From Insight to ActionLately 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:

  1. Record my insight in writing (addresses the question “what’s so?”).
  2. 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?”).
  3. Describe 1 or 2 specific actions I commit to take today to apply the insight (addresses the question “what now?”).
  4. 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!

From Insight to Action [A]

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