The Good Ideas Will Stick

Brian Peterson
2 min readFeb 21, 2023
Photo by AbsolutVision on Unsplash

Yesterday I caught myself doing something that I try not to do too often. I sent a long email. It’s wasn’t looooooong long, but it was one where if I was receiving it I probably wouldn’t read it right away, because I would need a minute to process. It seems like this was also the case for my recipient, because I did not get an immediate response. I wasn’t really expecting one. In fact, as I thought about it this morning — and what prompted me to put together this quick piece — was that I think the email was more for me than the person I was sending it to.

Here’s a clue. I said, at the top of the email, that I was sending this now “so I don’t lose these thoughts.”

I know myself. When I type things up and/or write them down, it’s like a practice session for my brain. I’m doing mental reps with the idea and stretching it further, thinking through next steps, and maybe even committing to some action, even if it’s just an initial vision for what could come later.

But there’s a second layer here, and one that I’m discovering more as I make time to go back through old notes, re-organize things, delete things, and see what needs to be prioritized. I’ve had different versions of the same ideas over and over again. Sometimes they come back in a very similar form, and other times they are slightly remixed but the roots are evident.

What I thought about this morning, and what I’ve been thinking about much more in recent months, is how I can create more time and focus to execute the ideas that matter most. How do I not only not lose them, but push myself to find out just how impactful they can be?

My habit of scribbling thoughts down anywhere and rarely deleting or trashing anything can be annoying, especially when I’m in spring cleaning mode, but looking back on something from 2013 and seeing that it connects to something else I thought of yesterday means that I’m either ahead of my time or waaay past due. It’s probably a healthy mix of both (and this is also not a new thought for me). I’m going to move the right things to the forefront sooner rather than later, so I can make more time to dive into the archives and see what else can be found again.

--

--

Brian Peterson

I am a husband, father, writer, educator, and generator of ideas. Working on my follow through. Latest book, Higher Learning, out now at learnhigher.com.