I am a list maker. Maybe a compulsive list maker. I cannot go to sleep if my list for the next day is not safely tallied and resting nearby. My excuse for this is that I keep so many different balls in the air and when one or more happens to drop I may not think of it again for weeks at a time. If I write it down, I am much more confident that it will be attended to in good time. Okay, the other reason is that I am growing more forgetful. This concerns me greatly. I have a 90 year old mother who remembers nothing. And I mean absolutely nothing. Not the sentence you just spoke to her, not the name of her caretaker that she sees 2 times a day, 6 days a week, not anything from her childhood, or about her deceased husband or about her children, let alone her grandchildren and we will not even mention the great grands. Well, to be fair she has a few random scraps that she seems to hold in a permanent vault… they are mostly general jokes. Like “I am not a retired nurse because once a nurse, always a nurse.” So with that scary specter breathing down my neck, I do not take my forgetfulness lightly. But what can you do? Play Luminosity, eat kale, exercise , pray for the end to come before my mind goes and of course, make lists.
Already a firm believer you can imagine my utmost delight to discover James Altucher http://www.jamesaltucher.com/ who says,
“I want you to be an idea machine. For the past 20 years all I’ve done is come up with ideas. Most of them bad, horrible. Ugly, stupid.”
He talks about being anxious, miserable and stuck.
“But WHENEVER I’ve been stuck on the floor I knew the only way to kick into action was to start building my idea muscle again. Because it is in those moments that my brain had become smaller, damaged, and my idea muscle had atrophied. And from that moment it takes six months (on average) to 100% change my life around.”
Supposedly he has done this numerous times going form mufti-millionaire to bum many times. (Sounds a little far fetched to me, but what do I know about millionaires… or bums for that matter?)
More from Altucher:
WRITE A LIST EVERY DAY OF IDEAS
So start now, every day list 10 ideas. I make a list every day. It can be a list on anything.
So what happens after a year: you have 3650 ideas. Out of those maybe one or two might be decent. BUT, the more you do it, the better the muscle is.
BUT… An idea is not just “I will start an airline for outerspace”. That may or may not be a good idea. An idea is a tuplet. It looks like this: idea, spec of the whole idea, next step to execute, timeline. THAT is a full idea.
Be an idea warrior.
So okay it is not enough to just make my to-do lists. Now I am making idea lists. I am out there with my idea saber, slashing away the cobwebs and pretty soon I will be rich, or happy, or at least the owner of many lists.
Let’s see how that goes. There are days when I truly do not seem to have a single new idea in there. But then I relax a little and kind of blur my vision and see either from a distance or else as if with a magnifying glass focusing in so close that the picture looks like something else entirely. This could either get very interesting or take my compulsive list making to a whole new level of insanity. We shall see. I will report back. But if you don’t hear from me, you will know that it did not make back onto my list. Oh well.