So you’ve had an idea. And you don’t know if it is good.
How often, and how annoying, isn’t it? There it is, sitting right there in your brain, poking around at the various other ideas around it, looking for some recognition, some reconciliation, maybe even a compliment if somebody would spare it. And yet, the little mind-referee is sitting there on his(or her, depending on your perception of the Self) haunches looking from one idea to the contradicting other, wondering who should win.
Here, I present to you, a simple, elegant and somewhat clever idea to evaluate ideas. This was the one that my mind-referee finally let win. It was a bitter fight; the other evaluation techniques included ask your mom(could be deranged), read from your scripture(what about cricket ideas?), and send Sachin Tendulkar an email(better than God, but does he check his email often enough?). As such, the mind referee has awarded victory to this new technique, and resigned. He lives now in a quiet, green corner of my mind. [note to self: send him flowers]
The evaluation technique may be summarized in one word:
Pants. It is almost insulting in its simplicity. You’ll see what I mean.
When you first have the idea, you must first wonder: do I like it? That is also the question one asks when in the pants shop, standing there in the tiny changing room, staring at oneself from all angles. Do I like it?
Then come the bigger questions.
Does it cover my ass? This one is of ultimate importance; it points towards a need for functionality. The idea shouldwork . It should do what it is supposed to do, and cover most bases(but not all, if you notice. One can choose to expose a little by wearing low waist pants, for instance. Or in the case of one Ripley’s believe it or Not episode, one can also choose to leave a little slit on the buttcrack.)
(Also as an Addendum to this point, you must never just pick up the pants fom the shelf and expect it to put itself on your ass automatically. Did I wear it right? Is it inside out? Is the button done? Is there a fly so I can pee? Is it zipped right now? All these questions have huge ramifications. You must know your idea thoroughly, apply it properly, or it simply won’t cover your ass.)
Next, and it gets interesting here. “Is it in fashion?”, you think to yourself. Is it really? And often enough, you look at it and you think – dude, boot cuts went out of fashion thirty years ago, but I like it, and it covers my ass. And slowly but surely, you let fashion be fashion, and choose the pants because you like them, and they work. Ideas work like this too. All too often, the ‘in’ thing neither covers ones ass, nor does it fit, but we pull them on anyway, just because other people like them too. And you live with it, day after day, week after week, slightly annoyed, wishing you had another pair, wishing you hadn’t bought it, but stuck with it because you’ve run out of funds for now. And, heavens forbid, by this time, you might have gotten used to the horrid pants, and you begin to live with the idea that maybe, you’re just not worth new pants, or pants you like. Maybe this was all it was ever meant to be. Believe me, friend, you an have whichever pants you want. And wear ’em. And I can still manage to be your friend. Because, you know what? Pants are so far down, buddy, after a point, I’m looking only at your face, and that’s all I care about. Pants? Pff. Who cares.
But hey, maybe YOU care? Maybe the damn pants you bought out of peer pressure or fashion or scripture or politics or parentage or convention or superstition or just plain annoying sibling just simply don’t fit you. Maybe, just maybe, its tight around the crotch. How’re you going to get used to that? Just like ideas, the same size of pants doesn’t fit all, and you shouldn’t force the issue.
(As a further example – you never tried to wear a two-year olds pants, right? Nor did you make a two-year old wear yours)
(If you did, seek professional help.)
The possibilities are endless, really! Here are some more everyday analyses for more everyday ideas. You can use these analogies in trivial, everyday idea-evaluations.
– Do I need pants, or will shorts do? [A matter of brevity]
– Do I even need new pants? [A matter of redundancy]
– Should I have more than one? [A matter of context]
– Is it time to throw it away? [A matter of contemporaneity]
– Is it mine, or am I stealing it? [A matter of ownership]
– Did I borrow it? Shouldn’t I tell mum I spent the money on something else? [A matter of plagiarism]
– Do I like This one? Or do I like That one? [A matter of comparison]
– Don’t both these suck? [A matter of research]
Well there it is then. I hope it works for you as well it will henceforth work for me.
DISCLAIMER: Nudists, this is not for you. May I suggest… er… wearing pants?
DISCLAIMER: May not work as well in hindsight. But by then you’ve got the wisdom of hindsight, so…
DISCLAIMER: Does not apply when applied to itself. You’ve been warned: you may regress into an infinite series of zips.