How Successful People Think: Catch Your Ideas

Posted on by in Reading Between the Lines

“I keep a special lighted writing pad on my nightstand for such times.”

How Successful People Think by John C. Maxwell, page 15

This quote hit me like a ton of bricks. That exact device was one of my early ideas; I thought it was going to make me a millionaire. But like so many ideas we have, it came and went. My idea. Your fortune. But I digress.

I’m sure you will agree with me when I say that ideas pop into our heads at the most unexpected times. My creative genius gene kicked in once I hit 35,000 feet after a single gin and tonic on just about any flight from somewhere to somewhere else. In fact, most of the chapters of my book Become The Exception were written high above Des Moines, Iowa.

Click on the book to grab your own copy of "How Successful People Think"

Click on the book to grab your own copy of “How Successful People Think”

Ideas also come to us when exercising. The shower is a great place to cultivate new ideas. I hear it has much to do with the pulsating hot water… but I’m just saying. When push comes to shove, the majority of my cleverness appears somewhere between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. I wake with a world changing thought, but while still drowsy I tell myself that I can go back to bed since I made a mental note to remember my idea at the time. We all know what happens next; you forget it.

That’s where the special lighted writing pad on the nightstand comes in. You can reach over to this memory tool, snap on the dim light, and record a few words that will help recall your brainstorming extravaganza in the morning. Lights out. Back to sleep.

This device should not be optional in the small business person’s bag of tricks. You must capture your ideas when they enter your mind, and then let them incubate on their own. This often calls for a special tool. (A pad and pencil)

Back to my million dollar idea: I was going to construct such a device and hang it on the side of my bed so I could simply reach my arm over the mattress and retrieve it without wakening my wife. This would eliminate from me knocking over the water bottle or picture frames while I grope for my gizmo. I thought by hanging it off the side of the bed, I could be classified as a genius.

Like many (most) of the ideas I have, I did nothing about it. It looks like John Maxwell did.


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