Going Beyond That First Burst of Inspiration

Don’t you just love that burst of inspiration and excitement that happens when you first learn about or have an awesome new idea? You can’t wait to get going on it! It’s going to change your world, and make things so much better.

But most of us never do it.

Why? Because we get home, and do all the things we normally do instead. We’re anxious to try out that idea, just as soon as we get some time or get finished with something that seems more pressing.

It’s a rare person who has a burst of inspiration or hears about a great idea, and then actually follows through with even a little bit of action on it. It’s rarer still for someone to implement the whole darn thing from start to finish.

You can recognize those people pretty easily though, because they’re usually what’s known as “successful”.

So how do you move from “Oh that’s a great idea!” to making it happen?

First, you have to make the time and work on implementing the idea until you’ve completed all the steps and are satisfied that you’re done. You have to make that time (at least a tiny bit of time!) every single day, starting right now, before you lose your initial enthusiasm. And when you feel like giving up, you have to keep going anyway. You’ll be glad you did.

You also have to stop looking at all the other cool possibilities out there until you’re done implementing this one. Don’t get distracted by the next great idea. It isn’t how cool, interesting, or useful something seems; it’s whether or not you really follow through on the idea and give it a fair shake.

Finally, you have to be accountable. Tell the world what you’re doing, and at the very least tell people you can count on to hold you to it. Then update them regularly on your progress — good or bad.

Yes, there’s always a risk that the idea won’t turn out the way you’d hoped. But it could turn out even better.


  • A long time ago, I remember talking with a fellow employee who was investing in income property at work. In less than six months, I bought my first property and the rest was history. I admit I spend some time just researching it. It took me a while to find the right real estate broker. This is when your judgment is important to know when to jump on an idea.

    • Yup, judgment is a big part of it. But, on a smaller scale, just plain finishing something that you’ve committed to doing can feel great. (Like writing a book in a month, for example.)

  • I like your point about STICKING with the idea, Jackie. I have no problems when it comes to taking action on my ideas but it’s quite a struggle to stay on task and not drop the idea when the next one comes along. My girlfriend tells me that I have an attention problem. I like to joke that I’m just being ‘dynamic’ :)

    • Oh, I know, all the new ideas seem so exciting don’t they? And it’s great to feel that, but it’s even better to see one through and see the results :)

  • I am pretty good about follow-through. My fault is that I have so many “great ideas” that my follow-through is normally about two years later. It does happen, but it takes awhile because I have so many other projects! I have recognized this and have started incorporating present-moment inspirations in with the ones I am working on from a year or more ago. It’s working well!

  • I remember that there was a site that would let you put your money where your mouth was and establish negative consequences if you didn’t follow through with your commitment. Can’t remember the name now, but that would be a stronger motivator for me than just about anything else.

  • Well said, sometimes you just have to get on with it, even before all the plans, steps, ramifications, and implications have been worked out. Forward progress and figuring things out along the way is more important than sitting and thinking. Be a Patton, not a Montgomery.