• Ben

Execution vs Ideation

Life tends to ebb and flow. We move between one extreme and another.

Most of my time in college has been spent executing. Whether it’s working on homework and classwork or maximizing my productivity at work, I’ve been getting shit done. I’ve been working based on other people’s ideas and recommendations.

Something cool happened more recently: I’ve sparked my creativity. Now, I never really saw myself as a creative person; I thought I’d work best building on others’ ideas.

I came to a fun realization: yes, I’m a workhorse, but I also love to create. Whether it’s designing a trebuchet for a pumpkin-slinging competition for my Boy Scout troop (ask my brother – it happened), or doing theatre throughout middle and high school, I have a spark of creativity (read: insanity) that complements my ability to execute.

As I realized I’d been neglecting a big part of my personality, it awoke and reared its beautiful head. I looked at life differently. I saw opportunity everywhere instead of only seeing the traditional paths. I saw different paths that my career could follow to reach my goals.

I began ideating.

I started here.

I started here.

And ended up here.

And ended up here.

But there’s a problem: Ideas are only so valuable.

We’ve all heard people claim that they had they idea for Uber before it happened. You know who became millionaires? The founders of Uber. You know who didn’t? Everyone that “had the idea” but didn’t do anything with it.

I fell into that trap.

As my good friend Mike would say: I had a bad case of “Oh, shiny!”

I began having a bunch of good ideas – which is good, don’t get me wrong – but didn’t execute on any of them. I simply said, “Oh, I could do this! Or this! Or this!” I saw different things I could do and different paths I could take, but I didn’t do shit.

Ideation is good, but only ideating is toxic.

“Oh, shiny!” is fucking poisonous.

Like 95% of life, it takes balance. I need to deploy my creativity to figure out how to efficiently do the shit I choose to do. I need to blend execution and ideation. I have to choose what ideas to execute on, and then go all in.

The good news is that’s exactly what I’m doing.

Stay tuned, because shit’s about to get interesting.

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