“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” — Albert Einstein
Jotting down one-liner thoughts is a simple way to turn insight into action. I come across “ah-has” all the time, and I take the extra step to write them down in a sticky way. For example, while strolling through the blogosphere I came across a nice little pearl of wisdom on The Cranky Middle Manager Show:
“We impact our own mood through the people we meet and the input (books, blogs and stuff) that we read.”
I wrote it down in a simpler way and added a point about focus: We impact our mood through people and input — and what we focus on.
The act of writing it down forces me to think about it a little more, and it makes it easy for me to scan as a reminder at a later point. I can flip through my insights for the day, the week, the month or whatever.
Creating a Thought Catcher
My process is simple. I write down the current date, and list any ah-has. My only criteria is that it’s an interesting thought that I might want to remember. It can be my own or trigged by something I come across. If it’s some I come across, then I add the link back to the source so I can easily go back to it. Here are some examples from today:
- Logging your “ah-has.”
- Co-create the future – pair up on a compelling outcome.
- Spend more time where it counts, then time takes care of itself.
- Do it and write about it – the hallmark of prescriptive guidance.
- Statistically significant doesn’t matter — relevancy does. If one pattern or piece of advice fits you, that’s better than a bunch of statistically significant conclusions that don’t.
- Is your career a matter of luck or cause and effect? (The Cranky Middle Manager Show)
- We impact our mood through people and input — and what we focus on. (The Cranky Middle Manager Show)
- What do you want to be known for — good enough or excellence? (Larry Hendrick)
- Do the best of somebody BETTER! (Mary Schmidt)
- Brutal competition, barbaric bloody battles for market share, an under-staffed and ill-prepared team, limited resources, challenged margins. (Linked to Leadership)
- Find a reason to act — you can always find a reason NOT to. (Life Beyond Code)
- Make it or break it in the prep or lack thereof. (Drew’s Marketing Minute)
- A single message. (Drew’s Marketing Minute)
- What, so what, and now what? (Applied Imagination)
Each of these one-liners is a trigger that reminds me of a little piece of wisdom or insight. The ones without links are the random thoughts that pop in my head. Writing them down frees up my mind.
While I don’t keep a quota, I can easily see the ebb and flow of my mind over time.
Photo by Adam Baker.