Leadership Solutions from Read Solutions Group: Great Idea!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Great Idea!

Do you recall the last time you thought to yourself, “That’s a great idea!” I’m going to do it.”

Did you do it?

More often than not, the concept or idea gets lost, whether due to other pressing needs, the excitement of a different great idea, or lack of action.

Then there are the times when the idea takes hold, you talk about it to everyone, you do some planning and testing the idea, and then... it dies away.

As complex human beings, we carry patterns of thought and action. Whatever excitement or interest we may have generated in the idea is caught in the web of our habits. To carry through on any idea, we have to change.

Perhaps you’re thinking, not every new idea requires a change of habit. I do new things all of the time. You probably do. But for how long? The habit associated with how we use our time, who we interact with, how much we use the computer, where we eat, the route we take to work, etc. are also supported by our habits of thought – How “should” I use my time? What is valuable to me? How does this reflect on me? Then on top of all of these are the “truths” or beliefs that we hold – No pain, no gain. Money does not grow on trees. Blood is thicker than water.

You’ll find many references on the web about ways to support a habit change that involve identifying the benefit, creating structures, making it hard to forget, enlisting the help of a friend, etc. These methods are fundamental to changing an action-based habit.

When you find yourself not able to make the change using all of these methods, you are probably being constrained by the beliefs you hold. Explore these beliefs, expose them to the light of day, consider how they benefit you right now, choose to hold or put down the belief and you may find yourself ready to implement that great idea.

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