Ideas are everywhere. All of us have ideas. They sound wonderful. So certain. Easily achieved. Spoken as if they were effortless. So many times though, we are left asking the question “why doesn’t anything get done”?
Through the years, what I have come to understand include:
- Nothing happens by itself.
- There are usually many steps that are needed to do first before an outcome is possible or an idea becomes a reality.
- To have a chance at succeeding you need to explore your beliefs and assumptions as well as your perceived or actual constraints before beginning. Some of these may either be wrong or simply a self-limiting story you have told yourself.
- Luck, an outside influence that appears to skip steps, may not be visible on the first step but only after a much later one. Giving us the incentive to keep pushing as if it will never appear. Then being surprised if/when it does.
- Figuring out the first two or three steps is the best way to take an idea and push it towards becoming real. More importantly, it is a great way to separate those that are “all talk” from those who might just get something done.
- Steps are never as linear as this picture shows. There may be twists, turns, and even pivots as we navigate life to give birth to an idea that may work.
- Be careful. A lot of ideas come from the “sidelines”. From those not in the arena. These are more “noise” than a possibility. Do not get discouraged when you ignore most of them. (Most of these you should ignore.)
- Time plays a big role in bringing ideas to life. Getting them to work takes time. Seeing what works takes time. Nothing happens in an instant.
- Time also limits what we can accomplish in a day/week or month. Be careful how much you take on at one time. For each one of us can only accomplish so much. Be careful how much you take on at one time if you want to be successful.
- Ownership of an idea gives it a better chance of surviving. Seeing it through the messiness of life needs one shepherd to keep it alive and to keep pushing when things become difficult or the path to success is not apparent.
Whether it’s your idea or someone else’s, the first questions you should ask might include:
- Tell me/us what the first two or three steps should be to accomplish something. And then be silent. Do not prompt. Let the person sink or swim on their response. You need to determine the path you will use to bring your idea to life before beginning. (It may end up being wrong but you have to start somewhere.)
- What will stop you from bringing this idea to life? Keeping it from being successful?
- Are there things you don’t know, where if you did, would change your mind about the certainty of what you are suggesting?
I am sure you can think of other questions to ask. “Measure twice and cut once.” So appropriate when ideas surround us. Choosing wisely what to work on is important. Figuring out the steps needed to bring an idea to life is invaluable.
Don’t lunge at everything you hear. Being selective and thinking things through before beginning can help you so much more than the many ideas we constantly are exposed to. Bringing more traction into our lives while making it easier to work towards the life we dream of.