Blog

Idea Turbulence and Getting Through It

Liftoff

It hits you like a brick to the head.

An idea so brilliant that you can’t let it go. You’re engaged. You’re inspired. You’re soaring.

It’s a high that can grip your entire being and hold it until a next step is taken. But what will that next step be? When should you take it? What will be the consequences of doing so?

Complimentary peanuts? Uh yeah, sure. You can hardly be bothered. You’re way too focused on this idea.

Drink? Oh. Yeah. Uh, water is fine. Thanks. Don’t people realize that what’s bumping around in your head right now is of vital importance, and every distraction is an unwelcome one?

Oh well.

You follow one train of thought after another, down track after track of possibilities and hurdles and costs and potential benefits.

It’s solid, you think. But then you hit a mental roadblock and have to do a quick mental bypass. Thirty-minutes later you’ve got a solution worked out and you’re back on Cloud Nine.

You’re flying at a cruising altitude and all is right with the world, but then you hear some unfamiliar sounds. Landing gear. You’re coming back down to earth.

And at that moment the harshest reality of all hits you. You actually need to do something to make this idea a reality. No one else can or will. Just you.

If you don’t shift around your priorities — your relationships, your time, your money — this brilliant thought will remain as such, unless someone comes around and makes it their own tangible reality first.

Touchdown

Gravity is once more pulling at you, full force, and the mental turbulence you’re experiencing is almost enough to tear the thought from your mind, but you cling to it, justify it, reel against the G-force pressure you’re suddenly feeling as it becomes necessary to once again stand up and walk on your own two feet.

What direction will you go? Will you have baggage that keeps you waiting around, not moving as fast as you would like toward your goal?

Will the return to ground-level be the end of your idea, or can you reshape your reality to match what you’ve seen up there?

Please make sure your seat backs and tray tables are in their full upright and locked positions, because it’s time to land.

Update: January 26, 2017

It’s a weird thing, that mental moment of certainty and passion that we sometimes encounter before either deciding that something is too difficult, or that we need to change everything to make it happen.

I’ve learned over the years to jot down notes and put them away to be revisited tomorrow, as sometimes the passion is in the moment, not the idea. But if I come back to it later and it sparks me again, then I know I’ve got something in which I should invest some time and energy.