Show of hands…for those of you who know me…how many times have I called you with the BEST. IDEA. EVER? Five times? Ten? Fifty? You can leave your answers in the comments section. Furthermore, maybe they weren’t ALL genius, but some of them held real weight. Right?
Ahhh…good ideas. I have tons of them. Business ideas, blog ideas, book ideas, party ideas, vacation ideas, anniversary gift ideas, furthering my education ideas, etc. I come from a family of successful entrepreneurs and artists…I was bound to have some of that ambition and creative spirit in my bones. Here’s where it gets tricky…follow-through? Not my strong suit. Implementation? Not so much. The ability to put my ideas into a concrete plan? Umm…I don’t even know what that means.
Many times, I’ll get excited about an idea, I’ll get my husband, and my family, and my friends to agree that it is in fact GENIUS, and then if I can’t figure out next steps I let it go. It slides into the part of my mind that can’t function along-side my real life. From time to time I’ll think ‘man…that virtual invitation idea (that now totally exists and not nearly as well as I would have created it)…THAT was a good one.’ Others of my truly genius ideas sit in the conscious part of my brain, gathering dust, but always at the ready should I decide to pull them out again.
Recently I’ve felt incredibly compelled to write letters. I had the idea a couple of weeks ago when I was having a conversation with someone about my little girls, our unique family situation, and all of our collective futures. I told her I was considering writing a series of letters to people to read in the future and we both thought it sounded like such a good way to really capture how I’m feeling right this second.
This morning I was talking with a girlfriend whose daughter is graduating from high school in June. Which, by the way, shocks me. How can I possibly be having THAT conversation with someone right now?! As we talked about her daughter, who I just adore with all of my heart, my girlfriend was telling me that she’d recently announced plans to move in with her boyfriend this summer. A boyfriend of three months. Of course all of us parents are vehemently shaking our heads and thinking ‘no, no, no, no, no!!!’ A few hours later I found myself drafting a letter to this lovely girl…in my head…and thinking of all the things I wanted to tell her and how I could possibly do it in a way that wasn’t condescending.
Writing letters sounds like such a fabulous idea. Something that is therapeutic, allows me to write but differently than I do here, and may allow me to share thoughts with people who will truly appreciate it. But let’s be honest…the chances that I will sit my a-s down to write letters is slim to none. Between my real job, this blog, the fabulous course I’ve just started, my husband, my little girls, my precocious dog Sullivan, oh and then the millions of things I’d love to do for myself, how is there an ounce of time to do anything above and beyond?
Where does one sign-up for extra time? I’d like to get in that line please.
Something happens between my coming up with brilliant, likely billion-dollar ideas, and the point at which I’d actually do something about it. It goes something like this…I get an amazing idea, convince my loved ones of its merit, and then I think ‘ooofff…that feels like A LOT of work.’ The end. I don’t know…I feel like the innovative entrepreneurs of our time? Those that are incredibly successful? The people making waves in our world with their genius ideas? I feel like maybe those people don’t get stuck on the “this feels like a lot of work” part.
So how, exactly, do I get past that? When it’s 11pm and I’m just finishing up the things that MUST get done on a random Tuesday night, however do I start something new? Even if it’s simply sitting down to write a letter?
A couple of weeks ago I talked a bit about Benjamin Franklin and his theory on movement. The need to keep moving. The realization that the opposite of movement is being stuck. I’ve been trying to implement this in my life. At work and at home I’ve felt much more productive and accomplished than I have in a long time. But it extends only to the things that I have to get done, the things for which I am solely responsible, the things that if not done will lead me to feel guilty and less than. How do I extend this to the ideas I’ve barely entertained? The ideas that when I’ve called my friends to share I can barely contain my excitement? And, the ideas that almost always fall by the wayside, or sneak to that dusty place in my head?
What better time to dust some of those off, to see how they look and feel in new light, than in this year of what if? Yes, it’s possible that some of them…such as a dating site in which the friends of singles pick the dates…may not be the best ideas ever. But some of them may still be good…if not great. I’m older and wiser at 36 (25)…maybe there are some diamonds in the rough?
And, what better time to start to implement some of them? Maybe I simply need to dedicate time each week to entertain the ideas and to see what happens.
TODAY: What if I give some of my great ideas a chance? What if each week I dedicate an hour to assigning real action steps to some of the ideas that are good ones? What if I stop sabotaging my great ideas and replace “it feels like a lot of work” with “would I enjoy this work and could the possible outcome of that work be remarkable?!”