‘Maybe this idea is a bit crazy. What’s the point of exploring it?!’
This is how a client expressed her resistance to exploring a dream, an idea of hers. What’s the point? I believe there are five points why you should.
Opportunity to learn about a sector
Exploring an idea you have about something you would like to do, allows you to get deeper into the sector. Rather than keep dreaming, and perhaps later in life regretting not having done it, it is better to immerse yourself in the idea: research and read about it, talk to people working in the area, maybe even work or get involved in a similar project if possible. By learning about the sector, rather than having a vague (and maybe wrong) idea about it, you gain clarity on its implications. This might take you a few weeks or even months – but in the end, you’ll talk with knowledge.
Ability to make a well thought-out decision
About a decade ago, I was thinking of setting up a film/documentary production company. Based on my systematic research I decided, for various reasons, not to go ahead with it but rather use my talents somewhere else and keep my love of film satisfied in different ways. I never regretted my decision.
Gathering information and better understanding your idea allows you to make a well thought-through decision. When you gain clarity on whether you want to pursue the idea, you can either keep the door enthusiastically open or close it, equally enthusiastically. Either way, you will feel great about doing so! That clarity is worth a lot – a lot of inner peace.
Widening your network
While doing your research, you will get in touch with people in the sector and you will be amazed at how many people you meet. These might be people you know but have lost touch with, so this is a nice and interesting way to reconnect. You will most definitely also get to know new people and find you have a lot in common. So through this exploration, chances are that you will widen your network and make valuable contacts.
Getting new ideas
It goes without saying that as you gather more information and get a better understanding of the sector, you will be able to sharpen your idea. It will be more focused and clear, and inevitably, your initial idea will have altered. For instance, instead of opening a restaurant, you might rather open a Bed & Breakfast. The essence of the idea will be there but the packaging might look a bit different. Even if you decide not to go ahead with your original idea, you are very likely to have new ideas coming up.
Learning about yourself
When you bring an idea or dream closer to reality, you are not only confronted by it but also by yourself. As you bring your idea or dream alive, you gain a better insight on what it entails and start thinking of how far it really resonates with who you are, with what motivates you, with your talents. Will you enjoy it? Will you be able to use your talents? It is a great opportunity to deepen your self-knowledge.
Whatever idea you have, do explore it and spend time getting a clear view on its meaning and implications. It is well worth your time! It’s better to regret something you have done rather than regret something you haven’t done. That is also valid, for just exploring ideas.
Want to share your thoughts or even experience? Please do so in the comments below. I look forward to reading them.