Dr. Earl R. Smith II

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In the Battle Against Inertia

“It is important to act on good ideas – I have not done that consistently.”

I recently came across this in one of my old journals. I remember the feelings that were there when I wrote it. Acting on good ideas is part of personal growth – part of an effort at self-improvement. The mind comes up with these flashes of lightening but it is the body that drives them into action. So where does this leadership come from – what leadership style is needed to consistently turn good ideas into action? How do you become an adviser to yourself – and adviser who does more than urge action and regret the lack of it?

The trap is, of course, that the very pursuit of this question can sink into a cesspool of self-recrimination. And, in that action, yet another good idea will pass into the realm of ‘good but not acted on’. The critical first step is leadership development – to bring forth the tendencies in your own reaction to good ideas that will increase the chances that they will be acted upon. And this step is more in the realm of spirituality than ‘management’. The turn of mind that allows you to follow-up on good ideas begins with a re-envisioning of some very important parts of yourself. So let’s talk about how you welcome – then deal with – ‘good ideas’.

How often do you celebrate the arrival of a good idea? How often do you take leadership in the announcement of its presence? Think about it. Do you make a ‘big thing’ out of it or tend to hide the fact of its arrival – perhaps under the suspicion that you really don’t get or deserve good ideas anyway. I’m not talking about blowing your own horn here – but blowing the ‘idea’s’ horn.

How often do you feel grateful that you have been blessed with this good idea? It’s one thing to recognize a good idea and yet another to realize that it came to you and not to somebody else. Do you think about that at all?

How often do you recognize a good idea for what it really is – a gift that you can give to others – a special something that will have value in their lives as well as in yours? The really marvelous thing about good ideas is that they don’t disappear when you share them with other – most often they get even better and more valuable. In an important sense you become the Chairman of the Board of Directors of this good idea – help it grow and become something even more potent – more valuable.

Finally, how often do you recognize that it was you and not somebody else that had this good idea? This goes directly to your own self-image and you need to think about it carefully. Do you see yourself as somebody who generates good ideas or are good ideas just accidents that happen to happen to you?

Here’s my suggestion – welcome each good idea and celebrate its arrival – feel grateful for having been chosen as the recipient of this marvelous gift – don’t hide your good ideas but share them with other and contribute to the making of even better ideas – and remember always that it was you that came up with the idea and you that can come up with others.

© Dr. Earl R. Smith II