“I invented ideas early on; I synthesize ideas — mine and others — now.”
—Arthur C. Brooks, faculty member of the Harvard Business School
Image from Unsplash by Jon Tyson
Where are you on the bell-shaped curve in your life?
Based on your age and other factors you are either moving up, plateauing, or descending. Don’t worry just yet that you may be over the hill.
When you take a look at Nobel Prize winners over the years, it is remarkable how many received their recognition at a relatively young age — especially those who won a solo prize.
In more recent years I’ve been paying closer attention to when these awards are given to pairs or groups of individuals for their collective accomplishments.
To what degree are you an inventor or a synthesizer of ideas at this point in your life?
It may depend on how fast or how far you wish to go and not just your age.
“The best ideas rarely arise in one isolated mind, but rather develop in networks of curious and creative thinkers.”
—Esther Perel, Belgian psychotherapist
Image from Unsplash by rupixen.com
Over the past month or so, I’ve noticed the numerous announcements of this year’s crop of Nobel Prize winners. When you examine these exceptional individuals for their big ideas and contributions it is apparent that their work stood on the shoulders of many other curious and creative thinkers, who preceded or currently partner with them.
It’s clear that being a “Lone Ranger” never consistently produces the best ideas, and even if it did, life would be pretty lonely.
Where are you currently working alone and experiencing limited success and considerable frustration? Who are some of the curious and creative thinkers in your communities that can help you come up with more prize-winning ideas?
“Broad ideas influence more people. Specific ideas influence people more.”
—James Clear, author, entrepreneur, and photographer
Image from Unsplash by Mark Fletcher-Brown
On any give weekday it is possible for thousands of people to be influenced by this blog via email, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
For the past ten years I have attempted to share daily nuggets of wisdom to influence many people with thought-provoking and/or motivational quotes, a coaching commentary, and an exercise to dig deeper and apply these ideas.
With many of us overwhelmed by far too much information from far too many sources, my efforts to have people invest five to ten minutes per week are not always successful.
During the same five days, four to six individuals invest an hour to engage me in a variety of specific ideas and approaches through one-on-one coaching, to impact and enhance aspects of their personal or professional lives.
What impact are you attempting to have with people in your various communities?
Where are specific — rather than broad — ideas the way to go to have the level of influence you intend?
“May you have ideas so big they grow wings!”
1903 Wright Flyer, Smithsonian Institution National Air and Space Museum.
On December 17, 1903, the Wright Brothers had a big idea that grew wings and took flight.
For many years, man has looked to nature for some other remarkable ideas that also took flight, including:
- The Robotic Arm, patterned after an Elephant’s Trunk
- The Bullet Train, patterned after the shape of a Kingfisher
- Better X-Ray Vision, based on a Lobster’s vision
- Harvesting Water, patterned after the Stenocara Desert Beetle
- The Energy Grid, based on the hive mind of bees
- Adhesives, patterned after the feet of the Gecko
- Wind Turbines, based on the fins of Humpback Whales
- The Shock Absorber, based on the beak of the Woodpecker
- Ventilation Systems, patterned after Termite mounds
What are some of your best idea-generating strategies? When are your most creative times of the day?
Consider both times of great and limited focus to exercise both sides of your amazing brain.
Now, most importantly, which of these need less drag and more lift to take flight?
“Great ideas have a very short half-life.”
-John M. Shanahan, Creator of Hooked on Phonics
Image from ofilispeaks.com
When was the last time you read a book, listened to a podcast, or attended a workshop or seminar? What percent of what you learned did you retain, or better yet, put into practice?
Without going into a lot of brain science and learning theory, it is clear that if ideas are not acted upon quickly, they never make it into long-term memory, much less into tangible results.
One of my past coaching clients even named her company Info-to-Action, for just this reason.
What personal or professional idea at the top of your priority list is about to expire through inaction or procrastination? How soon will you put this info into action?
“Getting an idea should be like sitting on a pin; it should make you jump up and do something.”
Image from theconversation.com
Have you ever tried on a new article of clothing in which you mistakenly left a pin? I bet that got your attention, and provoked you into removing it immediately! Only a few things get such a dramatic response, mobilizing us to an immediate reaction, such as touching a hot stove, or being stung by a bee.
What if we gave our best ideas the same “jump up and get going” power? What greater level of productivity and accomplishment would be possible?
Select the sharpest idea you have been sitting on, and let it provoke your most committed action within the next minute, hour, day, or week.
What would be possible if you made this exercise a daily habit?
– Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr, doctor and writer
Yesterday I attended a barbeque with friends and family. My father, at age 85, attended, as did a little three-and-a-half year old boy named Luka. Luka enrolled my dad and others into playing baseball.
I actually got to see Luka’s mind and abilities expand over the hours – resulting in significant pleasure and joy for everyone there.
How have you embraced the pleasure and joy of learning for yourself, and expanded your world?
What ideas do you have to share with others, to expand their worlds too?
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