Happy Monday, or whatever Monday you choose.
As promised, I was able to get eight hours of sleep five out of seven nights. I am looking forward to reporting higher numbers next week.
Have you ever been inspired or struck by the muse? A shiny new idea gets planted in the fertile ground of your mind. I get excited when this happens because I enjoy a challenge. A new idea is a unique opportunity to be creative. In previous posts, I have also cautioned about counting the cost and the return on investment. I do not know if the new idea will result in a gorgeous bloom or a weed in my mental garden. A dear friend of mine shared a podcast featuring Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love, where she discussed following your curiosity. A common saying is that curiosity killed the cat. We are all going to die someday; I like to think that cat learned some pretty mind-blowing things. Nothing in life is guaranteed. You may not wake up tomorrow, or you may lose your job. The store may decide to no longer carry your favorite item. Curiosity can lead you to a new job, or you may design your favorite item.
But, and there is always a but – my shiny new idea is tarnishing. It is not easy to bring a new concept to life. There can be many hills and valleys along the way. Many Start-Ups, for example, expect to wallow in the valley of despair for long stretches at a time. How do I bring my idea to life? Should I bring it to life? If upon further review, you realize that the outcome is different than expected, do you stick with the idea? Some of the most successful businesses today are very different from their original intention. The consumer transformed their business model. Plans do not happen in a vacuum. You may have to do some soul searching when you receive feedback. It is not always easy to think about the long-term effects when you are in the midst of a creative bout.
Discipline and self-control are not the sexiest topics, but they are necessary to bring your idea to fruition. You are the driver. It is essential to stay focused. When you are exploring a new idea, part of the challenge is that it is unknown. You have not done it before. Prepare to research and use every available resource to navigate the next steps. You may have to weed out emotions in your mental garden. When all you can see is dirt, it is vital to have the patience to allow the idea to germinate. Once you see those first shoots pushing up, it is crucial to nurture the idea. You must be careful to give it the right amount of water and sunlight. Some ideas may need a support lattice to climb and grow. Others may need pruning. You also have to leave the field fallow at times.
What’s next? Humble yourself. Are you willing to be a student? Can you admit that you do not know everything? The assumptions you bring to a new idea may be weeds that choke the life out it. You can be curious and also take precautions. For example, if you were going to mix chemicals, you put on safety goggles and have a first aid kit at hand. You will need to be an effective communicator to get help and to build acceptance for your idea. Be prepared to get graded. Will you be able to receive feedback and incorporate it into the next iteration of your plan? Exploring new ideas will also teach you much about yourself. Who are you under pressure?
I look forward to seeing your visions come to fruition.