Early morning ideas are no longer made up of the same substance by evening.
It’s scientifically proven that, like an ice cube, ideas lose mass and even identity as the day wears on.
Take that ice cube. You can make it huge if you’d like to feel better about it. As you leave an ice cube outside of a freezing environment, it will melt. It will:
- Become smaller,
- Transform into water,
- Eventually disappear completely.
This is a similar process to your (brilliant?) idea in the morning. If you don’t do something with it, it’s going to get smaller, even transform into another structure and eventually disappear.
“But it was a fantastic idea and it was so clear to me just this morning!”
I know. It’s sad, it’s frustrating, it’s almost unbelievable. But an idea is a living thing. You have to keep it alive. You have to nurture it if you want it to grow, especially if you want it to thrive.
So what are you doing with your ideas? Are you letting them sit out in the sun? I’m not sure they’re going to make it out there on their own. Sure, you might need to give them some time to grow, but you first have to make sure the seed is successfully planted and has enough to go on it own for a while.
This post comes from the pain of having at least three excellent ideas this morning that, by this late hour, have as good as disappeared for now. If they arrive tomorrow morning, they will be new beings, new structures, maybe better, maybe worse, but chances are they’re not the same as they were this morning.
Tips for holding onto your ideas?
- Strike while the fire is hot: at least jot down a few notes about the idea.
- Dreams: ideas can be quite a bit like dreams, they’ll go away exponentially quickly the longer you wait to try to remember them. See point #1. It’s also difficult to recreate them–just like it’s almost impossible to turn over, fall back asleep and get back to the dream you were having so much fun with.
- Analysis: not all ideas are brilliant (of course). After that initial fire has burned down, analyze the idea to see if it holds up as you get further from that clarity of the early morning.