Our brain keeps working all day. Even when we are sleeping. Thoughts waft in and out of our consciousness. There is always an inner voice babbling something about everything. There is a constant nagging in our minds, whether we choose to act on it or not is a different discussion. There are a thousand ideas that we get throughout the day- ideas that are silly, stupid, crazy, impossible, ambitious and a host of other varieties. All these ideas may be great as such. But in reality, not all can grow into something more than just an idea. There are other external and internal factors that influence and the situations that one is in lets only certain ideas to grow and thrive.
Spending a great deal of energy on an idea that is bound to fail due to the various conditions surrounding it is not an intelligent thing to do. True that “Nothing is Impossible”, but practically somethings are impossible. For example, for all the climate change that’s going on, you still cannot make it snow naturally in South India. As of now, that’s impossible. So, if your idea is to ice ski in Chennai, it’s not going to work. You might instead want to settle for ice skating in Chennai on an artificial ice rink, or get ready to go to a place where you can ice ski. In totality, you should be ready to alter your idea to fit in with other worldly and practical factors, simultaneously making sure that you don’t change the basic idea itself.
Well, so the first step to achieving great actions out of great ideas is to evaluate the plethora of ideas that your brain brings up all through the day, and pick the right ones that can become great. To simply put it, you have to evaluate your ideas.
For example, in the book “The Value Strategy” by G. Jagannathan, there is a chapter titled “Evaluation Phase: Weighing the Options”. This chapter basically talks about how ideas that have been taken from all the sources in a business meeting have to evaluated later for the “best alternative idea that will equally satisfy the basic function, at an overall reduced cost”. So, here we can see that the practical factor that would be key to the selection of the final idea is based on this. Some of the factors as identified in the book for the business that they discussed are safety, durability, reliability, cost, availability, acceptability by the user, etc.
Generally ideas can be evaluated by sorting out priorities. One should ask questions to oneself before they start implementing or working on an idea. Is the subject of the idea in itself most important to them? Or is it the end result that the idea can achieve more important? If the end result is more important, then is there any other idea that they have in mind that can lead to the result with lesser investment and better productivity?
What must be invested to carry out the idea? Is the subject of investment available (eg. money, time, land, etc.)? How sure does the result look? Is it a stand-alone idea or inter-dependent one?
The nature and type of questions will be different for different ideas. In fact, not all questions can be answered at the beginning. But these questions must be revisited every now and then to stay on track. As a final note, humans are passionate creatures with a powerful brain and our actions are driven by intuitions. So, on the pursuit of answering such questions and methodically sculpting ideas, one should not ignore the gut feeling that prompts us to do something even when the odds are against it. The evaluation phase is just to be statistically and cognitively informed. A balance is what we require for success.