The right question for your big idea

What’s your BIG idea? You know, that thing stirring within you that you can’t seem to shake?

Regardless of whether you think you’re creative, God made you in His image — with a creative spirit within you. As Julia Cameron wrote in her seminal book, The Artist’s Way, “Creativity is God’s gift to us. Our use of it is our gift back to God.”

So what’s that thing you’re inspired to create? Go on. Take a moment. Set aside all your I-don’t-have-time-for-that impulses and think about it.

The right question for your big idea

If you’re like me, you have plenty of ideas; some big, some small. Each of them carry both excitement and burden. Excitement in seeing it come to life. Burden by the creation of it. The bigger the idea, the greater the burden, and the more likely you are to say one of the following:

  • I need a block of time for that. I’ll work on it this weekend; or during a retreat; or next year; or after the kid’s leave home; or when I retire.
  • I’ve got more pressing matters that I need to focus on right now.
  • I don’t have the capability, resources, know-how, support (you name it) to do that.

The more often you say these things, the more convinced you become. Soon, you’ll stop having big ideas altogether because they’ll always be out of reach.

Instead, what if you asked yourself this question: “What’s the smallest step I could take toward my idea today?” Forget the huge chunks of time that never come. Dispel those insecurities. Set aside the panic about today’s demands and simply choose one little thing you know you can do today—however embarrassingly small—that get’s you even infintesimally closer to your goal.

“Action is eloquence,” Shakespeare wrote. And eloquence is conveyed in sequence. Books are comprised of chapters, chapters of paragraphs, paragraphs of sentences, sentences of words, words of letters, letters of strokes. At its source is where you stand today—with an idea.

Your idea is probably not about a book, but it’s still composed of small steps. And every day there’s a small step you could take toward it. Find today’s and do it. And tomorrow, find the small one that’s waiting for you to take too.

What  step are you committing to take today?

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