Well, it’s happened again. I’ve told myself* I’ll start forming a new good habit. Starting new (good) habits is such an enticing idea. I’m easily drawn in to delusions that I’ll embark on some grand good habit forming project.
For the past few years, I’ve kept a list of ideas to be written about and contemplated “later.” Guess what, now is later: this is the first week of 42 days (7 weeks) where I’ve committed to writing down, pondering, and or researching a new idea every day. So what’s an idea anyway? There’s no hard and fast definition of an idea, but I’ll list a few characteristics of the ideas i’ve made friends with in the past couple years.
1) Ideas are intellectual endeavors that get me very excited and launch me into research, writing, deep conversations, and the occasional rant.
2) Ideas are concepts that I can barely wrap my brain around, and thus feel compelled to spend time learning about (someday) in the future.
3) Ideas fall into several categories, including self-introspective ideas, positions on society, ethics, and morality, scientific concepts, and creative
4) Ideas aren’t generally topics I share with just anyone – especially the more developed ones that I’ve invested time in. This is less true of the scientific and creative ideas, and more true of the self-introspective and ethical ideas.
When habit-forming plans (inevitably) start crashing down around me, I console myself by noting how many demands I have on my time. How convenient it is to omit the relevant fact that almost everyone has a lot of demands on their time – especially productive creative types. This week, I’m spending at least a little time every day with my trusty group of ideas. Yesterday evening was a particularly good evening for ideas – the lyrics to a song really got me thinking about perception and value and resulted in the skeleton of a paper on the topic.
*Telling myself I’ll start a new habit is quite palatable – I rather prefer couching an assignment to start a new habit in terms that make me sound like a motivated fellow with strength of will and improving character. 🙂