What Do I Do With An Idea? Successful Creatives Do This.

Life is either a daring adventure or it’s nothing.
— Helen Keller
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What Do I Do With An Idea? Successful Creatives Do This.

Photo by Levi Guzman on Unsplash

Only do what you're good at. Keep doing what you've always done. Give the future to people who are willing to fail. That's it, that's all. The sure-fire formula that all but guarantees a status quo life.

That’s not what you’re after, you have an idea. But the problem is, what do you do with an idea?

Don't let your ideas down. Use your ideas to push the world forward. Ideas that give us hope and inspiration don't exist without tension. The fear of it not working. What will others think? This belief alone is enough to stop you dead in your tracks.

I couldn't escape the voice yelling at me to wake the eff up. I felt like I was out of options. My future felt hopeless. I was in a job I hated, living with someone who deserved better, in a city I didn't want to be in. Every day felt like I was shoving my regrets to the bottom of a garbage bag, knowing full well the time would come when the bag would burst.

What gifts do you have that you would like to share with the world? How committed are you to getting that result? What is the cost of waiting?

The previous decade has been a rollercoaster understanding of who I am, what I want, and why I'm here. The lessons haven't always been pretty but the good ones never are.

I had an idea. Share the lessons I learned and the principles I live by that glued me back together. The Japanese use a word, Kintsugi which means "golden repair." It’s a centuries-old Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with a special lacquer dusted with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. It's a celebration of each artifact's unique history. Emphasizing the fractures and breaks instead of hiding or disguising them. Kintsugi allows us to see beauty in the flawed or imperfect. Revitalizing it with a new life. It was born from the Japanese feeling of mottainai, which expresses regret when something is wasted.

I believe many of us give up trying because we believe we're broken. Not realizing that the cracks are our unmistakable advantage. The scars mean you survived. You see the world like nobody else can.

My idea of how to share what I learned lived in my head, taking no real shape or form. Sitting on a shelf, like a specimen kept in formaldehyde to preserve the idea. The longer I failed to act, the more exhausting the discomfort became.

How do you move your idea forward? Tip the scales in your favour. I gave you the formula to guarantee a status quo life. Here are the steps to make sure that never happens.

An idea is the easy part. It floats around lost-in-space until you consciously decide to adopt the idea.

I worked a 9 to 5 that paid well, gave plenty of vacation and contributed to a pension. One of the rare ones that only stopped paying when I stopped breathing. I made it. Yet, I was frigging miserable.

I knew my idea had legs but I was afraid to walk. Was I being greedy for wanting more? Should I just be grateful to have a job? I started to explore my beliefs. Fear was the underlying factor. The tension between where I was and where I wanted to be may as well have been the Evel Knievel shot over the Grand Canyon. Which it was, until I made it tangible.

I had an idea. I consciously decided to adopt the idea. What next? I had to leap. It was time to lasso the idea from the cosmos and wrangle it back to earth. The next step is to decide when you will do it. In the case of discovering of how you find fulfillment, it means a reshuffle of your life. You're driving without a destination in mind. Befitting, as the origins of entrepreneur and the term "adventurer," were often used to denote the same meaning.

It's not about ideas. It's about making ideas happen. An idea without a plan is like a car without wheels. If your plan is to move forward, you need wheels to propel you.

Commitment to an idea with an unknown outcome is enough to discourage most people from ever starting. It's easier to save face, play it safe and do what you know. All the makings of an unremarkable life. A life sooner forgotten than remembered.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. - Theodore Roosevelt

You have an idea. You've consciously decided to bring it to life. You have a start date. You formulated a plan, but how do you keep the momentum going? Motivation, like any other feeling, is fleeting.

The hard part isn't starting a new business, project or chapter of your life. That's a single decision. The challenge comes as you wrestle with the uncertainty of doing the uncomfortable. Comfort comes from support. Progress stems from committing to someone else that you'll do it.

Doing it for ourselves doesn't carry the sustaining will to push us through. Very few of us follow through on our goals without the positive social pressure of a friend, co-worker, or family member cheering you on. The accountability piece is critical.

You will gladly skip a gym session for 10 minutes extra sleep. But knowing someone we respect will ask how it went at the gym is enough to white-knuckle the ride over and get it done. And let's not kid ourselves, when have you ever said: “I wish it didn't follow through on my goal?”

For people like us, our ambitious adventures fuel our lives. They propel us forward. Sitting idle brings worry and anxiousness. Rotting the core of our foundation. The voice of the imposter syndrome gnaws at your idleness. Having the right partner to commit to is part of the struggle. Do they want you to succeed? Do you have the kind of relationship where they can be honest? Will they hold you to your word? What does that mean for your relationship? In my Coaching partnerships, we start with these conversations. Expectations being front and center transforms the subsequent results.

For many of us, that's as far as we get with our ideas. If we have a stellar support team of friends, family and mentors, we have a pretty good chance of success.

But how do we define success? What limiting beliefs slip under our radar? When your goals are connected with who you are, aligned with your touchstone values, they aren't just run-of-the-mill goals. They become musts. If I kidnap your entire family and hold them hostage, are you going to tell me you don't have the resources? You're going to be resourceful at a level you never knew you had. Ideas of this depth exist beyond life and death scenarios. But only when you pursue them with the same ferociousness of a starving lion.

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Great coaching helps you navigate your blind spots, pushing you to really stretch yourself beyond your comfort zone. What does a better version of yourself look like? Someone who takes risks, has confidence and the energy to execute? Without the right belief system, it will be the one thing that truly holds you back. Wherever limiting beliefs exist, fear is going unchallenged. Where in your life is this holding you back?

What part of your life are you unwilling to tolerate any longer? Simplify Your Why is my willingness to answer that question and act on it.

You can approach life as the book is already written, by flipping to the last page. Or you can dare greatly and write whatever the hell you want. The choice is yours. What is it?

"Eat, Pray, Love" author Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses -- and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person "being" a genius, all of us "have" a genius.