An Idea is Not a Commitment

Published on March 15th, 2020

Creativity can feel like a curse. There is simply not enough time in the world to turn each creative whim into an actualized thing you can see or hear or touch. Logically, we may only get around to a 100th of the things we can think because ideas are quick cheap, and the road to completion may take decades.

Still, it’s not to listen to the advice of William Faulkner and “kill your darlings.” My mind tries to hold onto all of these whims because I might be able to get to them “someday.” But someday never comes because there are a dozen or more new ideas the next day.

The challenge that I face is that I get too personal with “my” ideas. And somehow, if I don’t see them to fruition, well, that sucks! It’s unfair! I want them to see the light of day, damn it.

Therefore, behind each idea becomes an assumed commitment (almost a responsibility) to see them through. But this is preposterous. It’s not a commitment until we evaluate each idea to verify it’s an idea worthy of our time, attention, and dedication to see it through.

Still, we can all find ourselves falling into the trap of assuming a commitment to an idea just because it happened to cross our psyche. Be ruthless in letting the ideas fall into the waste bin. There will always be more if you feed the few that actually matter to you!

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About Rick Manelius

Quick Stats: CTO of Contact Mapping. Author of Winning the Lottery Within. Graduated from MIT in '03 (BS) and '09 (PhD). Life hacker and peak performance enthusiast. This blog is my experiment in creative writing, self-expression, and sharing what I've learned along my journey. For more information, read my full bio here or contact me.