Typically for this last column of the year I review the word I chose as a guide for this year and reveal my word for the new year ahead. I will do that soon, but for today I have an idea for you.
At the beginning of this year, in addition to my word for the year, I decided to track ideas. I opened a new note tab on my phone and titled it, as you can guess IDEAS.
Every time I had an idea that I wanted to remember, I wrote it down. If I heard a word I liked, I wrote it down. If I heard a quote I liked, I wrote it down. I wrote down ideas I had for writing my column or concepts I wanted to put in my next book. I wrote down songs I heard. I wrote down ideas for gift-giving. I wrote down dreams and memories. I wrote down everything I thought was important to remember.
As of this writing, I have 220 ideas on my list. That sounds pretty good for my first year. But- I researched it and the people who study this type of thing have a wide range of opinions on how many thoughts we have in a day. The studies and reports ranged from claiming the average person has between 6,000 and 80,000 thoughts per day. That’s a big range. So, let’s go with a number somewhere in the middle. Let’s say we have 37,000 thoughts a day. That equates to 13,505,000 thoughts in a year. That makes my accomplishment look weak.
Out of my 13 and a half million thoughts, why did I only write down 220 of them? Did I only have 220 thoughts that were of value? Less than .0017% of my thoughts made the list. Where are the rest of them? Did they float right by me unnoticed like butterflies going by so fast that my net wasn’t quick enough to catch them? Didn’t I hear them? Wasn’t I listening?
Maybe I was too critical and rejected too many as being silly, a waste of time, embarrassing, or impossible to follow through on.
The point is how many ideas slip away from us? How many could have become reality if we had written them down and spent more time thinking about them? How many dreams could come true?
Looking through my list I see some interesting stuff. Many of the ideas I used as topics for my columns. Many of them I researched and learned more about the subject. Many were things new to me that I learned about for the first time.
As I close out this year reviewing my ideas, I find myself even more excited for my 2024 list. My goal is to capture more than 220 ideas. I plan to write down the silly ones, the embarrassing ones, the possible and the impossible ones. And even the ones that I think are a waste of time just to write down are going on the list.
Can you join me in this? Use your note tab in your phone, your journal, or an old-fashioned spiral notebook. It doesn’t matter how you track them- but track them. Number them. Record them.
It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of your ideas. No one needs to see them except you. They are yours and yours alone to do with as you wish.
As I write this, we are turning the corner and heading smack into the new year. You have time to pick that notebook and write the simple title on the first page, IDEAS. Just doing that is your first idea.
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Pennie’s Life Lesson:
Don’t let ideas slip away from you.
You never know which ones will become reality.
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