A Miracle Formula For Making Ideas A Reality (For You And Your Friends)
I’ve developed a habit. Whenever I have an impulse to do something, I make the smallest first step to start making it a reality. For example, I have an idea for a blog post, I create a new document Google Docs and start typing something. I tell myself: I just need to get an idea out on the screen, just an outline and then I can close the laptop and go on with my day. As conventional wisdom goes, where there's 30 words, there’s a hundred and it goes on.
“One foot in front of the other,” they say. That’s all it takes to keep moving.
I so wish I could influence all of the people I come in contact with to act on their ideas. Some of them are subpar or merely nonsense, and it’s okay. Some have the potential of turning into gold. I, too, need to be reminded from time to time to make the first step.
The issue I regularly have with my friends’ plans to work on something is that instead of writing down the outline and the steps they keep them in their minds. They trust their memory. Film director David Lynch famously shared that he felt devastated a few times in his life when he didn’t bother to write down an idea that came to his mind. He thought the idea was so fantastic that it'd be impossible to forget. He was astonished that after a short time he only remembered the good feeling about the idea but not its contents. Lynch made a career out of capturing ideas and acting on them.
Tools you can use may vary based on your preferences. I can recommend these idea-capturing approaches:
- good old pen and paper on your desk
- asking a voice assistant (Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant) to remind you
- a spreadsheet editor (I prefer Google Sheets). Pro tip: go to sheet.new in your browser to start a new spreadsheet.
- a text document (also Google Docs). Pro tip: go to doc.new in your browser to start a blank document.
- a note-taking app in your phone
All of these can be used at the same time. You can access notes on your phone, tablet and computer simultaneously – don’t skimp on the cloud syncing.
The most important part of this is to revisit your notes and write out further action items.
What we all can do for each other is to offer help with accountability. I urge you to inquire with a friend on their progress. Offer to be an accountability buddy. See if you can review their progression together.
I often move faster if someone takes interest in how my project is going. On my side I genuinely enjoy unblocking my friends on their creative paths. I may not be like most people but I believe taking interest is something anyone can consciously develop in themselves. For me taking initiative in assisting others is like being a dog that asks its human to go for a walk. It’s pure joy to hike together. If there’s a bit of ego satisfaction involved, it’s fine, it's a force for good.