Most of us have many thoughts every day. We could be thinking about what errands need to run today, or what all activities do our kids need to be delivered to, or what phone calls need to be made today. You then commingle those with the thousand fleeting thoughts a day on your creative and imaginary genius of new ideas creating small positive fires in your mind and soul.
For me, I was able to keep my life its calendar of events, my Rolodex, and to-do lists all in my head up until about 2005. Or at least so I thought. Up to that point, my wife and I had no kids, no pressing business issues, and leading any sort of organization, a charity organization, or having many people depend on our actions and execution was minimal. But in 2005 we purchased a business, and in the beginning, it was just working, every day it was working, and I was keeping all my to-do lists in my head, and any other actions needed in there as well.
But it was about 6 months into it, I realized I needed to begin to improve my level of organization and start writing things down, because of a few missed phone calls to make and a few miss conversations, and a few missed action items, those “misses” began to cost “me” money. Or in my improved leader world, cost “us” money. I realized as life evolved as I knew it, things were changing, and all of a sudden, more people were dependent on my actions. Up until 2005, only my wife and I were dependent on my actions, but all of a sudden, I had 6 people were depending on my actions and me not missing needed opportunities. And it’s simple things, like making a phone call. Some phone calls could be the $10,000 phone call. Not returning an email, could be the $5,000 email. Forgetting to do them or not getting them done, could lose a customer that has given you $10,000 in business a year, or could be a prospective customer that will give you even more.
The real key is, especially as I lead and mentor many young adults, is getting them and others to understand, you need to have a pen, and write things down. You need to have a calendar (paper or digital), and start getting important things on it. You need to have an app or two that lets you create to-do lists. You need an app that allows you to capture your creative thoughts and words before they escape your mind and are lost for infinity.
As life progresses, it could be items needing to be written down or typed in on our kids, maybe your marriage could be important life-changing event days for special people around you that need your special note on that tragic annual day for them. Or maybe it’s on your business development ideas, or your future book or the random creative thoughts of a wild imagination that could be collectively put together someday to serve others through your random thoughts plan developed on those randomly caught thoughts over the last 5 years.
We all have a thousand fleeting thoughts every day. The key is, what are you doing with them? I used to have an occasional lunch with a good friend’s dad, named Tim Miller, and as we ate lunch, virtually every day, in the middle of that lunch, he would pull out a pen and paper from his chest pocket and write a note or two. He is where I first really “took note” of this. I then began using post-it notes and had them pegged all over my desk, steering wheel, and laptop. And as I accomplished the note, it got ripped off. Of course now, for me, it’s almost all digitized in various apps, etc. But, Tim was highly successful, and one of my inner core values was to do the things successful people do. And many times, it simply starts by writing “it” down so we don’t forget that “thought”.
What are you doing with your thoughts? Your fragile and often forgotten thoughts could change your life. There is more than one song that has hit the #1 spot in the charts that were jotted down on a napkin. But if they hadn’t used that napkin, that next #1 would not have happened. It’s a fragile fleeting thought. Don’t suppress or ignore your thoughts. Write them down! Put them on your calendar, put them in your calendar, put them on your Color note app, put them on your Anydo app, put them in your Trello app. These are all apps I use. Today, we have all the paper options in the world, and another world of apps at our fingertips, so we have no excuses! That fleeting thought could be a $10,000 lost, not written down, thought!