In the movie, “Shawshank Redemption” (one of many peoples’ top ten films) Andy Dufresne explains, “Bad luck, I guess. It floats around. It's got to land on somebody. It was my turn, that's all.”
I think the same is true of good ideas and opportunities. They’re floating around and sometimes they land on us, or we need to grab and pull them to us. What stops us? Distraction, fear, indecision, and a lack of clarity in our goals to name a few reasons.
There is a movement afoot that hinges on the premise that we need to look up for a deeper connection with the world and the people around us. By putting the phone down and looking up we are more observant, we daydream, we think, we engage, and we see things we would have missed.
In the 1992 song, “Amused to Death” Roger Waters couldn’t have known how prophetic his lyrics would be in 2022. Every once in a while for our psyche and physical health we should disconnect from our digital devices.
Not all of the people on “Shark Tank” are smarter than the rest of us. Some simply had a problem and sought a solution and when they didn’t find it, they were presented with an insight for improvement—and ran with it. The idea probably presented itself in a moment of epiphany, frustration, or while daydreaming or doing something mundane. What really made it happen? They were looking for it.
At the very least, believe that opportunities are presented to all of us. These are gifts from the universe. I know how woo woo that sounds, but if we don’t believe that ideas are everywhere, it’s easy to miss them when they appear. If we will just pay attention and accept them when they are presented (and write them down) we may get our big breakthrough.
My grandfather had sketches and diagrams for his idea to add a second windshield wiper to cars at a time when automobiles only had one wiper. He never did anything with the idea. I’ve been noticing things I thought of years ago having great success today . . . for others. Nobody stole my ideas (I don’t think) they just had the same thought and ran with it. It could be flattering and validating—or frustrating.
I’m working on creating a new tool called the Rake and Scrape. The idea came to me while working on the baseball fields and I just started making prototypes. So far I’m not thrilled with the results, but I can see the possibilities and if it doesn’t work I won’t have any regrets like any grandfather did with his windshield wiper idea.
My hope is you save your ideas and insights, and then run with them before someone else does.
So you have a safe place to jot your ideas down, I’m still sending free samples of Squirrel Notes. This helps you have a small notebook handy in your pocket, purse, glovebox, or backpack.
Send me your mailing address and I will snail mail you a free sample: firstname.lastname@example.org