Ideas Quotes

Most popular ideas quotes

Any year that passes in which you don't destroy one of your best loved ideas is a wasted year.

beliefs change

All great ideas look like bad ideas to people who are losers.  It's always good to test a new idea with known losers to make sure they don't like it.

business ideas

There's no idea so good that's so good you can't ruin it with a few well-placed idiots.

business ideas idiot

The man with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.
You can't shout an idea.
Ideas Have Consequences.
My ideas are my trollops.
Every idea is an incitement.
All great ideas are dangerous.
Success is often just an idea away.

success

The best ideas are common property.
All words are pegs to hang ideas on.

language proverbs words

Ideas move rapidly when their time comes.
It is useless to send armies against ideas.
The clash of ideas is the sound of freedom.
— Graffiti

freedom open-mindedness

An idea is a light turned on in a man's soul.
Great ideas need landing gear as well as wings.
The history of mankind is the history of ideas.
In a war of ideas, it is people who get killed.
All my best thoughts were stolen by the ancients.
Ideas are to literature what light is to painting.

literature

I have a lot of ideas and throw away the bad ones.

scientists

What we need is hatred. From it our ideas are born.

hate

The hours of a wise man are lengthened by his ideas.
A man with lofty ideas is an uncomfortable neighbor.
A cold in the head causes less suffering than an idea.
One should never spoil a good theory by explaining it.
Neither man nor nation can exist without a sublime idea.
To turn events into ideas is the function of literature.

literature

An idea isn't responsible for the people who believe it.
Others go to bed with their mistresses; I with my ideas.
If you want to get across an idea, wrap it up in a person.
How do ideas avoid discovery until the right time appears?
One can live in the shadow of an idea without grasping it.

understanding

An idea isn't responsible for the people who believe in it.
Life-transforming ideas have always come to me through books.

books

Barricades of ideas are worth more than barricades of stones.
Nothing is more dangerous than an idea, when you have only one.
To stay ahead, always have your next idea waiting in the wings.
Beware of people carrying ideas.  Beware of ideas carrying people.
An idea does not pass from one language to another without change.

language

When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago.
A character or an idea has to grow like a seed and take possession.
One of the greatest pains to human nature is the pain of a new idea.
Ideas are a capital that bears interest only in the hands of talent.

talent

A cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured, and then quietly strangled.

committees

Our ideas must be as broad as nature if they are to interpret nature.

nature

Good ideas are like mushrooms; where you find one you often find more.
Ideas that enter the mind under fire remain there securely and for ever.
Ideas get substance and value not by being discussed but by being lived.
Often the seed of a great and workable idea is inherent in an absurd one.
An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.
If you want to kill any idea in the world, get a committee working on it.

committees

An idea is a feat of association, and the height of it is a good metaphor.

metaphor

All the really good ideas I ever had came to me while I was milking a cow.
A definition is the enclosing a wilderness of idea within a wall of words.

definitions words

Every new idea has something of the pain and peril of childbirth about it.
There are well-dressed foolish ideas just as there are well-dressed fools.

foolishness

The attempt to suppress an idea has always and everywhere proved a failure.
Bring ideas in and entertain them royally, for one of them may be the king.
An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.
An idea that is not dangerous is not worthy of being called an idea at all.

revolution

What a heavy oar the pen is, and what a strong current ideas are to row in!
To have ideas is to gather flowers.  To think is to weave them into garlands.

thinking

The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones.
One can resist the invasion of armies; one cannot resist the invasion of ideas.
An idea can turn to dust or magic, depending on the talent that rubs against it.

talent

Not to engage in this pursuit of ideas is to live like ants instead of like men.
Ideas are a dime a dozen, but the men and women who implement them are priceless.
There is no adequate defense, except stupidity, against the impact of a new idea.

stupidity

Delightful task! To rear the tender thought,
To teach the young idea how to shoot.

thinking

An idea, to be suggestive, must come to the individual with the force of revelation.
Ideas are like fleas, they jump from person to person, but they don't bite everyone.
If you are possessed by an idea, you find it expressed everywhere, you even smell it.
An idea, to be suggestive, must come to the individual with the force of a revelation.
The only people in the whole world who can change things are those who can sell ideas.
Sometimes the best, and only effective, way to kill an idea is to put it into practice.
Unless you catch ideas on the wing and nail them down, you will soon cease to have any.
A poor idea well written is more likely to be accepted than a good idea poorly written.
When an idea reaches critical mass, there is no stopping the shift its presence induces.
No grand idea was ever born in a conference, but a lot of foolish ideas have died there.

creativity

I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones.
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

education

When thought is too weak to be simply expressed, it's clear proof that it should be rejected.

simplicity

The cleverly expressed opposite of any generally accepted idea is worth a fortune to somebody.
Any powerful idea is absolutely fascinating and absolutely useless unless we choose to use it.
If a man had as many ideas during the day as he does when he has insomnia, he'd make a fortune.
Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than in the one where they sprang up.
Ideas have consequences, and totally erroneous ideas are likely to have destructive consequences.
A mediocre idea that generates enthusiasm will go further than a great idea that inspires no one.

enthusiasm

A stand can be made against invasion by an army; no stand can be made against invasion by an idea.
It is better to entertain an idea than to take it home to live with you for the rest of your life.
A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on. Ideas have endurance without death.
There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time as come.
A young man must let his ideas grow, not be continually rooting them up to see how they are getting on.
Good ideas are not adopted automatically. They must be driven into practice with courageous impatience.

action

Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.
All intelligent thoughts have already been thought; what is necessary is only to try to think them again.
Ah, good conversation—there's nothing like it, is there?  The air of ideas is the only air worth breathing.

conversation

I am more interested in the high ideas of a feeble executant than in the high execution of a feeble thinker.
He is the greatest artist who has embodied, in the sum of his work, the greatest number of the greatest ideas.

artists

Once a new idea springs into existence, it cannot be unthought. There is a sense of immortality in a new idea.
The thinker dies, but his thoughts are beyond the reach of destruction. Men are mortal; but ideas are immortal.
Never, never rest contented with any circle of ideas, but always be certain that a wider one is still possible.

inspirational

A fact in itself is nothing. It is valuable only for the idea attached to it, or for the proof which it furnishes.

facts

They [great ideas] are the mightiest influence on earth.  One great thought breathed into a man may regenerate him.

thoughts

Having lots of ideas doesn't mean you're clever, any more than having lots of soldiers means you're a good general.
Ideas lose themselves as quickly as quail, and one must wing them the minute they rise out of the grass—or they are gone.
Every now and then a man's mind is stretched by a new idea or sensation, and never shrinks back to its former dimensions.

mind

If the whole human race lay in one grave, the epitaph on its headstone might well be: "It seemed a good idea at the time."

the human condition

Usually, the best ideas come from other people's good ideas, which then, after a short gestation period, become your ideas.
Nothing is more common than for men to think that because they are familiar with words they understand the ideas they stand for.

language

If most of us are ashamed of shabby clothes and shoddy furniture, let us be more ashamed of shabby ideas and shoddy philosophies.
To say that an idea is fashionable is to say, I think, that it has been adulterated to a point where it is hardly an idea at all.
The genius of democracies is seen not only in the great number of new words introduced but even more in the new ideas they express.

democracy

The truth of an idea is not a stagnant property inherent in it.  Truth happens to an idea.  It becomes true, is made true by events.

truth

I had never been as resigned to ready-made ideas as I was to ready-made clothes, perhaps because, although I couldn't sew, I could think.
One doesn't "get" an "idea" for a novel. The "idea" more or less gets you. It uses you as a kind of culture, the way a pearl uses an oyster.
If you want to have good ideas you must have many ideas. Most of them will be wrong, and what you have to learn is which ones to throw away.
An idea launched like a javelin in proverbial form strikes with sharper point on the hearer's mind and leaves implanted barbs for meditation.

proverbs

When I have an idea, I turn down the flame, as if it were a little alcohol stove, as low as it will go. Then it explodes and that is my idea.
Ideas won't keep.  Something must be done about them. When the idea is new, its custodians have fervor, live for it, and, if need be, die for it.
Ideas excite me, and as soon as I get excited, the adrenaline gets going and the next thing I know I'm borrowing energy from the ideas themselves.
The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.

hopelessness intelligence

All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning. Great works are often born on a street corner or in a restaurant's revolving door.
A writer didn't need "an" idea for a book; she needed at least forty. And "get" was the wrong word, implying that you received an idea as you would a gift.

creativity writers writing

You cannot force ideas.  Successful ideas are the result of slow growth. Ideas do not reach perfection in a day, no matter how much study is put upon them.
He who receives an idea from me receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine receives light without darkening me.

instruction

My way of working was different years ago.  I used to wait until an idea came to me. Now I go half-way to meet it, though I don't know whether I find it any the quicker.
Ideas, like individuals, live and die.  They flourish, according to their nature, in one soil or climate and droop in another.  They are the vegetation of the mental world.
There can be no two opinions as to what a highbrow is. He is the man or woman of thoroughbred intelligence who rides his mind at a gallop across country in pursuit of an idea.
I'm interested in having fun with ideas, throwing them up in the air like confetti and then running under them. If I had to work at it I would give it up. I don't like working.
Do you find yourself in the same unhappy situation again and again, wondering where you went wrong and why it happened again?  It's not always just bad luck—it may be bad ideas.

luck

We must rid ourselves of the view that only logical ideas can be political weapons.  Ideas in politics are much like poetry; they need no inner logical structure to be effective.

politics

If you happen to be one of the fretful who can do creative work, never force an idea; you'll abort it if you do.  Be patient and you'll give birth to it when the time is ripe.  Learn to wait.
He arrived at ideas the slow way, never skating over the clear, hard ice of logic, nor soaring on the slipstreams of imagination, but slogging, plodding along on the heavy ground of existence.
Our ideas are only intellectual instruments which we use to break into phenomena; we must change them when they have served their purpose, as we change a blunt lancet that we have used long enough.
A war of ideas can no more be won without books than a naval war can be won without ships.  Books, like ships, have the toughest armor, the longest cruising range, and mount the most powerful guns.

books

We are constantly hatching an enormous number of false ideas, conceits, Utopias, mystical explanations, suspicions, and megalomaniacal fantasies, which disappear when brought into contact with other people.
Lying in bed just before going to sleep is the worst time for organized thinking; it is the best time for free thinking.  Ideas drift like clouds in an undecided breeze, taking first this direction and then that.
Ideas never lack for words.  It is words that lack ideas.  As soon as the idea has come to its last degree of perfection, the word blossoms; or, if you like, it blossoms from the word that presents it and clothes it.
Nor are good ideas automatically adopted; they must be driven into practice with a sense of courageous impatience.  And once implemented, they can be easily overturned or subverted through apathy or lack of follow-up.

impatience

You cannot put a rope around the neck of an idea; you cannot put an idea up against a barrack square wall and riddle it with bullets; you cannot confine it in the strongest prison cell that your slaves could ever build.
The moment you say that any idea system is sacred, whether it's a belief system or a secular ideology, the moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible.

freedom open-mindedness

We all are learning, modifying, or destroying ideas all the time. Rapid destruction of your ideas when the time is right is one of the most valuable qualities you can acquire. You must force yourself to consider arguments on the other side.

beliefs change

Life is not an easy matter . . . You cannot live through it without falling into prostration and cynicism unless you have before you a great idea which raises you above personal misery, above weakness, above all kinds of perfidy and baseness.
Courage charms us because it indicates that a man loves an idea better than all the things in the world, that he is thinking neither of his bed, nor his dinner, nor his money, but will venture all to put in act the invisible thought of his mind.

courage

The brain can hold an idea in its stockroom for years, occasionally checking to see if it has changed at all, revising it a little, and then putting it back on the shelf, taking it down again when it seems to have evolved like a lemur from its original form.
Generally students are the best vehicles for passing on ideas, for their thoughts are plastic and can be molded and they can adjust the ideas of old men to the shape of reality as they find it in villages and hills of China or in ghettos and suburbs of America.