How do you move from a concept to a reality?
Do you ever get so many ideas in your mind that you feel paralyzed and can’t take another step?
I have addressed these questions previously, but there is a (somewhat unromantic) part of the process that we need to explore. Actually, I believe that one answer can help you work through both dilemmas.
Have you ever heard the saying, “The greatest journey a man will ever make is the 18 inches from his head to his heart?” Apparently this a proven fact of our anatomy. It is approximately 18 inches (or 45.72 centimeters) from our anatomical brain to our anatomical heart. Of course the saying is not referring to our organs. Instead, it is a metaphor that refers to incorporating what you know into who you are. For many of us who profess a belief in Jesus, that belief began as mental acknowledgment. Our journey is living into a relationship where that belief envelops our identity, our soul.
Another similar distance, and not unrelated to the 18 inches, or perhaps as part of the process, is the even further distance from your head to paper. I have noticed that we use a lot of words in our conversations. These words are (sometimes) necessary for processing and relating, but so few of these words end up on paper. They simply float around in space and ultimately are no more valuable than the time we spend speaking them. Many simply fall to the ground.
Or there are the words that never even make it to the air. They stay in our minds and never reach the ears of another. There are several reasons why we might choose not to share these words. We think they will sound stupid. We think someone will steal them and claim them for as their own. We are anxious about how they might be received. The deadliest reason for not allowing our words to see the light of day is that we don’t think they are good enough. So we selfishly keep them to ourselves.
I’m convinced that more words need to make the journey from our mind to our paper. Never should you sit in a conversation without some form on note-taking in front of you. We are much more effective following our meetings, informal conversations, and other environments where words are shared if they make it to paper (or screen for those who prefer digital words). I do not have a scientifically-verified figure, but effectiveness is probably increased somewhere around 20,000%, at least, when we actually put our (or others’) thoughts and ideas on paper.
Putting words on paper also gets ideas out of your head when they are blocking your productivity. How many great and helpful blogs have never been written? How many inspiring messages were never shared publicly? How many interesting books were never published? How many systems and process were never implemented? All because the distance from head to paper was not journeyed.
We are very good at selfishly keeping words in our minds. We are also good at sharing lots of words that never move us closer toward where we hope/desire/strive to be. All because they never make the journey from our head to paper.
I encourage you to share your words and write them down.