For so many of us, 2020 has been a year of unexpected challenges and opportunities, sorrows and delights, and a whole lot to process going forward.
I always enjoy the process of journaling and reflecting at the end of each year, but this year, it feels non-negotiable. As though the lessons and experiences of this year need to be written out of my system in order to be fully processed and embodied.
And so with that in mind, here are some of the lessons that most stood out to me from a year full of growth, experimentation, small steps backward and large leaps forward.
1. Ideas Are A Habit
I first heard James Altucher talk about the concept of treating idea generation as a muscle that can be strengthened years ago.
Back then, I tried to emulate his “10 ideas a day” practice but failed miserably. I don’t know that I ever once came up with a full 10 ideas in one day, and certainly, none of them were very good.
The problem, I now realize, is that I was setting my sights too high when it came to what qualified as an idea. I was looking for big, life-changing, business-building ideas, passing by anything that didn’t immediately fit that category.
I had a couple of realizations this year that helped this lesson really sink in for me.
- Big ideas often start with small observations or questions. You often only realize that they lead to something bigger when you start peeling back the layers and seeing how deep they go.
- Each of us has dozens of these little observations and questions every single day. The problem is that we haven’t built up the habit of giving ourselves time and space to actually think about and explore them.
When it comes to the latter point, my daily writing habit (more on that later) has become the vehicle to explore these questions and observations.
Sometimes, exploring an idea results in a 200-word blog post that goes nowhere.
Sometimes, as with the question of “Why do podcasters get stuck and plateau when it comes to growing their shows?” the question leads to many in-depth blog posts, and eventually an entire course, in this case…