Race to Saturn

Electric Ideas

Audio Version of this Surge

Electric Ideas Audio, Draft Version 1 (posting in the spirit of sharing work in progress)

Written Version

We have electric ideas.

These are ideas that come to us as flashes of insight. When we have them we get a physical feeling of energy in our body. And we feel lighter.

When you get an electric idea, it might seem like a glimpse of something too good to be true. Maybe it would make life too easy to be true, or too fun to be true, or too free.

Electric ideas are the ideas we get that make us feel expansive. The ideas that make us more excited to be alive.

But just like they come to us in a flash, if we don’t hold onto them, they go away in an instant.

And it’s easy to let them go. Because often when these ideas come to us, they don’t fit easily into what we’re doing in that moment. They could be about a different direction that we should take, big or small. Or they might be about something we’d do at another time.

So it can happen like this: An electric idea comes to us, we get that fast feeling of energy in our bodies, we get that moment of true optimism, and then the idea is gone, in less than a second.

But don’t let your electric ideas go. Because I believe they’re showing us what we can do to to move toward the most exciting version of ourselves. They’re showing us our destiny.

There’s an author that I like from the 1900s whose name was Florence Scovel Shinn. She put it well in her book “The Power of the Spoken Word” when she said:

“The Divine idea of your life often flashes across your consciousness as something too good to be true.” And then a few sentences later: “If we could get the realization back of these words doors would fly open and channels be cleared.” (The Power of the Spoken Word from The Writings of Florence Scovel Shinn, 1945, pages 286-287.)

Florence Shinn talked about these flashes of insight as being part of the “Divine Idea” of our lives. And maybe they do come from somewhere supernatural.

Or maybe they come from a force that’s in us, and that force can access all of the experiences that we’ve ever had. And maybe not just our own experiences, but the experiences of generations.

I don’t know the mechanics of it all. But I believe that this force can take all those experiences, and put them together into a clear idea for something we can do. And that idea is probably going to just be smarter than what we could come up with with in our day to day conscious thinking.

So when you have an electric idea, you really want to pay attention, and you don’t want to let it just fade away.

It’s ok if you don’t know what to do with that idea in the moment that you have it.

I’ve found that these ideas have an almost magical momentum, once you take a step toward them. Then, new ideas start coming to you. New solutions arise to problems that used to seem like big deals before you started moving forward.

So I want to lower the barrier to doing something with electric ideas when they come to me. When I get an electric idea, I want to write it down. And then I want to take some kind of step toward it, even if it’s just something small. Something that I can do in that moment, or, if I’m in the middle of something else, a step that I schedule to do later.

You don’t need to figure everything out. You don’t need to solve all the issues that you can think of in that moment.

You just need to move toward an electric idea when you get one.

And realize that you want to pay attention to it, because there’s something special happening.