The Death of a Lightbulb Moment

Light Bulb Moment – informal,  a moment of sudden inspiration, revelation, or recognition.  From the cartoon image of a light bulb lighting up above a character’s head when he or she has an idea.

The conversations we have with ourselves, the back and forth and back again banter, can be exhausting.  “No that won’t work.  Nope, not that either.  Ahhh there it is!  Well, no that won’t do.”


lightbulb idea The Death of a Lightbulb Moment

I got it.

It’s exhilarating isn’t it?  A jolt of energy and excitement rushing to the brain.  We’ve encountered a problem and have discovered a solution.  Now what?  This is when insecurities come out and play.  This when the various reasons or excuses stifle creativity and your confidence begins to crack.  It’s at this moment where you feel as if you’re sitting on a river of oil without the tools necessary to get it out of the ground.  Who do you call?  Who will collaborate?  Who will believe?

light bulb.jpg w640h392crop1 The Death of a Lightbulb Moment

Lights out.

It’s a cycle.  A cycle of starting then stopping.  Starting and stopping again.  Never completing anything, never fully commuted, never truly tried and tested.  We’ve all been there, done that.  What’s the best solution?  To fail.


: to not succeed : to end without success

: to not succeed as a business : to become bankrupt

: to not do (something that you should do or are expected to do)

-Merriam Webster

That last one really gets me.  “To Not Do”.  Merriam really could have just left it at that.  Not acting on an idea can create a cycle of failure mainly because you never learn how to come back from failing.  Once you’ve failed at something it’s often difficult to try again but it’s the ability to get back up again that separates the successful from the unsuccessful.  Of course, if you continue to fail repeatedly and are making the same mistakes over and over again, then you may need to change course.

Failing can be humiliating but it’s bound to happen.  If you’re an entrepreneur, it might not be your first or second company, but that third one could be a disaster.  Failure has no prejudices.  It finds rest in us all at some point in our lives.

Not doing can’t be an option.  If I’m afraid to fail I don’t have the courage to succeed.   If I’m afraid to fail I don’t have the courage to succeed.  If I’m afraid to fail I don’t have the courage to succeed.

lightbulb idea flickr greg westfall 349x300 The Death of a Lightbulb Moment

I got it.



  1. says

    your article resonates for me, as my struggles with insecurity has motivated a lifetime of creative activity.

    my search for the noetic wisdom to understand the process of self-realization has felt like an endless stripping of layers of an onion.

    awakening to the importance of setting short term, as well as, long term achievable goals, led me to appreciate the power of “closure” to improve my self-image.

    what was helpful to me was the notion of recognizing when one is on “a path with heart” (or not); and, celebrating the “little victories” in the slog through the daily mundane.

    all the best with your ongoing creative activity.

    happy trails,
    Stephen McPhail

    aka “uncle Steve”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>