Posts Tagged ‘ideas’

This is going to sound as if I am contradicting my previous posts, but that is not the case. This is more about how, where and with whom to share the idea. Let me say it this way. There are people with whom you can share a fledgling idea and there are others that you cannot. People who are likeminded and visionary can help you take a fledgling idea to the next level. They can envision a future where your idea is alive and flourishing and they will provide encouragement and sometimes considerably more to you quest to bring the dream into reality. These people are great “sounding boards” and all creatives need a few of these.

Then there are others. If you bring them a fledgling idea, they just can’t see it. Instead they go to the negative side of what I call the “What If Spectrum.” Unable to see the possibilities, they instead see all the potential problems, pitfalls, etc. These are the people who will always tell you why what you are wanting to do/create will not work. They will question the thing to death and you run the risk of being so demoralized by them that you can, at times, even be caused to give up.

Lest you think, I think these people are evil, it’s quite the opposite, as a matter of fact these people can be quite helpful as you near completion and need to deal with the realities of the world to which you are planning to offer your creation. The problem is when to bring them into the process. These people are not visionaries. They are more pragmatic and practical and again they can be a tremendous asset to you, but because they are not visionary, before you share your creation with them, it’s best to have you idea as close as you can to completion.

There are people in our world who are, by their very nature, dream killers. They can’t help it, it’s how they’re wired. That being said, for the most part they’re not pathologically negative, they just need more convincing. It’s best to give them something they can see, touch and feel and it’s best to withhold the idea from this ’til they get to this point.

Assignment: Think of the people with whom you usually share your work. Consider which group they belong to. Remember, you need a mix of both. If you surround yourself with all visionaries, they may be unable to help you consider realities associated with your dream.


Ideas are powerful. Literally ever great thing that has ever created started out as an idea. It might have been a small thing that grew over time, or it might have been something that just came all at once like a bold from the blue, but it started as an idea. Look at any problem you have ever faced, at least the ones that were under your control. Faced with a problem, we have essentially two choices, give up or try to find the solution. If you do the first, I have nothing to offer, but if you decide to try to find a solution, guess what you’re looking for. Yep, you need an idea,

Ideas are powerful, but they’re not always well timed. Sometimes you have an idea for something and at this point in your life, given your resources and opportunities, you may be in no position to act on it at all. What do you do with that? Some people would say, well that’s just a pipe dream, but that’s not what smart people do. Smart people realize that ideas have high value. Smart Christian people realize we serve a God for whom all things are possible. Sometimes an idea really is ahead of it’s time. The prophet Isaiah prophesied the coming of the Messiah 700 years before he came. Now I know that was a little different than your ideas, but it works perfectly about what I am going to say about your “ahead of it’s time idea.” Isaiah wrote that idea down, and one day it was fulfilled. And again, I am not saying your idea is on par with the Messiah, because it isn’t, but it’s worth recording. It’s worth getting down on paper.

Then there are times when your idea might seem weird. Is it really, or is it just ahead of it’s time? Remember when the devices they had on Star Trek in the 60s. How many of them seem pretty much like devices that are now reality? Record your ideas. They are powerful.

Who knows maybe your conditions might change in the next year, or two, or ten. Maybe technology will catch up to your idea. Who could have foreseen some of the devices we have now a decade or two go? But can I tell you, someone did. That someone might as well be you.

Record your powerful ideas. It costs nothing but a little time and once you have them, you can refer back them any time you’re stuck for an idea.

There’s a somewhat apocryphal story about Walt Disney. He had envisioned Disney World back then the area where it is build was little more than a swamp. He worked and dreamed, but unfortunately, he passed away before it was completed. At the grand opening, a Disney executive had the privilege of sitting next to Mr. Disney’s widow. It is said at some point in the event, the executive turned to Mrs. Disney and said, “Oh if only Walt could have seen this.” Without missing a beat, Mrs, Disney said, “He did see it, that’s why it’s here.”

Your ideas are powerful. Record them, and look for the ones you can begin to bring to reality. Then pray and do the work. Every great thing that has ever been created started as an idea. Maybe it’s time to bring your idea to reality.

Assignment: Set something up to record your ideas, whether it be a notebook, a sketchbook, computer file, or whatever else. Revisit your idea file often.

I love the Christmas season. I love everything about it but the weather that sometimes comes with it here in PA, and with Thanksgiving right around the corner, the holidays are almost here. There is one other pressure though. As a pastor I am painfully aware of how often the people in my care have heard this most blessed Christmas story. I want to make sure that I bring this unchanging story to them in a way that is fresh and interesting. I could fret over this, but instead I choose to see it as a creative challenge. You should too.

What are you doing to creatively express the greatest story every told? Are there opportunities for you to do something in your church to enhance the celebration? Is there something you mighty do to hep people see the story with “fresh eyes?” I there a way to express it to someone who is not as familiar or a way to take the story to the streets of your community?

For our church, this year my wife started my wheels turning. She was working on something for decorating the area around our advent wreath and she decided to create a sign based on the lyrics of a classic Christmas carol, (I won’t tell you which one, since my church folks read this blog and I want them to be surprised.) As I looked up the carol in the hymnal to defamiliarize myself with the lyrics, I saw that there are four verses each with a unique theme surrounding the story. As providence would have it there are also four Sundays in Advent. Suddenly I was inspired and the theme began to take shape. That was my inspiration, what’s yours? Share it in the comments below.

I’m looking forward to seeing what you’re doing.

If you’re a creative, you’ve probably already figured out that we don’t seem to function like everyone else. Most people to struggle to come up with ideas, we struggle to stop coming up with ideas and actually get something done. Right now the rest of the world would read this and say, “Cry me a river.” I feel your pain. There are so many things going through your head that it gets hard to focus. Compound that with the fact that not only do we have ideas, but we have ideas about our ideas and some of those are crippling which keeps us from acting on our best and brightest ideas. It’s like ADD on steroids and it is enough to drive you crazy. I’ve been there too, but this is not a site to whine about our problems. It’s a place to find solutions. (In my new book, Start…Finish…Ship…Repeat… we will cover this in great detail, but here are the basics.)

1. Do NOT lament too many ideas: Most of the world would kill for what we have, appreciate it. Lamenting is the first step to procrastination.
2. Respect your ideas: Especially for those of us who consider ourselves people of faith, there should be at least the slightest inkling that at least some of these things may well be divinely inspired.
3. Conversely, not all ideas are divinely inspired: Some of them come from really dark places. Watch your thoughts carefully. It’s okay to edit, and beneficial to eliminate those that are overtly destructive. (In other words, if it’s harmful to you or others, it’s probably not God,)
4. Record your ideas. Get them down on paper, get a voice recorder, or put them into your phone, but keep them somewhere, where you can access them.
5. Pick one and take it as far as you can.
6. When you hit a snag, find what (or who) you need to finish.
7. Finish the project. The purpose of ideas is to convert them into reality.
8. Ship the finished project: An idea has no value until it’s shared.
9. If you have other ideas in the process, repeat step four. Then, unless you get bolt from the blue, divine inspiration, put the idea file aside and finish what you started.
10. As soon as the idea ships (however you release it to the world) begin your next project.

Obviously, it’s a little more complex than this, but the basic truth is, we lie to ourselves about our ability to multitask. Most of the time what we are really doing is feeding our own egos about how multidimensional, multitalented we are, without accomplishing very much. There are a multitude of great things you can do.

Pick one and do it…


Ideas start out in a lot of different ways. In this case the idea started out with a name… Mayhem. I don’t know why it’s mayhem. Maybe because a couple people gave me grief over AMOK, I don’t know. (AMOK by the way stands for Arts Ministry Outreach for the Kingdom, not the murderous rampage some people accused it of being, but I digress…) Usually when I get a name or a title, the first thing I do is create a logo. I’m not sure why this is either, but I think it’s because a logo somehow makes the creation a little more real, at least in my mind. I am a huge fan of ambigrams, words and images that look the same right side up and upside down, and I had already seen Mayhem expressed in this way, so I decided to create my own spin on it. Here’s what I came up with…
I know what you’re ready to ask. What is Mayhem? The truth is, I don’t know yet. My guess is it may be some sort of edgy comic newsletter or anthology, but I’m not sure yet. Is it right for the final project? I have no idea. My first thought is it looks a little dark, so it may not work out. Also if it is a comic type of project, right now I have no time to create it. None of these issues is a factor at this point. What is important is I got an idea and I got it down on paper (okay in this case pixels). The idea now has something tangible to refer back to, when the time is right.

As creatives, our ideas are of huge value, at least when we put them into action. They don’t always come at the most opportune time, but squandering them is a huge mistake. It took me about an hour to put this together and add it to my file. Now it exists as a reminder of what could be a really cool idea.

How do you manage your ideas? An idea is a terrible thing to waste!

I saw this GE commercial on ideas and I have to admit, I really loved it. What are your ideas worth and how can you make them beautiful?

Last week, I posted the preview posts for my new website/blog Beware of Every day, in addition to the regular posts, I also added a one-liner, a simple prompt designed to get your creative juices flowing. I also decided that some folks may not want to wait to get one a day so I published all 365 OneLiners as a book. You can check out the book by clicking the image below.

A Kindle version of One Liners: 365 Creative-Block Busters to Fire Your Creativity
is also available.

A sketchbook version will be available in the next week!