I was talking to a friend recently. He is a person who becomes really excited about new ideas.
His interest in a new idea starts at a peak and moves down fast. Today he is excited about one opportunity, tomorrow about another.
I was like that once. Jumping from idea to idea, building castles in sky.
After couple of years of trial and error; observing and learning from those who have been there and done that – I realized that after you choose your idea (a problem to work on), action is more important than finding another new or supposedly better idea.
Ideas are dime a dozen, action is what matters.
If you are not sure about the quality or impact of your idea then work on somebody else’s idea till you start seeing problems clearly. Join a startup solving interesting problems, till you find your own Mount Everest to conquer.
Why go on this path?
Focus has always been important but never so much as in 21st century. Today we live in a world where no human being can consume all the information that is being created.
Attention is limited like time in our lives. A person who uses this limited attention in an intelligent manner stand to gain more than somebody who feels overwhelmed and find herself drowned in the sea of information.
Do things for your own reason
If you have developed a network over time and you are reasonably skilled; be sure that opportunities will come your way. You may yourself notice them through variety of media. At times a friend or somebody from your professional network may share one.
What to do then?
Weigh time on your hands and say yes if the opportunity helps you move forward with the core idea you are working at. If not then say thank you and suggest somebody who can use the opportunity and deliver.
How to do it right?
1. Do what needs to be done first. Before doing anything else in a day work on what is important for you. Take time to act on your idea day after day.
2. Practice selective ignorance. For example I choose not to read about stock markets or invest in equity. This is sea change from my teen years when I actively followed stock markets, bought a book by Peter Lynch to understand more about how stock markets behave and followed Warren Buffet to learn about value investing.
Though investment consultants suggest that young people should invest in equity; but I prefer creating a company worthy or being listed at stock exchange (better than buying stocks from primary or secondary market and then spending valuable energy in speculation.)
3. Spend more time on one core idea. Give it all you can — time and energy. Life is too precious to jump from one unfinished project to another. I have written more in 13 ideas to start and finish a task successfully.
4. Set aside time for guilt-free exploration: If you feel a strong need or urge to look around and explore then set aside a pocket of time (30-75 minutes) for guilt-free browsing, off topic reading etc.
Rest of the time, focus on your craft, make best use of your time and create something useful. It helps if you solve big problems.
Now I also need to focus. You please share your thoughts in comments.
May be at times what leads to more Ideas is a – No or Delayed result towards the actions of those lesser ideas.
But yes…..from the above post I got an assurance that practicing selective ignorance is no crime. And thank you for sharing the idea of Guilt-free exploration….we all do with somewhat hidden guilt feelings 😛
Jigyasa, the period between starting up and when first signs of success appear is really crucial. If one is able to focus then chances of success increase.
Good that you like the “guilt-free exploration” part. This makes sure that our window to the world is open 🙂
Mohit, Love this post. I too was once a woman of many new ideas and every month I seemed to jump to a new idea and leave the old one behind neglected. It takes time and maturity to realize and learn how to harness creativity so that all ideas can come through, but only a few are focused upon.
Thanks Rosie. Wish you find your life’s purpose and better clarity of thought with each passing day. Keep coming back.