This is part of my Ten Ideas series, inspired in whole by James Altucher and his brilliant book Choose Yourself. In each post I explore ten new ideas to pursue, for others to use or possibly spawn new ideas between people. Most will be bad, some will be good and all will be worthwhile.
This post will explore ideas for the ideas I will generate as part of exercising my idea muscle. It's meta for sure. It was worth it for me, maybe there's something here for you.
Ten Topics For a Podcast
I've been thinking about starting a podcast over the last few months and haven't narrowed in on a topic to start on. The podcasts I listen to are generally around business, entrepreneurship, web development and personal growth. I don't know that there's a need for yet another voice in this space.
Ten People to Follow on Social Media
Really, this should be entitled "ten people to get to know because they are smart, inspiring or just plain interesting." I follow lots of interesting people and many of whom you might find interesting. This post idea is not about a quaint #FollowFriday but about sharing some people from whom I learn and grow with others who may be on similar journeys of growth and exploration.
Ten Inventions Needed for My Life
This one might be hard to write and will require some serious thought. I have pretty much everything I need in terms of gadgets but I am sure there are some things I could think of that don't exist in the real world (that I am aware of) that could change my life and that of others. Some may be for selfish reasons, some may be for the good of the world. I can't wait to see where this list takes me.
Ten Blog Niches
Sure, you could say there are blogs on every topic to the point of saturation. Similar to the podcast topic above, I am not sure where this blog will go. I've been posting here in fits and starts over the last couple of years after doing the same with other blogs and never building a theme (save for the work I did at smashingred.com and do at work at modx.com). Should it cover learning, creativity, starting over, life changes, my personal trials and successes of work and life? I should be saving this for the actual list post.
Ten Conferences I've Always Wanted to Attend But Never Have
Over the years I've pined to attend many conferences on Web Design and Development, Content, Marketing, Design and much more. Realistically, I've never made a real effort to go and being away from my family has a host of challenges so just heading off to a conference for myself and leaving them behind is not exactly something I can do and feel good. Thinking about the ones I'd like to go to and possibly speak at, I'll be able to consider why they appear worthwhile and whether I should go to in the future.
Ten Business Ideas from Two Or More Unrelated Ideas
This list is similar to (or exactly the same as) an exercise in James Altucher's book that started me down this path to exercising the idea muscle. This is done all the time in the entertainment industry where you take two completely disparate successful film ideas and combine them to something new. An example would be Die Hard meets Little Orphan Annie or The Cabin in the Woods meets Chicago. One more for fun would be Aliens meets Pocahontas (Avatar anyone?). None of these make sense at first glance, but who knows what could happen if you explored those disparate ideas and built a synopsis. Now this list will do the same with business and see what happens.
Ten Books to Write
This one is something I'd really like to explore deeply. I've heard time and time again that everyone has a book in them. I love to write and I'd love to write something and share it with the world. When I was in high school (and a little bit into University) I used to write poetry, song lyrics and short form fiction. I've had grand ideas of novels and once wrote some pretty trashy story starts as well. I am not sure if fiction is the path to take. I'll start the list and see what happens. Maybe a good idea will come and I can start on something. If not, maybe you can.
Ten Things I Used to Do And Wonder About Revisiting
As I mentioned in the 'books to write' item above, I used to write poetry (who knows if it's any good, it likely wasn't) and I've written more and more over the years even though I probably wrote very little from 1991 when I left University (no I didn't graduate) until 2004 when the work I started SmashingRed as web development and Marketing business (it was just a tiny freelance operation). What else can I look to my past for to round out my life. I used to play guitar and write songs in a basement band, I skateboarded from the time I was 5 to over 20 and I just stopped. I played Hockey, baseball, and paddled competitively as a teen. Which of these things, if any, should I revisit?
Ten Books to Read in the Next 6 Months
I've become a faster reader and love to read all I can. Every time I come across a topic that piques my curiosity or an author or thinker that has things to say that resonate with me and what I am interested in, I want to read what they write. I was first introduced to James Altucher by Chris Brogan on his podcast. What interested me in James initially was how Chris spoke of him and how it sounded like he was impacted by James ideas. I have a fondness for Chris as I see similarities in certain aspects of our personal journeys. When Chris interviewed James and then James interviewed Chris, I had to have James' book when it came out. It's one of those books that grabbed me and changed me. I want to find 10 books so that I can find another that will have a similar impact.
Ten People to Have a Meaningful Connection With in the Next Seven Days
In my dark state of earlier this year, I realized that I've been missing out on meaningful connections with people. I've been working from home since 2004 and most of the time I am staring at a blue screen. I've relied very heavily on my wife to be my source of connection.
What I do today, working at MODX is a result of making a connection with people in the MODX community and becoming friends with Ryan and some of the other team which led to a job, which led to something extremely challenging and interesting. It was those connections and building on them that made that happen.
I think I need to start exercising my connection muscle and build meaningful and strong connections with some and open opportunities with others. I am going to start this by listing ten people I want to connect with and I mean truly connect with. How I am going to do this and not be entirely self serving is another topic. I think the key will be to just ask about them. Lewis Howes, said in a recent podcast (I don't remember which one, it might have been the one where James Altucher interviews Lewis) that he just used to ask people what brought them their success and instead of a request for time or help, he just took interest in them. This sounds a little Covey-esque. I've not read Seven Habits so I can't say for sure.
Idea Exercise Day One: Success
My first go at exercising my idea muscle was a good experience. In the planning of this post I actually ended up with 17 topics and I had thought I'd just post them even if this is a 'ten list'. I've decided I'll keep them for another time.
What about you?
Is there anything you want to take from this list? Every item on this list is yours to pursue or you can even take on the exercise in your own way.