One of the most important disciplines of a Generous Mind is the commitment to never let an idea slip away. When I say this, you immediately know what I mean. On any given day we let countless ideas float out of our minds never to be retrieved. We don't usually do this because we do not care about the ideas or because we do not want the ideas to impact others. Usually, we have a false security in our memory and tell ourselves that we will remember the idea later.
The problem with our memory today is that it is an over saturated tool. We are inundated with information today and even the brightest minds cannot train their attention on certain ideas when the flood of new information swamps them.
Another problem we have with holding onto ideas is that we do not always know which ones will be important. We have to make a decision at the moment of inspiration about the value and need for that idea in our lives or in the lives of those around us. Many times we judge an idea to be of no value and throw it away when someone in our lives would have been blessed by it. Other times we keep information available to us that ends up serving no purpose or person.
So identifying and remembering ideas must be a discipline in the life of a Generous Mind. It is a discipline that is focused on what might be. That is because we save ideas because of potential, not because of inherent value. We don't know which idea will be a huge blessing and benefit and which ones will get shot down immediately as unproductive or off-base. So we have to mine the fields of our mental activity and save ideas that seem to have value even when we don't know the final outcome.
So how do you do this?
- When an idea comes, always write it down without discrimination.
- Keep paper or another way of capturing ideas by your bed. The best ideas are lost as sleep overcomes us.
- Take those pieces of paper and other tidbits and keep them in a place where you can find them. Some will keep a document on their computer filled with these. Others have a file of ideas. Whatever your process, make sure you know how to find them.
- When someone else has an idea, hold them accountable to not let it slip away.
- If an idea is coming and you are supposed to go on to another activity. Stop and finish processing before you jump into the new opportunity.
- Leave 10-15 minutes between appointments so you can process what you just talked about or learned about at the meeting.