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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Coming Ideas

My mother was often the engine that reliably imbued family projects with energy and optimism. Sometimes she would pause midstream in our activities and say “I’ve got coming ideas” when a new way of approaching a challenge occurred to her. I thought of this recently when I traded in a 2012 VW Beetle for a new Volkswagen Jetta. My motivating idea was to acquire a new car with virtual bumper-to-bumper maintenance coverage for a good number of years.  It never occurred to me to make any other transportation changes.  Yet on driving the Jetta home from the dealership, it dawned on me…dah…that I would no longer need my Mazda CX-9 for its additional cargo space. The next morning I sold the CX-9 (which action had been the furthest thing from my mind just a day before).

There is a phrase I think well describes much of human behavior – “muddling through”. More often than not we launch a project congratulating ourselves that it has been well-planned. Yet, if we’re lucky – and I really mean that, lucky – we will actually end up with something astonishingly different.  Now regarding my car trades, I could now with dubious intent/effect seek to enhance my gravitas and muster all kinds of claims to wisdom (however factually “alternate” that would be) by saying that weeks in advance I meticulously planned to bestow greater efficiency and effectiveness upon my transportation arrangements through exacting cost-benefit analysis.  I could indeed say all that with dignified sanctimony and would probably do so if there were a ghost of a chance that my readers had not long-since lost their virginity.

Since I associate turgid goals and tedious plans with a will of steel, the French psychologist, Émile Coué (February 26, 1857 – July 2, 1926) comes to mind.  He said: “When the imagination and will power are in conflict, are antagonistic, it is always the imagination which wins, without any exception” (

In way of dedication: Thank you mother for having “coming ideas” and ditching the steel will for something more redemptive. That is why even today I run to you. 


Check this out for a great instance of Coming Ideas:

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