idea quotes


An idea that is 

developed and put into action is more important 

than an idea that exists only as an idea. 

 Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, 

founder of Buddhism, c500 B.C.

The value of an idea 

lies in the using of it. 

 Thomas Edison

If you can dream it,

you can do it. 

 Walt Disney.



Dream different dreams 

while on the same bed. 

Chinese proverb

Live out your imagination, 

not your history

 George S. Patton

Think left and think right 

and think low and think high. 

Oh, the things you can think up if only you try.

Dr. Seuss

We must become the change 

we wish to see in the world.

Mahatma Ghandi

A journey of a thousand miles 

must begin with a single step.

Chinese proverb


You must act as if

it is impossible to fail.

Ashanti proverb

The person who says it cannot be done 

should not interrupt the person doing it. 

Chinese proverb

I like nonsense, 

it wakes up the brain cells.

Dr. Suess

New ideas pass through three periods:  

1. It can't be done.  

2. It probably can be done, but it's not worth doing. 

3. I knew it was a good idea all along! 

 Arthur C. Clarke 

First they ignore you,

then they laugh at you,

 then they fight you, 

then you win.

Mahatma Ghandi 

I can't understand 

why people are frightened of new ideas. 

I'm frightened of the old ones.  

 John Cage

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. 

Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.  

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Vision without action is a daydream. 

Action without vision is a nightmare.

Japanese proverb

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes.  

Art is knowing which ones to keep. 

 Scott Adams

If at first, the idea is not absurd, 

there is no hope for it. 

 Albert Einstein

The best way to have a good idea 

is to have lots of ideas.

 Frank Lloyd Wright

Every child is an artist. 

The problem is how to remain an artist 

once he grows up.

Pablo Picasso 

Observe Everything.

Communicate Well.

Draw, Draw, Draw.

 Frank Thomas, Disney Animator

Add legs to the snake 

when you have finished drawing it.

Chinese proverb

All difficult things 

have their origin in that which is easy, 

and great things in that which is small.

Lao Tzu

Great souls have will, 

feeble ones have wishes. 

Chinese proverb

You see things, you say 'Why?'  

But I dream things that never are, and say 'Why not? 

 George Bernard Shaw 

Discovery consists of looking at the same thing 

as everyone else and thinking something different. 

Albert Szent Gyorgi

Every truth in this world 

has an opposite somewhere. 

U Nu 

The reverse side 

also has a reverse side.

Japanese proverb 

If you're not failing every now and again, 

it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative. 

Woody Allen

Everyone is a genius at least once a year.  

The real geniuses simply have their bright ideas closer together. 

 Georg Christoph Lichtenberg 

Do something. 

If it doesn't work, do something else.

No idea is too crazy.

Jim Hightower

Ideas are like rabbits.  

You get a couple and learn how to handle them, 

and pretty soon you have a dozen. 

 John Steinbeck 

Lack of money is no obstacle.  

Lack of an idea is an obstacle.

Ken Hakuta

A person with a new idea is a crank 

until the idea succeeds. 

 Mark Twain

Life is so short, 

we must move very slowly.

Thai saying

There is more to life 

than increasing its speed.

Mahatma Ghandi 

There is a better way, 

find it.

Thomas Edison 

Dig a well 

before you are thirsty.

Chinese proverb


It is the mark of an educated mind 

to be able to entertain a thought 

without accepting it. 


  An inventor is simply a fellow 

who doesn't take his education too seriously.

  Charles Kettering

The best way to predict the future 

is to invent it. 

 Alan Kay

Imagination is more important 

than knowledge.

Albert Einstein 

Imagination is the beginning of creation:  

You imagine what you desire,

 you will what you imagine

and at last, you create what you will.

George Bernard Shaw 


You cannot depend on your eyes 

when your imagination is out of focus.  

 Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

Don't confuse the art of the possible

with the art of the profitable.

 David Tansley

If you don't risk anything, 

you risk even more.  

Erica Jong

The more you know,

 the less you understand.


You may be disappointed if you fail,

but doomed if you do not try.

 Beverly Stills

The most successful people are those 

who are good at Plan B.

James Yorke

Great ideas often receive 

violent opposition from mediocre minds.

Albert Einstein

A bamboo that bends is stronger 

than the oak that resists.

Japanese proverb

If you have an apple and I have an apple 

and we exchange these apples 

then you and I will still each have one apple.  

But if you have an idea and I have an idea 

and we exchange these ideas, 

then each of us will have two ideas.

 George Bernard Shaw

When eating fruit, 

think of the person who planted the tree

Vietnamese proverb



Nothing is more dangerous than an idea,

when it is the only idea we have. 

Henri Fourier

Ask youself constantly.

 ‘What is the right thing to do?’ 


A great person is one 

who has not lost the heart of a child.

Lao Tzu 

There is nothing more powerful 

than an idea whose time has come.

  Victor Hugo  

Change your thoughts

and you change your world.

Norman Pool

All that we are 

is the result of what we have thought.


The beginning of wisdom 

is to call things by their right names.

Chinese proverb

I dreamt of a thousand new paths. 

I woke and walked my old one.

Chinese proverb 

There are many paths to enlightenment.  

Be sure to take the one with a heart. 

Lao Tzu

They always say time changes things, 

But you actually have to change them yourself. 

Andy Warhol

No wind, no waves.

Chinese proverb

Do not wait for leaders. 

Do it alone, person to person. 

Mother Teresa

compiled for your delight

with delight 

by Dave Lim

dave @

to celebrate TED Global 2009.