I especially like your notion that ideas (which, I agree, are completely involuntary) are like wild…
David Jones
1

Thanks for your thoughtful response!

You’re right in that the problems that arise with hanging on to old ideas really comes down to our relationship with the ideas, our plans and expectations for them, rather than the ideas themselves.

The ideas I wrote this article about were indeed captured with the intention of revisiting and developing them further. I’m quite sure I had grand plans for all of them at some point, and many of them were partially developed but never really finished.

And I think a large part of the anxiety I felt over that backlog of ideas is that I had made a kind of promise to myself — that I would return make something of these ideas one day — and then failed to fulfill it.

If one were comfortable doing as you suggest — writing down ideas without feeling any obligation to return to them or develop them further — then there’s nothing wrong with keeping such a log.

So yeah, it’s really about the expectations we set for the things we write down.

A big learning for me has been to limit the time and mental and emotional energy invested in any new idea until I’m ready to really run with it and see it through to completion.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated John Sexton’s story.