The Difference Between A Good Idea and An Insight

Posted by Jill Chivers in Attitudes and Habits, Fashion, Style and Shopping, Living Your Life

I’m experimenting with and learning about happiness and discovering just how much I don’t know about the true source of happiness.  Life is far too short to be on a rollercoaster where sometimes you’re happy and a lot of the times you’re not, so I’m deliberately immersing myself in the landscape of happiness, to see what I might discover and to become more happy, more of the time.

So far, it’s working.

I’m doing a lot of reading, of listening, of watching – what do others have to share about happiness?  And I’m also doing a lot of playing, and journaling, and living in a new way – what am I experiencing about being happy?

It’s positively fascinating!

And in all this reading, listening and watching, I heard something fascinating recently about the source of happiness, and how it’s an inside job.  The interview I was listening to went on to discuss the difference between a good idea, and an insight.

Quotation-MarksA good idea comes from someone else.  An insight comes from within you.



That really struck me.  So often we find ourselves looking outside of ourselves — for that good idea — when the answer, the solution, the insight, lies within us.

As a corporate facilitator, I was and am very familiar with this idea of where insights come from.  They never come from the facilitator, or other participants.   Even if you as the facilitator say something wise and provocative, the best it can ever do is prompt an internal recognition in the  listener, who taps into their own internal wisdom to truly hear what you have to say.

When I would debrief activities in our two-day leadership program, coincidentally called Leading With Insight, it would amaze me how large and profound the shifts in thinking and feeling were, when the person themselves discovered (or rediscovered) a truth for themselves.

And this got me thinking about style, and shopping, and fashion.  And where good ideas and insight fit into that equation.

I’ve written before about the real difference between fashion and style.

Fashion is the relationship to the external.

It is concerned with “what’s out there” (fashion items located in the stores).

Fashion is a matching process between what’s out there (fashion’s primary interest) to what I’m wearing.  Is what I’m wearing a ‘match’ for what’s ‘out there’, to what’s been deemed ‘in fashion’?

Style is the relationship to the internal.

It’s about “what’s in here” (my sense of self, my identity, my perception of who I am).

The matching process is between what’s in here and how that is reflected and expressed in what I’m wearing.  Does my clothing ‘match’ my sense of who I am, at least for today?

Fashion takes our attention away from ourselves.  Style brings our attention directly to ourselves.

With fashion, the emphasis is on the clothing, the items deemed to be fashionable.

With style, the emphasis is on the person.

Fashion can be away to distance yourself from yourself (which may be considered a desirable thing for some people at some points in time).

Style is a way to make closer your relationship to yourself, as its focus and orientation is on the self and how it’s informed and expressed by clothing choices.

Fashion, at best, is a “good idea”.

Style offers the opportunity for insight.

For more inspiration and ideas on living, not spending your life, check out the daily postcards at Shop Less And Live More.

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