Lately I’ve been trying to be more intentional about capturing the insights that enter my conscious mind when I wake up in the middle the night, walk the dog, or otherwise let my mind wander freely. Some of them are potentially brilliant in their application! Sometimes I capture them with a photo . . . other times with a note or comment to myself. And there the potential value grinds to a halt.
It occurred to me today that insights in and of themselves are interesting; however, the real value comes in doing something with them.
I am now trying to look at insights as hypotheses to be tested out in action. For example, I might have a personal insight about the root of my occasional procrastination—okay, perhaps not so occasional! That insight will do very little for me if I don’t act on it—it may hold tremendous potential that completely dissipates if I do nothing with it.
So here is my plan, formulated in the shower this morning. Whenever I have a flash of insight, I will follow these three steps . . . you may wish to try doing the same yourself:
- Record my insight in writing (addresses the question “what’s so?”).
- Record my answer(s) to the question “In what ways might this insight be relevant to what I am currently doing in my work or my life” (addresses the question “so what?”).
- Describe 1 or 2 specific actions I commit to take today to apply the insight (addresses the question “what now?”).
- At the end of the day, reflect on the results of applying my insight and determine what else (if anything) can be done with it (addresses the question “what did I learn that I will continue to apply?”).
Enough for now—I’m off to purchase a small, waterproof “Insight Capturing Device” from a kayaking store!