Just Pick One

This is part of a series on Good Ideas, Our Flirtations with Them, and Our Commitments to Them.

I’m a person who doesn’t know that I’ve thought until I’ve spoken it out loud, or written my thought down.  This is why I LOVE friends, coffee, and fresh paper. Whether you’re my type of an idea-phile, or more of a reserved “just between me and my diary” type; writing, documenting, and listing the ideas that pop into our heads is essential to harnessing their energy.

Keep a List, and No “Pooh-Poohing”

When I used to work at Urban Concern, a co-worker would always remind us that there was to be no “pooh-poohing” of ideas that came up at staff meetings.  Well, initially, at least.  That is the sense in which you are to keep your idea notebook.  It is a dumping ground for every idea that comes into your head:  the good, the bad, and the “maybe you should see a therapist”.

Oh, and this is just the best for idea-philes.  It’s absolutely guilt free day dreaming. How fun is that?  Of course, though, none of us really aspire to be only dreamers.  We are, after all, Makers.  So what to do when this ongoing list keeps growing, and we still remain hesitant (fearful) to stop jotting and act?

Please Pick One

Just Pick One  

There are unlimited good ideas in life, but our lives themselves are limited – even if only by the 70 or so years we’re given.  A very wise friend counseled my idealistic and driven- dreamer husband this way…  She said that life is like a box of chocolates (no, I’m not going all Forrest Gump on you!), and that eventually you have to pick one to eat.

Once you choose your chocolate, you need to enjoy it, savor it, be grateful for it, and STOP wondering what it would have been like had you picked the one that may have had truffle filling!

(OK, I have to confess – I DID eat every. single. piece. of chocolate in that box after I took the photo.  That doesn’t really work with my analogy, but I had to tell you anyhow. 🙂  )

This week, I encourage you to give your ideas a voice in a notebook.  (Remember to work on your Yes List, too).  We’ll wrap up with some thoughts on the value of counsel in the next few days.

12 thoughts on “Just Pick One

  1. Hi Heidi,
    Your post gives me something to think about. I don’t have an “idea list”! I do have lots of “to do” lists – for work, home, and volunteer projects. But ideas. That sounds really fun. Let’s have some good ones! And dark chocolates, too.

    • Ah, the to-do lists… I actually love them, as they save me from feeling like I’m swimming in chaos. I usually write to-do lists and ideas simultaneously, as jotting the former down clears my head for the latter. And Noreen, I’m glad you like dark chocolate too! Today, I had some with sea salt in it. It was super delish! 🙂

  2. I would have eaten all of them too. Chocolate – simply irresistible. And now it’s the time of year again to not only eat, but also drink it :). I’m very fond of to-do lists too, as I feel that I’m only really productive when I can tick things off. I’ve only started something like idea-lists very recently, noting down ideas for blog posts, paintings etc. as I just kept forgetting everything again, which was so frustrating. But my handbag is getting heavier and heavier with all the note- and sketchbooks I’m now carrying around with me! But I think it’s a good idea to collect your ideas and to have them ready to get back to, one after the other.

    • I told my husband recently (somewhat facetiously) “I have had more good ideas than you can ever imagine! Tons of them! I just forget most of them”. The forgetting part is definitely true. So YES! to the notebooks (and the heavy backpacks)! 🙂 By the way, I’ve really enjoyed seeing your ideas in action on your blog… it seems like you really work quickly to turn inspiration into reality.

  3. Heidi….love your blog and the whole idea behind it. I am a prolific list maker. I make lists of what lists to make including a list of possible blog posts as soon as an idea hits me So I guess I’m doing ok. Now the one thing I really need to do is keep a little notebook by my bedside, cos some of my best ideas have come to me in the dead of the night!!!!

    • You ARE doing OK – I’d say that you’re prolific! I can’t believe that you make the beautiful artwork you do, style your home, live!, and then find time to write not one, not two, but three blogs! (Btw, I’d love to talk to you about guest blogging one of these days!)

  4. Hey Heidi! This is such a great post. I cannot function without making lists. My list making consisted really of just daily to do lists, but over the past couple of years I have started several idea list notebooks – mainly for blog ideas and creative endeavors I would like to get into. I’ve always been a dreamer with my head swimming with ideas and never really knowing what direction to take, what idea to go with, etc. For me, writing them down enables me to focus on one project/idea at a time.

    • I love hearing success stories about those who have learned a little about harnessing their creative energy. It’s really clear from your own beautiful, chock full of crafts blog that you’ve managed to do this!

  5. Hi Heidi, I really like what you have going on here on your site. Lots to ponder and think about. I am a serial list maker to my detriment. I have them all over the house. 🙂 My favorite thing to do with my list: cross/check something off, done! Ah, that feels good.

    • There’s definitely something to list making and a sense of accomplishment. I’ve been known to write something down after I’ve done it, just so that I can cross it off!
      Thanks for your kind words about my blog, by the way. 🙂
      – Have a good one!

  6. Hey there! I had a dream about you this morning and woke up so happy to finally have a free day to check out your blog. I love your exploratory musings and encouragement about creativity.

    I am trying to remember to jot down my ideas for writing. Some day, I’ll get to them, if I record them. The crazy business of life can both get in the way – and show the way – of/to material.

    • Well, I think you’re off to a good start with ideas… I love the insight about the craziness of life and its implications – so true, and well said! I imagine that you have lots of opportunities to be creative every day as a teacher, and you’ll probably have lots to write about when you’re done!

      Can’t wait to see you all,
      – Heidi

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