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Ideas come to all of us at different points in time. People who tend to have a high number of ideas become known as being creative. Being creative is neither a positive or negative trait. It is simply a characteristic of an individual. The key to being successful is not the number of ideas a person has at any point in time or even over a person’s lifetime. Success comes from the ability to do something positive with those ideas. There are steps that can be taken to help assure a higher percentage of a person’s ideas become achievements.
The first step in creating success is to value our ideas. Ideas are one of the results of the thinking process, a process that makes humans unique among all living things. Ideas can however be fleeting. The second step in creating success is to capture your idea, write it down. The process of writing down your idea not only gives you the opportunityto keep it fresh in your mind, it provides clarity. Writing an idea allows you to fill-in blanks that may have existed in your original thought.
An idea without action is simply a dream. Step three is to create a goal or goals flowing out of your idea. Ask yourself what can be achieved by using this idea. The answers become your goals. A goal establishes a target toward which efforts can be directed. The next step, step four, is as crucial as it is simple: do something directly related to achievement of your goal. Once you start to take action, don’t stop. A classic Thomas Jefferson quote says it all, “It is amazingwhat can be done if you are always doing”. Jefferson was speaking of the power of persistence. Keep doing and it will be done.
Step five requires us to keep our head up continually evaluating our environment. Look for the next better idea. As you take action toward your goal you learn. An improved idea may shift the tactics you use to achieve your goal or may change your goal altogether. Go with it; blind adherence to tactics or a single goal will not bring ultimate success. Earl Nightingale defines successas being “the progressive realization of worthwhile goals”. There are two components at play in this definition. The first is the progressive action needed to maintain momentum toward goal achievement. The second is the continual evaluation of value of the goal. Moving to a better goal assures your goals are continually worthwhile.
Once you have begun to take action you have created momentum toward achieving your goal. Step six is to maintain a proper pace in taking action. If you attempt to go too fast you will stumble. If you go too slow you will lose interest, making it easy to quit. Pace yourself, realizing that goal achievement is seldom a sprint but at the same time there needs to be a timeline for achievement, there needs to be a degree of urgency.
Ideas are not realized and goals are not achieved with a single accomplishment. The journey contains many milestones. Step seven is to celebrate your accomplishments along the way. Celebrate internally by taking personal note of the achievement and celebrate universally by letting others know you are makingprogress.
Seven Steps for converting your ideas into achievement:
1. Respect your ideas, they are to be valued.
2. Memorialize your ideas in writing.
3. Create goals from your ideas.
4. Take continual action toward the achievement of your goals.
5. Look for the next better idea.
6. Keep pace, be patient, don’t rush but don’t think you have unlimited time, you don’t.
7. Celebrate milestones in achievement
The seven steps noted above are not difficult. The process of creating ideas is a natural function of being human. The critical component is the personal desire to achieve. If we want to achieve we will. Henry Ford said it best, “If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right.”
Think you can!
Taking it Deeper
Earl Nightingale – The Strangest Secret (The Simple Truths (www.simpletruths.com) version is superb.)
Marshall Goldsmith – MOJO How to get it, How to Keep it, How to Get It Back If You Lose It