We’ve established that there are a lot of good ideas out there, and that a lot of us have them, a lot of the time. We’ve also established that despite this fact,it can be difficult to grab hold of this kind of creative energy, and really see it through to fruition.
For the next couple posts, let’s talk about strategies that help us weed through the pile, pick a good idea and commit! – This post is a little longer, but read through to the end to see how it bears on your creative ideas. I’d LOVE for some of you to share your “Yes” lists in the comments!
1. Know your Big Picture focus (What will you say YES to?)
This is so much more fun to think about than all the things you might have to say “no” to! I’ve learned that part of growing up is that you make:
fewer and fewer decisions between good and bad…
– should I get really drunk tonight at my work party, or should I remain sociably sober?
and more decisions between good and better.
– should I spend Saturday hiking with my friends or baking cookies with my kids?
The simplest way to deal with the constant barrage of “good v. better” decisions is to clearly know what you will always say “Yes” to.
Grab your cutest notebook, and start to jot a list.
– I will always say yes to my family.
– I will always say yes to my friends.
– I will aways say yes to my neighbors.
– I will always say yes to spiritual growth, to God.
1. This is my list. Yours doesn’t have to be like it. My list is not perfect, and will get tweaked as I learn more and fail more.
2. Keep your list short. Leaving something off doesn’t mean you can’t do it, it just means that you won’t do it at the expense of a “yes” on your list.
3. “I will always say yes” has a context. For instance, I do not mean that every time my kid wants something, I will give it to him, or that every time a friend asks for coffee I will drop everything and head out.
Example: My oldest son plays football. Most of his games this year have conflicted with the time that we go to church. There’s a tension there, to be sure… it seems that there’s almost a cultural mandate to be at every one of your kids’ sporting events, or risk being a bad parent.
With my “yes” list in mind, I talked to my son, and told him that I love him being in football because he loves it. I want him to learn to stick with the things he commits to, so I endorse his participation, and want to be there often. However, his participation in football can’t compromise my spiritual growth, the nurturing of my closest friendships, nor the rest of our family’s interests. (My kids all LOVE going to church – probably because our church is not churchy. 😉 )
So see, there are 3 yeses there… my family, my friends, my spiritual growth. They helps me to make this good v. better decision.
OK. That’s Cool. But How Do “Yeses” Help Me Creatively?
The great ideas that you can do, that you will do, that you will complete successfully, are the ideas that work in your life. If you go into an idea enterprise blindly, what happens is that a few months into it, you realize it’s not fitting into your life. It’s pushing up against “yeses” that you didn’t know you had. You will drop that idea, after having likely already jeopardized some “yeses”, and wind up feeling discouraged about the whole “good idea’ thing.
Yeses help you trim your idea list to the ones at which you can succeed!
(We’ll talk about idea lists later – keep all of those good ideas! Your “yes” list will change as your life changes, and you may find you can then succeed at some of those “listed” ideas. Pie Shop, anyone?)
Please note: This post is about the BIG ideas – business ventures, new directions in life, time consuming commitments. If you have lots of good ideas for tweaking a Toll House cookie recipe, or painting your bathroom, or writing a poem, have at it! No need to consult the “yes” list. 🙂
Alright now, peeps – let’s hear about some Yes Lists in the comments section! I’m sure it will be thought provoking. See you next week! I’m out for a weekend away. Yay!!!