Thoughts v Ideas

I sat in the car on the way back from our lovely walk in Noosa the other day, and I said to my husband I’m trying to come with an idea for my blog. He said, what about ‘how to come up with an idea!’ Of course I said, no, because it wasn’t my idea!… But then I gave it some ‘thought’ and decided it was a good idea!

Thoughts v ideas. There’s a subtle difference. Something worth exploring…So what’s the difference between a thought and an idea? and what does it matter anyway? 

I have lots of thoughts, hundreds of them every day. I’m sure you do too. Some of them are rather annoying and I just want to switch off my brain, and I do!. I try to limit the mind-numbing choices though, like watching TV and drinking alcohol, but I have to admit these are great ways to shut off the thoughts sometimes…

Imagine, getting up in the morning, putting on the TV, reading the paper, listening to the radio – that’s your first hour of the day taken up with other people’s thoughts! There’s a very real danger that doing this will kill your own ideas and just put their thoughts in your head.

I prefer to use calmer methods of quietening the mind, like meditation or yoga, or focussing on something peaceful and enjoyable like cooking or painting. It is important to take care of your mind because it can run a bit rampant if you’re not careful! And trying to avoid your mind doesn’t really work, because your mind is a lively and ever-changing creature. If you try to avoid your mind and choose to fill it with other people’s thoughts, you run the danger of losing the ability to come up with your own ideas, of hearing your own thoughts and being able to consciously choose the ones which serve you.

Yes some people are very good at delivering their thoughts quite vehemently. With a lack of self-confidence and a good dose of self-doubt, it’s easy to listen to others and believe them. Sure they are probably not trying to do any harm, but we really need to stay true to our own thoughts, and nurture them into our own ideas so we can craft them into reality, because It’s true, thoughts really do become our reality.

So, how do we nurture our thoughts and craft them into good ideas that serve us…

1. Start each day with your own fresh thoughts. Avoid external interruption from TV until you have cleared your mind of negativity.

2. If you don’t like your thoughts in the morning
(I know I don’t always wake up with thoughts that are going to inspire me for the day!) clear your mind with some journaling or meditation.

3. Make space for your own thoughts every day. Simple reflection, quiet time with no interruptions. See where your mind takes you.

4. Allow thoughts to come and don’t judge them. Imagine your thoughts are on a conveyor belt, pick the ones that serve you best, let the others go by… Remember thoughts are only thoughts, they only become real when we act on them.

5. Focus on one thing – be present. Don’t listen to that annoying voice that hovers in the back of your mind which keeps saying, why are you doing this? what’s the point? No-one’s gonna listen to YOU! I should be doing something else. That hinders focus and stops you from finding your flow.

6. Don’t over-think. Feel your way too… we can sometimes think our way into fear and doubt and freeze from acting on any good ideas that come along!

7. Practice self-awareness. Learn how to observe yourself, your thoughts, your actions, so you can direct your mind and create a life that works for you.