Turning Ideas Into Action
The more I live the less impressed I am by just ideas. Regardless of how good the idea might be, I have come to realize that good ideas in and of themselves are pretty much worthless. I know many people who are full of good ideas. Ideas about what they should be doing in life and also, lots of ideas for others too. Really, it is pretty easy to come up with a good idea or two, the hard part is putting the idea to work, to actually implement the idea.
This, I feel, applies to all dimensions of life. I am sure you have had good ideas about how to manage your money better, manage your children better, your diet better, your fitness better, your relationships better, your spiritual growth better, etc, etc, but, really how many of those ideas did you follow through on till the end and therefore, reap the final benefits of? If you have followed through on your ideas, then that is certainly meaningful, but, if you just have some good ideas, that is really nothing very impressive.
I have found this to be especially true in the arena of spiritual growth. Many aspirants, initially inspired, formulate great plans for daily meditation and yoga practice, but check with them a month later, and the idea has not been carried out and the practice has fallen by the wayside. So how do you turn your good ideas into action, so you can enjoy the benefits? I think the following ten suggestions will go a long way in helping you accomplish just this.
1. Hone Your Intent:
My teacher Ravi Singh, used to tell us all the time, “Hone your intent.” I think this is very valuable advise. If you have a good intention and are not able to implement it immediately, chisel it, sharpen it, hone it. It is valuable to chew on it and give it strength, so that it does not simple fade away, but, instead remains alive till such time as it has the necessary power to manifest into action.
2. Use the Golden Rule:
I wrote about the golden rule in the article, How to Stop Making Excuses and Start Meditation Now. This rule essentially says that don’t try to do things perfectly. Instead just go for 70% of best and start. Often perfectionism is the leading cause of procrastination, and a very effective method of overcoming such procrastination is by applying this rule. Of course, this rule can be extended to other areas of your life and not just meditation.
3. Act Now, Build Momentum:
Again this is a topic close to my heart and I have written about it in the article, The Art of Spiritual Time Management. Essentially the idea here is to immediately act on a good idea or problem that you have. You will find that the more you just get down to doing things, implementing things, the more a certain momentum starts to build, and inertia and laziness diminish. So if you have good ideas, try to act on them now.
4. Use Righteous Anger:
This is probably the one positive application of anger*. If there are things you have been meaning to do and are angry with yourself for not getting them done, I say good. Get angry with yourself, it’s ok. In this case the energy of anger will serve as a positive force in getting you off your butt and on the path of productivity. This type of anger I call Righteous Anger.
(*If you are suffering from depression or have anger/self-hate issues, then this technique is of course not recommended).
5. Make a Plan:
One of the best methods of getting things done is by writing down what it is you want to accomplish in a particular day. This list will nag at you and perhaps that is what you need in order to start implementing. Making a list is definitely very helpful if you have too many things to do and don’t know where to start. The list will help prioritize those ideas which are most important and thus, help insure that you act on them at the very least.
6. Use Your Resources:
Often constraints of time and energy are the limiting factors which prevent you from actioning your ideas. To overcome these obstacles, see if you can better utilize the resources around you to help free up the time and energy you need in order to act. It could be leaning on a relative to help out with some babysitting, or getting a laundry service to handle that chore. You will see that once you start to look for solutions, life will start to make things possible. As they say, where there is a will, there is a way.
7. Organize Your Life:
This is along the lines of the suggestion above, but here what I am suggesting is that you set up your life to make it as easy as possible to act on your ideas. So, for example, if you want to start a blog, maybe get yourself a cheap laptop, or if you want to meditate, set up a meditation space, etc. You will find it much easier to start and sustain your program, if you set-up your life to help facilitate it. For those looking for more tips on setting up a consistent meditation practice, you can read the following 2 articles: Essential Meditation Tips and Tools & Top 5 Mistakes in Establishing a Daily Meditation Practice.
8. Be Willing to Sacrifice:
If you are looking to turn your good ideas into reality, you must be willing to sacrifice. You may very well have to watch 1 hour less of TV, or wake up an hour earlier, surf the web less, or play less video games. If you are really interested in living a full life, and being true to your inner callings, a little sacrifice may most certainly be required.
9. Be Willing to Work Hard:
I know all that stuff about the Law of Attraction and Follow Your Bliss, etc, but, there is no substitute for hard work. If you really want to reach your potential, then you have to be willing to work for it. Most great accomplishments demanded hard work, and it is likely to be no different for you. So embrace hard work, don’t shy away from it. In fact, you may ultimately realize that doing is as much fun as achieving.
10. Practice Visualization Meditation:
Quite simply visualization meditation works. Visualize your idea manifesting. Whether that be a Yoga Center you want to open, a shape you want your body to be in, or a book you want to write. Visualize it happening and allow life to you help you manifest it. The following popular article goes into details for manifesting your desires: 4 Keys Laws for Manifesting Desires.
An example from my own life, where I have used and continue to use all the above suggestion to turn my idea into reality, is this very blog. Writing, maintaining and growing Mastery of Meditation and Yoga is not easy I confess, but, I can honestly say that putting this idea to work and creating this website has been one of the most satisfying aspects of my life. So I hope you too find the suggestions above useful and that by using them, will begin to manifest and benefit from the good ideas that you are blessed with.