That time of year: New beginnings
It’s the time of year when a lot of people talk about beginnings.
‘I’m starting a diet.’
‘I’m joining a new gym.’
‘I’m going to write that story.’
It’s important at the moment of these declarations to remember: it’s not about the starting.
It’s about the finishing.
I’ve been thinking a lot about ideas. Podcast ideas. Story ideas. Video ideas. App ideas.
The ideas are plentiful. Each idea has that wonderful feeling of promise and optimism. Each idea seems valuable and worthy in its own right.
We all know that’s not true. Some ideas are good. But some stink, and some are downright dumb. Others may be innovative and fresh, still others a little stale. And some may be exactly like another unknown person’s idea. When you have that kind of idea (and you have no way of knowing if your idea falls in to this category), it will come down to who does something about the idea first.
Every idea has the same fundamental element at its core: an idea will remain an idea without action.
It’s Newton’s First Law as applied to ideas. An idea will remain an idea until it is acted upon.
Act on your ideas, and finish them
I go for a lot of walks. Last year, one of my ‘beginnings’ was to walk more. When I walk I listen to podcasts. This week, I listened to an episode of The Tim Ferriss Show featuring Whitney Cummings. Whitney’s CV is cornucopia-esque. She’s a writer, an actor, a producer, a comedian. She’s in the ideas industry.
As I listened to her answer questions, I identified with one specific aspect of her story. She talked about having five books next to the bed, all of them started and unfinished. She talked about having numerous projects on the go. All of them started, but unfinished. You get the idea.
She told the story about a note she received from a film director. The note had one word printed on the paper: FINISH.
I listened to this and I thought of all the ideas and projects currently orbiting in the Bad Producer universe. Some have life. Some have potential to live. Others are frozen chunks of ice in the distance. I finished my walk and sat down to write about the ideas. I realized within a few lines which ideas needed immediate action, and which ideas could stay in the idea zone.
Which of your ideas needs a shove? Which project has had a perpetual beginning? I bet if you’re honest with yourself, the answer is easy. I will also bet if you give consistent and purposeful effort, you will finish.