The care & keeping of ideas, part one

So you have a new idea. Or you think you do, but you can’t really be 100% for sure. Because your new idea, it’s a little shy. And by “a little shy”, I mean, it’s acting like a wild animal that under no circumstances wants to be within 10 feet of you, and keeps bolting any time you get close. Frustrating, to say the least.

As a result, you’re not really clear on the details of this idea. You know it’s a really amazing idea, and that you want to do something with it, but unfortunately, it’s near impossible to take action without, you know, knowing what the end goal is. Once you have the clarity of knowing where you’re going, it’s a hell of a lot easier to figure out not only how to get there, but the best way to get there. (The journey is as important as the destination & all that jazz.)

Sounds great, you say. How do you get that clarity?

The first step is surprisingly counterintuitive: let it simmer. You might think you’ve already been letting it simmer just by acknowledging that you have the idea in the first place – but now it’s time to turn up the heat. And then set a timer.

To do that, pick a time that you’ll start working on the idea. (Suggestion: make it Wednesday, ’cause that’s when part two comes out.) Write it down, say it out loud, think about it really hard, but whatever you do, imprint it firmly in your mind. My theory on this working so well is that it tells your subconscious you’re ready to get down to business, dammit, and your subconscious responds accordingly by working on the idea behind the scenes. In the time between turning up the heat & setting a timer and the time when you plan on actually taking some action on the idea, if you have any thoughts or mini-epiphanies, write it down and then put it out of sight. Keep your notes in a file (online or physical) somewhere, knowing that they’re safe and you don’t have to carry that little nugget of brilliance around in your head, where it might get lost.

As for what to do when the time is up, that comes next in part two. Check back on Wednesday!

If you loved this post or found it super useful, please share it with your friends! After all, that’s how good ideas spread, right?

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