How many people reading this right now have had thoughts that you didn't act on? I am raising my hand just in case you were wondering. Unfortunately we do this to ourselves all the time. Now, when we don't act on what we are thinking, how do we feel? I know for me, I feel disappointed and frustrated with myself. The thoughts or ideas that I had were good ones, if I don't say so myself, that's why I feel the way I do when I don't do anything with them. Now, here is the big question, why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we ignore the awesome thoughts that we have, only to set ourselves up for disappointment and frustration. I have a few thoughts on that.
My first thought is that we don't prioritize it. It is something that comes to mind but we don't think it is worth the effort to pursue. When the thought comes, we think about it for a short time thinking of what the potential result would be and if we don't like it we move on. Then something happens that triggers that thought again and that is when we have the thought of "I wish I would have".
My next thought is that we think we will remember it later and we will do something with it then. That is so bad but we are all guilty of doing this one. Here's the problem with that, usually when we are ready to do something with that thought we had, we can't remember it. We didn't write down the full thought or even a few key words on a Post It note. Now we are wrecking our brain trying to remember what it was. We try to re-create our activities and thinking patterns hoping it will bring it back. It normally doesn't work so now we are disappointed and frustrated. It may eventually come back but we think the moment for that has past and we ignore it again.
My last thought on this is that we write it down, full thought or Post It note, but we don't see it through. We have gone the first step of writing it down, which beats the first (2) thoughts I talked about, but we only go as far with the thought as we are comfortable with. Once this thought becomes work we are no longer interested. As long as it doesn't take much effort, doesn't feel like work to see what it looks like, we are all for it. Once it begins to be work we loose interest.
To resolve these thought patterns, we need to give each thought it's own life. We need to give each thought an opportunity to be something. Each thought deserves a chance, it didn't come to you for no reason. There is something to it and we need to find out what it is,
Les Brown has this great visual that he uses about your dreams.
Imagine being on your death bed, and standing around you is the ghost of the dreams, the ideas, the abilities, the talents given to you by life.. That you for whatever reason, you never went after that dream. You never acted on those ideas. You never used them talents. You never used those gifts; and there they are standing beside your bed, looking at YOU with large, angry eyes saying we came to you and only you could have given us life!.. And now.. we must die with you forever. - Les Brown
The late Myles Monroe also has a great quote
“The wealthiest place in the world is not the gold mines of South America or the oil fields of Iraq or Iran. They are not the diamond mines of South Africa or the banks of the world. The wealthiest place on the planet is just down the road. It is the cemetery. There lie buried companies that were never started, inventions that were never made, bestselling books that were never written, and masterpieces that were never painted. In the cemetery is buried the greatest treasure of untapped potential.”― Myles Munroe
Both of these great mean are telling us to stop sitting on our thoughts and act on them. There are things that we have in our heads that the world needs but will never get if we don't act on the things in our head. Don't deprive the world of your greatness. Give us what you have. You will feel better and may help someone else feel better.