“It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.”
– Scott Belsky, the founder and CEO of Behance and the author of Making Ideas Happen.
Because most ideas never happen. I just watched Scott Belsky’s Tedx talk (see below) and would recommend it.
A few notes:
He talks about the project plateau – where the energy and excitement is high at the beginning; but as time passes, the energy and excitement dwindles. To return to the high, we come up with another idea. And this process repeats, which he calls the idea to idea syndrome.
One of the main pitfalls is a lack of accountability, where you keep an idea to yourself until you’re ready to share it. Another obstacle is a lack of organisation.
People who consistently make ideas happen live and work with a bias to action. They look for things that start with verbs, and capture and execute things consistently throughout the day.
“Who you hang out with determines what you dream about and what you collide with. And the collisions and the dreams lead to your changes. And the changes are what you become. Change the outcome by changing your circle.”
Great reminder from Seth Godin that the people you surround yourself with make a big difference.
Self-doubt never disappears. Over time, you just get better at dealing with it. It will greet you every time you fall out of your comfort zone and whenever you strive to do something great. But know that it’s not something you have to fear or resent. Your doubts are only thoughts, not your future.
“Oh my God, what if you wake up some day, and you’re 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn’t go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It’s going to break your heart. Don’t let this happen.”
– from Anne Lamott’s book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life.
If you imagine less, less will be what you undoubtedly deserve. Do what you love, and don’t stop until you get what you love. Work as hard as you can, imagine immensities, don’t compromise, and don’t waste time. Start now. Not 20 years from now, not two weeks from now. Now.
This is from Debbie Millman’s commencement speech, based on an essay from her 2009 anthology Look Both Ways. Brain Pickings has reproduced her speech and is a worthwhile listen, available below. So many of us have chosen security and stability over “artistic and emotional freedom”, myself included. Like her, “I am in the process of rewriting the possibilities of what comes next”.