Yesterday I had an idea in the morning and I launched a new series that evening (What creators do).
A key difference between creators and dawdlers is that creators understand the power of an idea has a half-life.
Magnificently, as if in compensation, an idea’s power also has a doubling time.
Half-life and doubling time are scientific concepts that work well as analogies for the generating power of an idea.
A half-life is the term used for a quantity of a substance that decays over time. Typically used for radioactive decay, it can be anything that decays at an exponential rate.
Let’s say you have a chunk of radioactive material. In a certain amount of time that chunk will decay by half, and in a similar amount of time again, that chunk will decay again by half . . . on and on, till it dwindles to nothing.
An idea is like this. Without taking action, without taking note, an idea will lose its power quickly. An idea with great force and urgency behind it will rapidly loses its power without attention. By tomorrow even.
Doubling time is the term used for processes that double over a certain amount of time. It could be your money in an interest-bearing investment. It could be the cancer in someone’s brain. It could be population growth in any given country. It could be Moore’s Law, where computing power doubles approximately every 18-24 months.
(It could be you on idea power.) (big loopy smile)
An idea is like this too. An idea gathers force when tended to.
It needn’t be heroic, what you do with an idea that comes, but it must be substantive.
The best way to plant an idea into the soil of your life is this:
- Write it down
- Ask: What is the next small step I’m inspired to do?
- Write it down (as in, schedule it)
- Do it
- Then ask again . . .
Some ideas will prove of ephemeral value, some will carry you through a season, some will tunnel you more deeply into your soul work.
You can only discover the life value of an idea by working it.
Note: This is part of the What creators do series, where I look to people who are creating something meaningful in the world for inspiration and tips — and pass them along to you.
Add a little creative spirit to your life. Click here for some something from The World Is Freaky Beautiful once or twice a month.