I could check my box to make sure they didn’t break or anything to help assure me that his box was still intact.
3. I would feel even carrying one box per hand.
Again, this was a really great idea in my head. And then I executed it. First of all, the early mornings are apparently restocking time for Walmart, so the aisle I needed to get to was roped off. I had to crawl under and hop over a few barricades to get to the Pop-Tarts. I put each box in a separate bag when I checked out with the thought that I could tightly wrap the handles around my hands so that the boxes would bounce less.
That plan stunk.
I ended up holding the boxes the whole time with what I might call an iron grip. But it was so uncomfortable. I didn’t want to move my arms much and shake the Pop-Tarts a bunch, and that was really awkward. Arms are useful when running. My left arm does this weird swing thing, though, so there was no stopping it. I decided my box would be the one in my left hand. My hands also started to feel really strange from holding on to such a massive structure for so long. (I know the boxes aren’t that huge, but they really are.) The whole run home, all I could think about was how stupid this idea was.
I finally made it home and was happy to discover my box of Pop-Tarts was perfectly fine, so I could only assume the other was, as well. I set the box on the boss man’s desk, and he loved them—but he has no idea the journey those bad boys and I went on together.
Even though good ideas may quickly become bad ideas, perhaps they can still bring about positive results. After all, now I know never ever to get bangs. I learned quite a few things about people—including myself—on my trip to Portland. And I got to keep a promise I made after that special Pop-Tart run.
There are legitimate bad ideas out there (e.g., the creation of Peeps), but I think good ideas turned bad can turn good again. Maybe a lot of it has to do with the intent behind the idea. We all have different ways of getting where we need to be to do the things we need to do—and sometimes we have interesting tactics along the way. The important thing to remember is to follow through with your idea if you know it’s right in your heart.
Even if it means running with Pop-Tarts.