You Can’t Have Big Ideas Unless You Do These Three Things

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You Can't Have Big Ideas Unless You Do These Three Things

I recently ran into a dad I know. He said that they are often at hockey several nights a week. I know other kids that despite being in early elementary school have schedules like a high schooler. I also know adults who seem to have no downtime.

Plato is quoted as saying, “An unexamined life is a life not worth living.”

When we look at where creativity comes from and how ideas are generated, it’s not usually when our minds are full. Usually, our minds come up with new ideas when we’re in the shower, on a long, quiet drive or right before we fall asleep. There are actually three myths around ideas that we have to address: We have to hustle and push to have big ideas, you have to be highly qualified, and you have to come up with new ideas.

Myth #1: We have to hustle to have big ideas

Whether it is Gary Vaynerchuk in business, a CrossFit instructor, or your boss, the message we receive is that we need to do more with less. But, the truth is our greatest aha moments come not when we are stressed, busy, and overwhelmed, but instead when we slow down and allow our brains to be optimized.

Bill Gates and Warren Buffet were on the Charlie Rose Show. Bill was talking about how Warren’s schedule has numerous gaps for thinking and pondering. The investment of time to slow down can actually optimize the time that we are working on an idea.

Myth #2: You have to be the best to have a voice for your ideas

Have you heard of “imposter syndrome”? It’s when you do something, people look to you for advice and you feel like you have no idea what you’re doing. Sometimes this is true, but more times than not, your skills, training, and unique experiences actually allow you to teach in a way that is totally unique.

Everyone has unique experiences that give them a statistical advantage, therefore, we have a responsibility to society to innovate, create, and offer options for a better world.

Myth #3: We have to come up with new ideas

Almost every successful movie uses the same simple plot: set-up, confrontation, resolution. Does that mean the nuances of a movie don’t make it entertaining, of course not. Uber was created when two tech guys were stuck in bad weather in Paris, waiting for a taxi. They thought about how all the elements of a better way existed: GPS, on-demand technology, and cars.

They launched Uber by linking together established ideas, to create a new idea. The truth is that

innovation rarely comes from creating something out of nothing, rather it is when we link together good ideas in a new form.

Whether in business, personal, or family life we have to slow down. Our pace is making it harder on ourselves by making it harder to have good ideas. Clarity comes when we have a pace of work and retreat. The myths that we need to hustle, be highly qualified, and come up with new ideas are not true. Instead, we need to recognize that our best ideas come from slowing down, you have a unique voice, and that linking old ideas create new ideas.

Joe Sanok is a business consultant, TEDx speaker, and podcaster. He’s been featured in Forbes, Huffington Post, and Yahoo News. To more business podcasts and articles find his work at