The Quote Garden
 “I dig old books.”
 Est. 1998

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Quotations about Ideas

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NOTE:  Some of the quotes on this page were submitted to me by visitors, and not all have been verified for original source or wording. I'm working hard to confirm everything, but in the meantime please be aware of the possibility for errors.  —ღ Terri, March 2021

Good ideas often take wings and fly beyond our reach, while bad ones will cling to us like barnacles to a vessel. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882

An idea isn't responsible for the people who believe it. ~Don Marquis

Ideas can no more flow backward than can a river.  ~Victor Hugo

A half-baked idea is okay as long as it's in the oven.  ~Author Unknown

The brain is a commodity used to fertilize ideas.  ~Elbert Hubbard

Every idea I get I have to deny, that's my way of testing it.  ~Alain, Histoire de mes pensées

Ideas can be life-changing.  Sometimes all you need to open the door is just one more good idea.  ~Jim Rohn

You have to have an idea of what you are going to do, but it should be a vague idea.  ~Pablo Picasso

Ideas are like wandering sons.  They show up when you least expect them.  ~Bern Williams

An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy to be called an idea at all.  ~Elbert Hubbard

Others go to bed with their mistresses; I with my ideas.  ~José Marti, letter, 1890

New ideas are but gathered fragments from the past. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897

The wings of change always flutter on the fire of ideas. ~Viswo Varenya Samal, May 2011 entry to The Quote Garden create your own quote contest on Twitter, @quotegarden

The way to get good ideas is to get lots of ideas, and throw the bad ones away.  ~Linus Pauling

My mind contains many good ideas, but it's not always easy to squeeze one out.  ~Ashleigh Brilliant

Crystal ideas are often broken by the grapple with words. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897

Drawing is putting a line round an idea.  ~Henri Matisse

A pile of rocks ceases to be a rock when somebody contemplates it with the idea of a cathedral in mind.  ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Language is the means of getting an idea from my brain into yours without surgery.  ~Mark Amidon

Labor gives birth to ideas.  ~Jim Rohn

I'm not sure the Great Ideas come to us when we're looking for them. Most likely they come when we don't expect them, like hiccups and hives. But it is worth trying. Meditation calms the spirit. ~Jack Smith, God and Mr. Gomez, 1974

There is only one way in which a person acquires a new idea:  by the combination or association of two or more ideas he already has into a new juxtaposition in such a manner as to discover a relationship among them of which he was not previously aware.  ~Francis A. Cartier

No matter who you are, some scholar can show you the great idea you had was had by someone before you.  ~Author Unknown

Great ideas need landing gear as well as wings. ~Quoted by Adolph A. Berle, Jr., in New York Times Book Review, per The Reader's Digest, 1955  [In 1983, Reader's Digest attributed the same quotation to C. D. Jackson. —tg]

Then one day he got what a gambler calls a "hunch"... His friends thought him crazy, as friends always think when a man has an original idea and acts on it. Now, when his friends speak of him they invariably add, "I knew him when—." ~Edwin Carty Ranck, "Interesting People: Charles E. Bullard, A Famous Photographer of Cats," The American Magazine, April 1915

Night time is really the best time to work.  All the ideas are there to be yours because everyone else is asleep.  ~Catherine O'Hara

Money never starts an idea. It is always the idea that starts the money. ~Owen Laughlin

Ideas corrode the international fences. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)

Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it is the only one you have. ~Emile Chartier

I hope some animal never bores a hole in my head and lays its eggs in my brain, because later you might think you're having a good idea but it's just eggs hatching. ~Jack Handey, Deepest Thoughts: So Deep They Squeak, 1994,

Everyone who's ever taken a shower has an idea.  It's the person who gets out of the shower, dries off and does something about it who makes a difference.  ~Nolan Bushnell

My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living.  ~Anais Nin

When you write down your ideas you automatically focus your full attention on them.  Few if any of us can write one thought and think another at the same time.  Thus a pencil and paper make excellent concentration tools.  ~Michael Leboeuf

An original idea.  That can't be too hard.  The library must be full of them.  ~Stephen Fry

There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come.  ~Victor Hugo

An idea not coupled with action will never get any bigger than the brain cell it occupied.  ~Arnold H. Glasgow

No matter how brilliantly an idea is stated, we will not really be moved unless we have already half-thought of it ourselves.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1963

The ideas I stand for are not mine. I borrowed them from Socrates. I swiped them from Chesterfield. I stole them from Jesus. And I put them in a book. If you don't like their rules, whose would you use? ~Dale Carnegie

You can't beat ideas — political, social, economic or religious — with implements. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)

Let your working ideas go for a picnic — sometimes the fresh air and ant bites are just what they need. Many great ideas were bitten a little at the beginning. ~Terri Guillemets

Adults are always asking little kids what they want to be when they grow up because they're looking for ideas.  ~Paula Poundstone

Ideas have become far more important to us than action - ideas so cleverly expressed in books by the intellectuals in every field.  The more cunning, the more subtle, those ideas are the more we worship them and the books that contain them.  We are those books, we are those ideas, so heavily conditioned are we by them.  We are forever discussing ideas and ideals and dialectically offering opinions.  Every religion has its dogma, its formula, its own scaffold to reach the gods, and when inquiring into the beginning of thought we are questioning the importance of this whole edifice of ideas.  We have separated ideas from action because ideas are always of the past and action is always the present - that is, living is always the present.  We are afraid of living and therefore the past, as ideas, has become so important to us.  ~J. Krishnamurti

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