What Are You Doing With That Great Idea You Had?

We've all had that brainwave moment, maybe a few of them, that even if just for a second convinces you that life is about to change. It might be an idea for a business you'd like to start, the revelation that you want to move to another country, or that this-is-the-one feeling when a new door opens for any number of reasons. These aree high energy moments, verging on euphoric, dazzling, inspiring even.


So the question is, why aren't you doing anything about it?


That might be presumptious; I don't know you after all. Maybe you are chasing your dreams but something tells me you're either not doing it in the way or on the timeline you would like. Maybe you've scaled down your vision because it feels too lofty? Maybe you're postponing it for a 'better time'? So the question might not be so much why aren't you chasing your dreams but why are you playing them down? Again, maybe that was the right move, I don't know you. Whenever it comes to wanting to do something fundamentally different in life you require momentum to shift your current set of beliefs, behaviours, routines and so on to ones that accommodate this new aspect of yourself. One of the functions of our mind is to keep us safe which is fine but to the human mind 'unsafe' often simply means 'unfamiliar'. So while attempting to learn calligraphy (or whatever) isn't unsafe it is a deviation from your norm. What this means is that your mind can be quick to chime in with reasons to return to baseline at the slightest wobble (you spill your ink maybe, or realise you've spelled a word wrong because autocorrect doesn't work on parchment paper). I'm just no good at this, you might think, who am I to try and do something like this, why should I bother, maybe I'll try something easier... or hell, le'ts not bother. Counteracting that voice and accepting that you may feel that way but don't have to act on that feeling is a useful thing to keep in mind.


The level of momentum and mental effort required can vary depending on the magnitude of difference between your life as you see it now and the version of it you are moving towards. The initial aha moment as you've no doubt noticed only provides so much motivation. Motivation doesn't last unfortunately so inspiration might be more useful. Knowing what inspires you to move towards a certain vision and the impact it could have - your why as Simon Sinek would say - is persistent in a way that motivation isn't. You can write down your why and remind yourself of it in a way that just doesn't work with motivation. Just think, do motivational Instagram quotes actually ever get you off your ass to do something?


Differences in personality will also play a part: some people are more inclined to move towards novelty which would be a bonus here, and extroverted people might be more likely to actively pursue opportunities. These are generalities of course, and nobody's personality traits are 100% fixed in place. If you're less of a go-get-'em type you can take steps to being more bold in your actions and reinfornce that behaviour, for example. If you tend to stick to the safe and familiar then doing little things to nudge yourself out of your comfort zone every once in a while can help you see the benefits of being in that space.


I know in my own progress toward the lifestyle I have now (not that it's one-for-one what I'd imagined, which is another story) I've had to make a lot of alterations not just to the goals that I was aiming for but to the way I thought about them and my default tendency for inaction given certain conditions. Some of my ideas just weren't as great as I'd initially thought (eureka moment's can be delusional, just a heads up) and other times I've had to really rethink my worldview and beliefs to gauge whether an idea was valid or I was simply holding back for some reason.


Justifications like it'll take a long time or I might fail can feel like valid reasons not to pursue a particular goal or vision but those rest on you holding particular beliefs. In this example the belief that if something takes a long time or there's a chance of failure the best thing to do is not take the risk. That might be something you picked up unconsciously in childhood, or maybe you're developmentally more risk-averse. Whatever is going on beneath the surface it's always worth asssessing our justifications and assumptions to see where they are helping you and where they are holding you back. You can always challenge your own beliefs.


Alongside that it's worth mentioning how impactful having a strategy in place can be. Breaking down some fuzzy vision of your future - a Lifestyle Vision as I like to think of it - in to a series of projects, long-term and short-term goals will help to build a picture of what changes you might need to make to your day-to-day now to align you with that particular future. Otherwise it's easy to feel like there's an impassable rift between those macro and micro perspctives on your life.


If this idea you've had gets you excited (and I would hope it does, otherwise keep digging) then you have to follow that excitement. You have to listen to it and give it room to guide you. Work through the process of uncovering obstacles and approach them with curiosity rather than fear. Start making plans and be bold in your actions. Change is not only possible, it's inevitable, and you play a vital role in how that change plays out.



Recommended Post: Calming Your Inner-Voice: Strategies to Avoid Overthinking

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Reality Hack™ 2020

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