I know I promised that Part 4 would be the last bit of wisdom from The Strawberry Patch. We were still picking berries this past week and I couldn’t help but see the parallel between the berries and everyday life. So, my apologies but I think you’re going to like this post!
The strawberries were plentiful this past week. We CSA members were allowed to pick two quarts and purchase up to four quarts extra. I have a big freezer so I purchased the extra quarts for treats in the winter. Yay!
I didn’t have to work too hard for the berries because not only was it a cloudy day but there were berries galore on all the plants. I only had to go about 10 feet down the row to fill all six quarts!
As I was picking, I came across a plant that was full of misshapen berries (the picture of the berries is the one above). I marveled at how this could have happened because none of the other plants had berries shaped like these oddballs. I popped a ripe one in my mouth and found that it was just as sweet, just as juicy, and just as tasty as the regular shaped berries.
Since in previous posts I’d equated strawberries with ideas, this got me to thinking….
If you’re like me, you’ve probably had at least one oddball idea—more likely you’ve had many. Oftentimes we chuckle dismissively at our wild imaginings, much like a parent indulging a fanciful child.
Don’t do that!
Take a closer look at these ideas!
Even though your idea may be way, way out there—something that not even the best science fiction writers could come up with—take the time to think it through. Ponder it, let it simmer on the back burner of your mind. Think to yourself “What needs to happen—what supports are called for—to turn this idea into a doable one?” Then go about answering that question!
Read books and magazines on the subject, go to university libraries as well as surf the Internet for the latest research in this area, and talk to experts in the field. You just might find that the idea is a game-changer (think Steven Jobs and Steve Wozniak, the founders of Apple Computer who revolutionized the computer field)!
It’s also true that your idea may be too fantastical and impractical—in other words, its time just hasn’t come yet (think of Jules Verne’s book From the Earth to the Moon that talked about the “crazy” notion of sending humans to the moon). Probably, though, there are parts of the far-out idea that could help you. For example, in carefully examining it from all angles, it might spark other ideas that help solve a problem with which you’ve been wrestling.
So, take a close look at those oddball ideas. They’re just as ripe, juicy, and flavorful as your other ones!
Your homework today is to respect your ideas—especially the oddball ones—by keeping a notebook handy, either one in your computer, or mobile device, or an actual pad of paper. The system doesn’t have to be elaborate; the simpler the better because you’ll be more apt to use it.
Your system can be a word document or a simple spreadsheet. You can use your cell phone to dictate an email to yourself and then have a folder in your email system specifically for ideas. You can use free apps such as Evernote, Google Docs, or Dropbox. Of course there’s always the throwback system of a pocket-sized notebook that you take with you everywhere you go and a folder in a filing cabinet to store all the filled notebooks.
Then, write down all your ideas, no matter how silly or frivolous and no matter how crazy or stupid they seem. Let them simmer on the back burner of your mind. Also, jot down ideas that these simmerings produce. Periodically, go through your list and take action on the ones whose time has come.
You can do it!
I am so proud of you!
Your Friend and Pep Pal,
PS: Feel free to forward this post to your friends—or any other of the posts that you’ve liked. Thanks!
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