Category Archives: Succeed

Discover 7 Ways to Capture and Keep Great Ideas

This is a continuation from the previous post, “3 Steps to Making Your Dreams a Reality.” If you didn’t read it yet, please head back and take a look. Otherwise, we’re off to the races.

1. Write It Down

Do you have a dream? Write it down. Make sure it’s on paper (or on some kind of note taking app). There are probably hundreds of products out there to help us write our ideas down. The very app (Evernote) I am writing this post on now is designed to capture your ideas and thoughts on the fly. Whether on my phone, tablet, or laptop I have a note accessible to me to jot down my ideas. I have very dangerously (kids, don’t try this at home), pulled out my phone while driving in order to audibly capture an idea. However you do it (hopefully not dangerously), capturing that idea, writing it down, recording it or even taking a picture of the thing that sparked the idea is very important. Don’t let it escape.

2. Don’t Go to Sleep

For some reason, many great ideas come to me before bed. Because it’s such an amazing idea, I use to think that there was no way I’d forget this wonderful thought. Then in the morning I get up and remember I had a great idea but have no clue of what the idea was. The details of the idea just pick up and leave.

3. Pen & Paper

For some reason, whenever I am writing a song, using pen and paper always seems to help get things flowing. I’ve known writers to actually pull over to the side of the road to physically write down the ideas tumbling around in their heads. Physical writing, in itself, can be a source of inspiration. If you haven’t given it a try in a while, give it a go and see how well it works for you. I heard someone say something of this sort:

4. WARNING: Don’t Starve the Muse!

If you refuse to pay attention to the inspiration flowing into you, you will not only lose the idea, but future inspirations will certainly go without warning. It’s almost as if you’re training your subconscious to not listen to creativity. We need creativity in all the areas of our lives. Our imagination is one of the most powerful tools and ally we have and ignoring it is not a good thing. Even if the idea is rubbish, don’t ignore it. Some of my greatest productions arrived from rubbish ideas being worked until it becomes something useful. A diamond in the rough is a stone like many others, but once shaved, sanded, and shined, its true worth comes forth.

5. Focus

Just as in the previous post, one of the benefits of writing down your dream, your vision, and/or goals is adding greater focus. Focus cannot be overstated here. I read somewhere something of this sort:
Be the river and not a flood
Writing down that dream, idea, or thought helps you to chart the path of your stream. A stream becomes refreshment to the animals, villages, and people around. Do you realize that dams, which provide power for thousands, are powered by rivers? Rivers are pathways which lead you to something. On the other hand, a flood brings destruction in its path. It is not the result of planning, it is not the result of a natural flow. Floods are often the result of natural disasters which only destroy. Hence, it important to focus and write those thoughts down, become that stream or river and flow with purpose; not the unplanned random destruction of a flood.

6. Sort It Out

One little tip I picked up from Michael Hyatt is to sort through those ideas. In my Evernote, I currently have a Ideas notebook. That notebook is full of small sparks that come in like lightning across my brain. Many times at the moment I’m super excited about them and think they are great. But give it a week, go back, and read over those ideas. You’ll realize sometimes that they are not as good as you originally thought.
There are other times I will go back and read the idea over and am floored that I even came up with such a masterpiece. But if I didn’t write it down and simply forgot about it, then I might have never retained that idea.

7. Look at it

There is no sense in writing it down if you don’t actually go back and look at the idea. Set aside a time when you go back and look at the ideas that you’ve gathered. It’s exciting to come up with new ideas, but don’t get hooked on the thrill move beyond it. Weeding through them can be more like a patient treasure hunt.
I really thought this was gonna be short, but please bear with me…
Do you ever think why so many apps have these dang notifications? Those things that drain the life out of your battery and shorten that claimed 20 hours battery to a mere 1.5 hours. Notifications get you coming back to that app for more. Look at your most used apps and see if the reason you use them is not related to the notifications. We have to treat our ideas and those thoughts like notifications. Once you get that prime idea figured out, put it somewhere you can see it. Put it out in the open. Put it on a sticky note on your computer screen. Edit your computer/tablet/phone wallpaper so you see it where ever you go. Keep coming back to it. Revisit it over and over again.
I’ll stop right here. But these thoughts should certainly get you going for the next blog in the Start Something series!

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3 Steps to Start Making Your Dreams a Reality

Start Something

Here’s A Little Motivation to Get That Dream Going

dream biggerDo you have a dream which has been sitting on the back burner for months, maybe even years now? What is that thing you always wanted to do but you keep putting it off? I know, dreaming comes hard when you’re tired and when you already have a day job. But do you still have that nagging thought of writing a book, recording that song you wrote, or starting that business? I want to empower you to start something, even when you think you have no time for it.

1. Daydream
Daydream? Really?
Yup,  Daydream. I am almost sure this is the first time you’ve ever heard anyone tell you to daydream. The point here is to allow your imagination to run wild. If it runs too wild, just make it into a Sci-Fi book. If you want to be a business owner, daydream about what the business would look like in 10 years if everything went your way. If you want to write a book, daydream about becoming a best seller. You might be surprised how possible your daydreams really are. Plus, daydreaming can really give you a great idea as to what you’re passionate about. Don’t get me wrong, not all passions should be pursued (see my video below on the problem of passions). Yet, if you get yourself into a “good daydream” and find that passion then you have a good start to your vision statement.

2. Vision Statements
vision statementDefine what you want!
What kind of product or service will you offer? A vision statement is a mental picture of what an organization wants to achieve over time. It provides guidance and inspiration to what an organization is focused on achieving in 5, 10, or more years.
Sidenote: Family. Many of you desire to have a spouse, get married and have a family, but do you have a vision statement for your family. A vision statement is all about purpose. And to be honest, a family without purpose won’t be a family for long. 
It’s important that when you’re starting something, you think of it down the line. It doesn’t make sense to start a project without knowing the full scope of what you want to accomplish. That way you’ll know how much money you’ll need to get this project started, to its midpoint, and to the point where you consider it a successful venture. In addition, knowing that you want to be a Fortune 500 company will force you to start thinking in the pedigree of a Fortune 500
  • Steven Covey (7 Habits of Highly Effective People) “Keep the main thing the main thing.” A vision statement helps you to establish what the overall “main thing is.” As a result, your decision-making process is simplified.  All you have to find out is which options best serve your vision, then go for it.
  • Seven Lane Highway. Let’s look at one of the most successful businesses on our planet right now. Google! Google’s vision/mission statement as of 2013 is as follows: To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
Now, this is a vision that is super wide. Just a year before Google was founded, a vision statement like that would have seemed lofty. “Like, what do you mean by the world’s information.” I’m sure people would ask, “what about the main libraries of the world, you want to organize that too?” Simple answer: YES! And now, 21 years later Google has truly done an amazing job of sticking to their main thing and is considered one of the greatest information centers (if not the greatest) in the world. They have one of the most powerful search engines on the net, the biggest video library, the Google maps contain far more information than any other out there, and this is only a small part of what they do. They have gotten extremely large as a company yet they stuck to the vision they had 21+ years ago.
Being as big as Google takes time (or maybe not, you never know). One principle that is important to look at is the space in their vision statement. Their vision statement has the main thing, but it is a big main thing. Their vision statement is a highway, but in Google’s case, it is a seven-lane highway. So even though they started out in a single lane, the vision is singular enough to keep things unified, yet large enough to allow them to grow beyond just being a search engine. We know that they are an information company, yet they didn’t restrict it to the type of information. They allowed themselves to branch out and go loose.
How do you apply this to your life? Dream, find that vision you can be passionate about, write it down, make sure it gives you the main thing to work at, but also make sure that vision offers room for expansion. If you’re dreaming of an international business, then start your journey as though you are already an international business. If you want a best seller, start your journey doing what bestsellers do. This might take a bit of research. It might take going to a place where best sellers and international businessmen hang out, find what they read, see what they do with their time, but if you’re hungry for it, then do it. Better yet, if you can find someone who is already successful in that field, then finding that mentor is by far one of the most effective ways of ensuring your own success.

There is a road to the top, all you need is a map.

3. Be Creative
be creativeHaving trouble Daydreaming?
Get out and do something creative. Go hang out with kids. Play in the yard. Color a book, draw a picture, play some music, go out and do something creative. Get that part of your brain working. Do you complain about being bored? I use to hear it at work all the time. The only reason you get bored is that you’re always relying on other people or things to entertain. You can’t solely rely on others to be creative for you. If we don’t exercise that part of our brain, then we will lose it. When the time comes for new ideas, many of us struggle because we don’t know what it is to tap into our own creativity and find something fresh and new. So do some finger painting, don’t be shy!
Thank you so much for reading.

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