The Big Idea Approach

Some people follow elements of this approach in their lives and work. Some do this by focusing on the following themes.

They Are Obsessed By The Big Idea

Some individuals are obsessed by a big idea. They are single-minded and cut out the other things happening around them. They may aim to follow a certain philosophy, pursue certain principles or do a certain project.

Some translate this into aiming to achieve a specific goal. They may aim to write a book, take political action, find a medical cure, invent a product, win an Olympic Gold Medal or achieve another aim.

Some people manage their obsession in positive ways. They may be able to balance caring for their loved ones with exploring their big idea. Whilst encouraging other people, they may also encourage themselves by setting aside blocks of time to pursue their compelling passion.

Different people are obsessed by different ideas. Here are some of the ideas they may mention.

The Big Idea That I Am Obsessed With Is:

How to encourage people … How to help people to take care of their health … How to make music that inspires people … How to help people with a certain kind of cancer.

How to find solutions to conflicts … How to produce software that simplifies people’s lives … How to do sustainable farming … How to inspire people to take care of the planet.

Some individuals go further than being obsessed by an idea. They move on to the next stage.

They Act To Pursue The Big Idea

Some individuals want to translate their big idea into action. Different people do this in different ways. Let’s look at some examples.

Penny Brohn wanted to help women to have more options for taking care of themselves when being diagnosed with cancer. This led to her setting up the Bristol Cancer Help Centre.

Susan Cain wanted to help introverts. This led to her writing Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking. Her work has helped many people to channel their introversion in a positive way.

Wangari Maathai believed in helping to the heal the Earth. She chose to focus on planting trees and starting the Green Belt Movement. This has led to people planting many millions of trees in Kenya.

Different people pursue their obsession in different ways. This can then lead to the next stage.

They Keep Developing The Big Idea

Some individuals love to keep returning to their big idea. They love to find ways to polish and improve it. Sometimes this can become a lifetime obsession. They find different ways to express and develop the big idea.

Some do it through writing articles, publishing books and teaching seminars. Some do it through refining the service, product, medicine, invention or other things they offer. Some do it by adding to the knowledge they aim to pass on to people.

George Lucas is somebody who took the latter approach. Best known for his films, he also wanted to provide educators with ideas and tools they could use to inspire their students.

He founded the website Edutopia – What Works In Education. Here is an introduction.

There are many ways to do fine work. One approach is to focus on a big idea. Some people find such an idea, some people may find that the idea finds them. They may then pursue and keep developing their obsession.

Let’s return to your own life and work. Can you think of a big idea you would like to pursue? If you wish, try brainstorming under the following heading.

The Big Idea That I Would Like To Pursue Is:

How to …

Looking ahead, how can you pursue this idea in your own way? How can you then keep developing the big idea? What may happen as a result of taking these steps?

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to complete the following sentences.

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