I’m an ideas person. Things pop into my head, I go giddy with excitement, and all hell breaks loose.
A few years ago, I had an idea. I felt that one year after having two kids 18 months apart and building a new home in the midst of it, I should quit my old career (which sucked by the way) and go do a design degree at art school. The look of sheer terror on my own Mothers face is still etched into my memory.
I ran with that idea. It was exhilarating, exhausting, rewarding, enlightening, terrifying, nerve-wracking, and hands-down the best decision ever. The things I have learned and experienced, the close friends I have made , the things I’ve created and the achievements and goals I’ve met were worth every second.
I could have ignored that idea, told myself it was silly. It was out of the question. That I was not good enough for it. That the kids needed me too much. All of that crap. But I didn’t.
Here are the three strategies that have helped me to handle big ideas.
Treat an idea like you would have them treat you.
I own a wonderful book called “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert. In the chapter “Enchantment” she writes about ideas being a “disembodied life form” (p35). I liked the idea that they swirl around us, and choose us at an appropriate time. She goes on to speak about how we mostly ignore them, wrapped up in our own business so they go away to someone else. What if we treat each idea with respect – acknowledging it and making friends with it. Giving each other a chance to discuss whether you are the right person for this idea or not. And if not, respectfully sending the idea back out there to find the right candidate. This has been an important tool for me over the last few years. I’ve learned to receive the idea, explore its nature, it’s timing, it’s character. Then either choose to accept the mission or respectfully decline and send it out to someone more suitable.
Believe you can do it.
This may sound a bit silly – why would you accept an idea without thinking you can do it. But thinking and believing are two very different things – and to really, truly believe you can do something requires the right mindset. When I signed up for my degree, I was passionate and excited and truly believed in all the right things. Has it made it easier? Heck no. But not once have I pictured myself failing, and I achieved all of the things I wanted plus MORE. Give that idea every chance it can to thrive, not just survive. You’ll be rewarded with great things.
Create momentum, but also know when to let it rest.
Once you are away, you want the momentum to happen. Think about your resources. Focus on building the relationships and networks you might need. Research, research research. Plan, plan, plan. Use time wisely, then deploy sensibly. If other ideas come to you, treat them with respect. If they don’t fit in with the current plan, thank them and send them off. From an artistic perspective, ideas can get a bit overzealous and if not handled sensibly – things can get out of control. It’s also really important to know when it’s OK to let the idea rest, and how long for. Sometimes in relationships we need quiet space from each other to clarify and refresh. Same goes for ideas. But don’t let the relationship die – come back as soon as you feel refreshed and nurture that baby as much as you did before. For something to grow it needs nutrition and care. Feed your idea and care for it daily.
“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.” – Robin Williams
I believe ideas are gifts, and your idea may just become a game-changer or idea magnet for someone else. You are capable of incredibly creative, wondrous things!
If you have that feeling like your idea wants to come to life, why not book a chat? Do that here.
Until next time,