“Just as a monkey swinging through the trees grabs one branch and lets it go only to seize another, so too, that which is called thought, mind or consciousness arises and disappears continually both day and night”
-Siddhartha Gautama, Buddha –
I have had many journeys in life.
Recently I celebrated with my wife, 14 years of marriage. This October I will celebrate 17 years in the military. These events go on and on and I look forward to each and every one. They offer a time to look back and think of the years past. However, there is an event in my life that I have not just annually sometimes multiple times a day, a week or even a month. This event doesn’t care what I’m doing at the time or who is around. That ‘thing’ is an intense feeling of missing something. I’m not talking about missing a birthday party or the solar eclipse I mean I’m missing something inside of me.
I have mentioned previously I have this obsessive power within me to constantly be in search of ideas, projects, and business concepts. I have suppressed the machine for about 20ish days but the cogs could no longer be held with the pin of a goal I had jammed in them. They have started rolling forward at an intense rate. I think about these things all the time. And maybe this is another reason why I liked beer so much. Many times it would slow my mind down so I wouldn’t have to think about them anymore. I would just sit mindlessly watching TV series.
Well, since that isn’t happening necessarily anymore, my mind runs on its own. Oh, boy does it! It normally doesn’t bother me until someone around me either make a comment like the following:
*eye roll "What is it this time"
"what does it matter you won't do this idea anyways"
"Oh really, so is that like __insert other idea here __ "
"Didn't you tell me about this one before"
Even then the comments don’t really bother me, it’s my mind’s process following the comment. I will normally shoot right into “I’m going to prove you wrong mode”. This is when I buy a URL, create a logo, write out a bunch of shit in my notebook and then go to bed. After waking up the next day and head to work, completing my normal daily schedule, I do nothing but think about that idea. I text a great friend of mine and tell him about it. Even better, he’s a metrics kind of person, so I will normally get some validating statistics supporting the idea.
He also is very similar to me and will build upon that idea. Now if I’m lucky, during that night I work on it some more. I might even text a family member or two just to see what they think of the idea. Almost every time if the first friend validates, these follow suit and add even more features or possibilities. By this point, I have a notebook, cell phone and possibly website full of IDEAS. That’s right so far these are nothing but ideas. The machine has done nothing but works tirelessly to make sure this idea is pressed out like a new dress uniform.
Then it happens
Almost two to three days into the idea, most of the time its’ internally, however, it can come externally as well; something negative comes up. Or even better nothing negative comes up about the idea or process to which executing the idea hinders it, just a thought of “I don’t know if I want to do this” comes to the forefront of my mind. This is almost the exact pattern that I have with ideas no matter how amazing or boring the idea really is.
Recently, however, the friend I mentioned previously was working on an idea. Now, I’ve already told you we are very similar people. So we knew what was going to happen. We knew that in a few weeks I would start to get antsy and possibly bail. Or in a week or two, he would think of some metric or also has negative thoughts so he would bail. After about 4 weeks of somewhat working on the idea neither had bailed. Don’t worry, the bail happened without either of us paying attention. I started to not drink and write daily and it has almost acted as an excuse for me to walk away from the idea. He, on the other hand, has a large event going on in his life and seems he doesn’t have the time or mental resources to work on any venture.
So besides a few comments here and thereafter a month or two working on a particular idea, it’s trashed. I’m sure if you asked either one of us we could tell you a quick reason why it’s on the ‘back burner’ or another idea that we have decided to pursue. The fact of the matter is I have failed to focus on any idea with very little exception. This has exhausted everyone around me to the point they make the comments referenced before. I don’t blame them and I will never talk bad about their reaction because I find myself doing the same when my son is talking about fishing for hours and hours on end. People just get tired of listening to the same thing over and over.
Right now would be a great time for me to tell you “I have found the right idea” or have a hook in the story talk about how I and my friend ended up starting that business and here’s a link. Nope, but right now is the time for me to sit back. I have gone 20ish days with holding back the idea monster to focus on my running, health and family life. I need to figure out how to be content or at the very least figure out how to manage the monster before letting it loose again.
I would like to apologize
to those people that have had to listen to me and my ideas, hopefully, if anything you were inspired to do your own thing and build something for yourself. Heck, if all else fails, I’ll just start a podcast telling other people my ideas and maybe they can do something with them. It could be called IdeaCast or IdeaDump …. shit, here I go again planning out the next venture. Anyways, thanks for following my venture here and I hope you keep coming back. Me laying things out like this has helped me greatly as the days turn into weeks and weeks turn to a month. This is amazing and I’m so excited to see where the universe will take me from here.