Archive for March, 2010

One of the biggest challenges with making a significant change is the committing to do it.  If you are like me, there are things you think you ought to do or things you think would be good for you to do.  Most of these tasks or ideas become wistful dreams.  They are never acted upon and often forgotten until one day when you see that someone else has done what you wanted to do and you say to yourself, “Oh, I was going to do that – they stole my idea!”

Can an idea even be stolen?  Think about that for a moment.  You can share ideas with others.  But whether or not you act on that notion and whether or not someone else does are completely independent of each other.  Neither of you could act, or both of you could.  Here’s where many people get tripped up.  They think that if they don’t tell other people about what they intend to do, then no one will ever think about it.

This just isn’t what actually happens.  In real life, people think similar thoughts and come up with similar ideas all the time.  (Many of our ideas aren’t original with us, remember?)

So how can you combat this?  If we aren’t going to act on a desire, decision, or idea then it really doesn’t matter.  But if you are going to act – keeping things to yourself really won’t matter.  Yes I am aware of the voice in your head telling you that if you share your brilliant idea that somebody else will take it.  I say let them take it, then you will actually have to act to take it back.

This actually happened to me recently.  I was thinking about what I wanted to share in this blog, and I mentioned to someone about this great book that I wanted to read with like minded people and share ideas from.  You know what he did.  He has started working through that very book on his podcast.

And he’s doing a great job!  So what do I do?  Whine about it?  Say he stole my idea?  Absolutely NOT!  In fact since he’s doing that I’ve made more progress here than I have in three or four years!  And next week I’m going to try very hard to move to an audio format.  Yes, I am sharing another idea.  I’m going to evolve this into a podcast.

I would’ve never thought of doing that unless I heard how possible it was by listening to my idea being executed already.  It’s motivating.  And who says we can’t do the exact same thing?  I could even comment on his comments!  The point is that putting the idea out there challenges me to either do something with it or get it into the hands of someone who will.  And if I think that I’m the only one who could take an idea forward, then my thinking is rather small.

And from these events, I have come out and committed to getting this podcast up and going.  Could somebody else take that idea?  Don’t you know that there are already tons of podcasts out there already?  It just doesn’t matter.  What does matter is that I’m going to make the commitment.

I would love it if you followed along to see what happens here.

Multi-tasking … it almost sounds like a super-power, like telekinesis or water-breathing.  However recently I’ve started seeing blog posts and articles about how it might not be all that it’s cracked up to be.  This idea has come home to me recently as I’ve been trying to organize my online life / presence / identity.  You see, I have many different interests: online business, seeking to be the best I can be, to encourage others to get out of the rut and see their potential, religious considerations of all kinds, political punditry and opinions, desire to be a better father / husband / friend… the list could be much longer.  These are all areas that I’ve participated in forums and different online endeavors under a number of different labels and names.

But it seems that lately I’ve had a hard time keeping track.  It has been suggested to me to just pull it all together under one banner – just me.  However this doesn’t always work.  If I were to include my pointed partisanship or my radical religiosity it might make clients and business partners nervous (why?  Apparently having differing opinions can make people think you don’t like them as a person or that you can’t work, or co-exist even, with people who see things differently than you… I guess that’s a popular notion, I don’t know).

So I am left trying to identify some personal boundaries.  However in this I have decided to try to consolidate where I can.  Therefore, even though I’ve only just begun my efforts to share here at Set of Sail, I’m going to be broadening my focus a bit and include some things from a more personal blog.  This is going to become the home of many of my musings.  So it might be less focused than I first envisioned.  But that also means that it will probably get a little less tightly wound.  Using my nautical theme – I’ve decided to put out a few deck chairs, relax and put my feet up on the railing a while.  I hope you won’t mind – and if I get off track a bit, please don’t be offended.  If you do, there really isn’t much I can do about it.  Getting offended is your choice; for my part I’ll try not to be offensive.  I think I am generally unoffensive but I’m sure your mileage may vary.

So consider this a warning.  Also a bit of an announcement.  This is to hold me accountable.  Expect my next post to have some multi-media spice added to it.  Yup, I’m gonna try to go all podcast on you.  I’ve been thinking about this for a few weeks, and I’ve been mulling around ideas in my head for longer than that.   So the challenge will be to go from dream to action and really put something out there.  I should probably say something here about having the courage to not be intimidated by the fact that it may not be superb, but that would only be for me to convince myself that I’m ready.

Well I’m not ready, but I’m just committing to go and grow along the way.  You want to come along?  I hope you get something out of it, because that would be my greatest reward.

You’ll be hearing from me (literally) soon!!  (… yikes.)

When talking about concepts and principles in life, if you listen for bits of wisdom, you just might find that many of these are similar. I’ve found this encouraging that certain thoughts have been highlighted by various teachers and philosophers in different circumstances and at various times. Even the idea that ideas aren’t original for the most part, isn’t, well, original.

  • Dave Ramsey describes many of his financial teachings as “nothing new, just packaged well.”
  • It sounds like the saying, “Everything Old Is New Again.”
  • Solomon would also add that there’s nothing new under the sun.

So, I’m starting to wonder if that thought is even original with Solomon… see what I mean?

One of the things I want to accomplish is to collect these threads of inspiration and highlight the nuggets of brilliance that run through them all.

I want to start off with one I’ve entitled:

Little and Often

This concept has been seen in many places, some are very old – like the saying, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Taking a single step isn’t that amazing for most of us. But that simple act of taking a step repeated faithfully over time will transport you to your distant destination.

In the area of exercise, I’ve appreciated Matt Furey’s concept of starting with “5 second abs.” Do you whine that you don’t have time to exercise? You’d look pretty silly to say you don’t have time for 5 second abs. But then the idea is that if you start consistently doing 5 second abs, you’ll start to realize it doesn’t take that much more effort to do 10 or even 15 seconds of exercise. You get that going on a regular schedule and you can expand to maybe a whole minute of physical activity. The point is to start ridiculously small and build a habit, then expand on the area you’ve already conquered.

My favorite time management guru, Marc Forester, uses the concept of little and often to overcome procrastination. When you have a document to write, you just schedule some time to get out the files you need to write or research the document, or even to open up the word processor. That’s it. Don’t commit to more than that. More times than not, once you’ve gone that far you will have enough inertia to actually get started.

I’m sure there are many more examples and areas of application for this principle in life. Just one more. Jim Rohn would say that this principle is the difference between success and failure. Failure is defined by him as a few errors in judgment repeated everyday. This is the principle of little and often used to your detriment. Success, on the other hand, is a few simple disciplines practiced everyday. This is the reward of little and often, it leads to success.
A similar concept to this is ‘ratcheting.’ But we’ll stop here for today.

So share. What small disciplines are you considering – or better yet, have you started recently? Do you think this would make a difference? Start a new habit by subscribing to this blog. Take a small action little and often to take that thousand mile journey. Let’s set our sails together!