The Problem with too many Ideas

I’m an ideas person. Give me a whiff of something that can be expanded and my mind travels at light speed to the next 10 possible steps it could be taken. This is a fantastic trait in my work where clients come to me with a stale idea that needs an injection of fresh creativity. It has gotten me the reputation of being an ‘ideas-smith.’ But this trait can often be like an overflowing tap with extreme pressure: especially when it comes to pursuing my personal goals.

As an entrepreneur there is no one telling you what to do, when to be at work or what to focus on. It took me a while to be disciplined enough to set a schedule but be flexible enough to adapt depending on the terrain of my work. I get tempting opportunities all the time to participate in initiatives that could raise my profile but are not exactly aligned with my work. As a Critical Thought Leader, it is an integral part of my work to make seemingly unconnected things connect- so it is easy for me to link all types of work to what I do. Yet in doing this I often get myself into idea-knots. These are when your ideas are jumbled up and are no longer clear- they confuse you instead of aiding you in pursuing your path. This becomes overwhelming and demotivates you to pick the ideas that really matter.

Good ideas should shine like clear beacons guiding you home in the dark, not bemuse and disorient you.

Take this blog as an example: I started out with 7 wildly varying topics I considered them through the process of elimination, brought it down to four then three and decided to merge the final two into one. See what I did there? This is a process I learnt from my mentor Tony Robbins which has helped me tremendously in clarifying my mental space and has taught me a very precious lesson:

The magic is not in the ideas, it is in finishing them!

Think of this blog as a follow up to last weeks, Follow the Signs (click HERE and read it before you continue). After you have recognised the signals that a shift needs to happen here is what you do:

  1. Get out of your head! So after you have acknowledged that something is not right in your life, ask yourself “so what do I do now?” This will be followed by a plethora of ideas which will leave you more confused and irritated. Remember those idea-knots? This is where they often form. SO GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD! How? Write down your ideas on paper- this is a simple, yet powerful step. It is actively manifesting what is in your head into your reality. I would suggest writing 15–20 ideas to start. Do not judge your ideas, let whatever comes be written down.
  2. Get rid of the unnecessaries! Think of your mind as a teacher and each of these ideas as rowdy students vying for your precious time and attention; with each screaming “I need you to deal with me right now! I am the priority not that one!” It can be burdensome and is enough cause for you to stay exactly where you are in your life and not pursue change. But don’t worry, this is natural. The next step is to get rid of the ‘naughty or detractive’ ideas that are in your classroom- by throwing them out.
Remember, not every idea is a good one.

Now bring those initial fifteen to twenty ideas down to ten to fifteen then further eliminate until you have a solid eight to ten ideas. Eliminate them by what is most realistic and relevant for you AT THIS PRESENT MOMENT IN YOUR LIFE; not next month or next year. Remember, we are simply trying to get you to the next step.

3. Divide and Conquer! This is a proven strategy in politics and economics and works just as effectively with your idea-knots. Bundle your eight to ten ideas into manageable groups.

Your ideas should serve your holistic development and hence cover multiple areas of your life.

Here are some examples: physical, mental, spiritual, career, emotional, job, family, social, romantic. Create between three to five different groups to place those eight to ten ideas into. Now you have again reduced eight to ten ideas into three to five larger ones! Now in each group,figure out which is the low hanging fruit, the idea that is the easiest/most convenient to start with and focus on that one!

How many ‘good ideas’ do we get in a week for bettering our personal lives, or businesses or relationships? By following these easy steps you can enter the next stage of self-discovery and authenticity. Remove the overwhelmingness of having too many ideas and gain back some clarity in your life!