How To Turn Your Ideas Into Reality In 3 Quick Steps
Stuck on how to make your ideas happen? These three steps help you turn your ideas into reality without falling into the traps that keep most people stuck.
Ideas come in many forms. Sometimes they eat at you. Other times they appear and disappear in a flash in a moment of inspiration.
Bonus: Grab this Key Outcome (Project Productivity Quickstart Checklist). You'll need it in step three.
What do you do with your flashes of inspiration?
You probably go through your day with many new ideas passing through your head. But, in most cases, you probably don't capture most of these thoughts or spend any time evaluating the value of these conceptions.
Suppose you were to stop and assess your ideas compared to the significant innovations in recent history. In that case, a realization might hit you.
Ideas have tremendous value.
You can look at the Wright Brothers coming up with the airplane or Henry Ford and the assembly line for making cars accessible to everybody. Or you could even think of something more recent, such as the iPhone or artificial intelligence, and all these things coming out. And you can stop and ask yourself, what's the value of one of these ideas?
Think of an idea, like Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook, a Digital Commons for people in his school, that turned into a billion-dollar company. The idea was a simple idea most software engineers could build. Junior engineers making less than $100,000 a year could have developed the concept and produced the first version of Facebook.
But the concept was worth a billion dollars if you executed it correctly. So that's the thing what is the value of an idea? And it's a very high value. But that's the key ideas alone are not enough.
Because if you take the example of the Wright Brothers, who came up with the idea of a flying machine, they weren't the first to come up with that idea. Leonardo da Vinci had drawings of this idea, his concept for a flying machine. But he couldn't get that done based on the limitations of his time in history or his execution.
Funny enough, one fun fact about Da Vinci was that he was a massive procrastinator. One of his paintings actually took him a good 18 years to finish. But that's neither here nor there.
And so you have to know how to bring your ideas into reality.
But concepts alone are not enough to make ideas happen
And that's what I'm going to share here today.
- What are the three steps that you need to make your visions turn your vision into reality?
- What's the one must-have for your idea to see the light of day? With this one thing, you must have this for your thoughts to see the light of day.
- And what is the counterintuitive thing that visionaries, big idea guys, and big thinkers must embrace to have any chance of success?
So those are the three things that we'll cover.
And with those, you'll be able to see how to take your idea from a glint in your eye into something you can hold in your hands.
You have to clarify your idea.
So the first step in making your ideas into reality is you have to clarify your concept.
Many people have vague ideas. It's a loose concept that is not concrete enough for them to get a solid grasp.
The first step with any theory is to get clear on the idea, understand the trigger for that idea, and be able to articulate that idea.
And the thought process for clarifying your concept goes along the lines of these four questions.
- What is it?
- The step is to clarify the concrete components of the concept and how you can express this concept to others.
- Who is it for? This could be as simple as an achievement that is just for you. Or this could be just for your family, or it could be life-changing and will change the course of Humanity as we know it. But at the core, you have to be able to nail down who it's for.
- Why does it need to exist? This next step is more critical: Why it needs to exist if you start going down the path of finding out why it needs to live, you might then see that this idea does not need to exist or must exist. But to do that, you must know why it needs to exist.
- Why now? So the next thing to clarify this idea is why now. Why not later? Why not never? Or why not today? But you have to know why now, why does this idea need to come out now.
Put Ideas Into Words
That's the thought process you must go through when clarifying your vision. If you're quick on it, the first one might be challenging, and the second might also be.
But once you know who it’s for, as tricky as it might be if you never thought about it, the rest get easier.
And while it might be challenging to get clear on the exact idea, your reasons will reveal themselves if you look inward and the same goes for the timing.
Define your objective
The next step is you have to clarify your objective. So once you are clear on the idea, you have to define what this is supposed to do for you. Now, there's a difference between objectives and goals and outcomes. I'll cover some of those later.
Clarifying the objective for making your idea happen:
- What do you stand to gain from this idea? And what will it do for you to drive and motivate you?
- If this idea materializes, what will it do for you? The next thing you have to get clear on is what it will do for you if it actually happens. Internally this might mean you have this idea, it feels good to share it with people, and that's where you want to leave it. And then there's another thing where you have this idea, and if this idea happens, this is how your life will change. This is what's going to be different.
- What do you want to get from this? This is your selfish motivation, fame, recognition, and the gratification of knowing that you did a good deed. Whatever it is, creative expression, showing that you are the greatest or the nicest, or whatever, however you want to phrase that also, what will change in your world if this happens?
So that's the key to clarifying the objective. Once you know what the idea is, and you're clear, and who it's for why now why it's needed, then you have to get clear on what you want this to do for you now, and if it comes to reality, what would you like this to mean, for you?
What are the results and what benefits do those results get you?
If you think about it differently, you can think about it this way, if the results for this were already actual, and the idea the manifestation of this idea was in your hands today? How would your life be better for it? What would that do in your world?
That's the thing that you have to clear, get clear on because that's your objective, or at least it should be. And you should know when you're setting out to go about this project. Now, once you realize you clear the idea and you're clear on your objective, the next thing is you have to identify the critical outcome that you want to get.
Know Your Must-Have Outcome For The Idea
Returning to the example of Leonardo da Vinci's idea for a flying machine, you can compare that to the Wright brothers, who had the same idea. But the concepts looked quite different. This is common when you're in the realm of the intangible.
Your vision could state your desire as simple as wanting to enable human flight. Well, that idea can look very different.
The outcome of that idea can look very different depending on how you approach it. Do you want to create an antigravity belt? Is this idea going to be a design for a jetpack? Are you going to invent a flying machine? Or will this be a portable wing-construct gadget you attach to your back like Icarus so you can fly by moving your arms?
Since the reality of your vision can look different, you have to pin it down. Again, knowing your objective becomes helpful at this stage.
For your ideas to see the light of day, you need constraints. And to have limitations, you have to know your reasoning, and you have to know your objectives. And you have to know the bounds of the idea to make it happen. So let's see how you go about identifying your key outcomes.
The thought process for clarifying your project
So the thought process on your key outcomes is...
- What is the actual result you need to make this vision a reality? In other words, what are the concrete and tangible thing that has to change in the world for you to say yes, this is the idea manifested? What will confirm that this is the idea you saw in your head?
- What are the constraints you have to account for? You can believe in abundance all you want, as I do, but you must realize that your resources will have limits at any point in life. You can get more if you're resourceful, but there will be some constraints to the number of resources you have at any point in time. So, therefore, you have to put boundaries around your idea to make it happen.
- What does progress look like? And how do you measure it? That's also an essential thing. Because if you're building a flying machine, then progress might look like how much of what we've built matches up to the design we came up with. But you must know what progress looks like and how you measure it.
- And then you have to ask, what does "done" look like? How will you know when this thing is done?
This is how you know you have achieved the thing. This is how you will recognize that your idea has come to fruition.
You must identify the finish line to understand it when you get there.
And so, to recap, the step to making your ideas happen in the real world more often are:
- First, get clear on the concept itself.
- Clarify the objective you're after as a result of making this vision a reality.
- And identify the critical outcome that must happen in the world for you to manifest this idea.
Remember, thoughts alone are not enough.
You have to be able to go through this process and this cycle. And it's an iterative cycle because you can start, get a new idea, go through the cycle, get a new idea along the way, and shift it. So you have to clarify the new concept.
Figure out why that needs to exist and the objective, and then you can turn that into a different outcome. But, of course, you can't do that too much, or else you create a moving finish line for yourself.
But you have to have that.
Your first action step
But the first step is that you have to get clarity. And clarity is the key to all of this: clarifying your idea, your objective, and your crucial outcome, then figuring out what you are working on.
Because once you know what you're working on and what stage in that cycle you're in, you can make decisions and move forward.
So that's it. Those are the three steps to get your ideas from a glint in your eye, just the concept in your mind, into something that can be tangible and concrete that you can work on.
And if you do that more often, you will make your ideas happen more quickly.
P.S. The key to this whole process is the outcome and I have created a step-by-step checklist that walks you through this process - Get it here.
A bit more action...
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