The Light Bulb Principle

The purpose of a light bulb is to produce light. But in order to fulfill its purpose, the light bulb needs to receive enough energy. Until you give it that energy, you won’t benefit from the light bulb’s light (and you won’t know if it works). Keeping it in your hands or putting it on the table, for example, doesn’t help it produce light.

To produce light, the light bulb must be in the socket and the light switch turned on. More precisely, it needs to be connected to a source of energy. If you put the light bulb in the socket but fail to turn on the switch, or if you turn on the switch but the light bulb isn’t in the socket (or connected to the power source), you’ll remain in the dark.

You can spend a long time analyzing the light bulb, but only when you give it the proper energy will it light up the room.

The light bulb principle states that to produce its light, an opportunity (e.g. a project, a diet, a relationship, an idea, a business, a friendship, …) must be supplied with enough energy (e.g. attention, time, money, and effort). To work, the opportunity must be given a fair chance by putting in the work.

The light bulb principle may explain why your last project failed: you didn’t provide the project the energy it required to work.

The light bulb principle may explain why your last diet failed: you didn’t put in the work. Did you even unwrap the exercising DVDs?

The light bulb principle may explain why your previous relationship failed: you didn’t give it the attention (energy) it required to work.

If you look back on your life, you may find that failure to apply the light bulb principle is responsible for many missed opportunities. It’s not that the opportunities were no good; it’s that you failed to give them enough energy.

Perhaps, you’re considering a new opportunity, but you’re still procrastinating (wondering whether it’s going to work). Well, until you put it in the “socket” and “turn on the switch”, you won’t know for sure.

The best opportunity without enough energy is no better than no opportunity at all.

Granted, some light bulbs are burnt on the outside, and thus, you know they’re no good. No need to test those; they fly straight into the designated recycle bin.

Some opportunities are burnt on the outside. No need to waste any energy on those; they fall straight into oblivion.

However, some opportunities would be great if only you gave them enough energy.

The real question is: Do you need the light (i.e. the outcome produced by the opportunity)? If you don’t, move on. If you do, put the opportunity in the socket and turn on the switch: work.