By Cynthia Morris
Recently, I was with a group of creative adventurers, and we were sharing our dreams with each other. One person’s story showed me the truth of something I’d suspected for a long time: what we consider an asset is actually a liability. Here’s what I mean.
As he described one project idea after another, I clearly saw his energy drain away from him. A film, a book, a new business, blog ideas…all these great ideas buzzed around his head. We listened and I know I wasn’t the only one who was initially excited, then drained by all the possibility.
He confessed that he wasn’t making satisfying progress with any of his ideas. Yet he still clung to the notion that having all these ideas was a good thing.
It struck me like a gong and I had to speak. “Your wealth of ideas is actually a liability,” I said. “Thinking that an abundance of inspiration is a good thing is actually holding you back.”
An abundance of ideas is only an asset if you consistently make and ship them.
No one wants to hear this. We love or precious and brilliant notions. You’ve probably said, “If only I could be paid for all my great ideas!”
But here’s the truth: ideas by themselves are worthless. The thing that makes a creative idea valuable is the sweat and tears and work that goes into making it real. Our creative ideas are nothing without the commitment and labor we bring to them.
Here’s where the true gold lies: our creative projects work us. Your great ideas are not going to make you happy perched in the attic of your imagination.
No. Your idea is going to make you happy because it’s going to demand the best that you’ve got to give and more. Because once your great idea is an actual reality, you’re going to be a different person. A better person.
This is why I spend my precious life coaching people to create their great work: we’re given these great ideas not so we can get our jollies from looking at them and talking about them. We’re given these flights of imagination so we can get on board, one idea after another, and pilot our way to best selves through the work they demand from us.
If you’re guilty of hoarding your ideas as a precious asset, drop it. Instead, commit to one asset at a time and build true creative wealth.
How about you? Have you turned the corner from thinking of your ideas as an asset only if you execute on them? I’d love to hear what you think about this. Please comment below.
By Cynthia Morris