Great ideas have a very short half-life.

“Great ideas have a very short half-life.”

-John M. Shanahan, Creator of Hooked on Phonics

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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?

Sitting on a pin

“Getting an idea should be like sitting on a pin; it should make you jump up and do something.”

—E.L. Simpson

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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?

#112: “One’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.”

– 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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