How to Go Deeper Than the “Idea of the Day!”

The human mind is predisposed to getting trapped or side-tracked by easy, obvious solutions. We’re enamored by the “Idea of the Day” and can become stuck inside the message of a recently released book, a single quote, or the latest podcast. This is never more true than when our mental reservoirs are depleted, like, for example, at the end of a difficult year. We’re pushing-square shaped problems into circular holes and expecting them to fit. 

To be clear, there may be truth and wisdom to uncover in those books, quotes, and podcasts — all those new ideas! But the truth is more complicated than “Yes” and “No.” What works for one person and one situation doesn’t work for another. We often require a bit of this and that, one idea and another and another, layered and interlacing to create a solution that addresses and impacts complex challenges and meaningful change.

For example, let’s say you’re trying to improve your health in the new year, and you decide to implement a lifestyle strategy or nutrition plan you’ve seen online. Maybe it meets a couple of your requirements and you get hooked by the simplicity factor. However, when you apply it to your life, there’s something missing that doesn’t exactly work for you. Perhaps there’s not enough protein for how much weight exercise you’re doing, or you’re working on endurance but the diet doesn’t include carbs. That’s a mismatch, and it doesn’t matter how trendy, simple, or obvious the plan is — It’s not for you. 

3 Ways to Go Deeper Than the Simple Solution

  1. Get really clear about what you want: It’s the whole “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there” of it all. Zoom in on where you want to go and circle that place on the map. Determine what you need to make the journey and what you’re willing to leave behind.
  2. Blend ideas to create something new: Pablo Picasso said, “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” And it’s true that some of the most beautiful creations are made up of pieces of inspiration grabbed from here and there. So, create something new out of all those ideas that triggered excitement or basic intrigue. 
  3. Be stubbornly open to change: It sounds counterintuitive — be unwavering about your willingness to waver. The truth is, there will be roadblocks, moments of backtracking, and maybe even reasons to re-route completely. That’s fine and good! Prepare yourself for the inevitability of adapting and adjusting. 

Acknowledge Complexity 

If this topic resonates with you, read more on our blog: “How Do We Acknowledge Complexity On Our Search For Simplicity.” It takes deep thought and attention to lead with complexity, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to make things complicated.