Melvyn Tan
September 18, 2013 — By tanmelvyn@gmail.com

How To Make Ideas Happen

[blockquote source=”Isaiah 28:24-29 (NIV)“]When a farmer plows for planting, does he plow continually? Does he keep on breaking up and harrowing the soil?  When he has leveled the surface, does he not sow caraway and scatter cummin? Does he not plant wheat in its place, barley in its plot, and spelt in its field?[/blockquote] As […]

[blockquote source=”Isaiah 28:24-29 (NIV)“]When a farmer plows for planting, does he plow continually? Does he keep on breaking up and harrowing the soil?  When he has leveled the surface, does he not sow caraway and scatter cummin? Does he not plant wheat in its place, barley in its plot, and spelt in its field?[/blockquote]

As I was preparing for my ministry, I got stuck.  First it was about “what can I do”?  Then it was, “what about my current set of skills, how do I put them into use”?  Then it was “will I be able to thrive and not just survive”?  Then it was “do I use my own name”?

You see, I was stuck in this infinite loop that I cannot seem to get out of!  I found myself stuck in the discovery mode.  Perhaps moving slightly into the mastery mode, but it never got to the missionary stage of my ministry.

In fact, it is as if the farmer, whose purpose is to plant seeds in the ground, but expend all his energy on breaking up the soil.  Perhaps never satisfied by the way he had broken the ground, he continues to plow again and again.  If he never place no even one single seed in the ground, there will never be a crop.  And if there are no crops, then there is no harvest.

You may have a really brilliant idea for your business.  You may have just that theme that will enable others to build a better website.  You may have that cause that will end poverty.  You may have the ingredient that will coach others to success.  But if you continue to only “plow” (your plow may be research – not it means re-searching, or your plow may be talking to people, or your plow may be “some day when my kids grow up”) then you will never see your crops and there will be no harvest.

Here’s one tip that I have learned from the book, “Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality” by Scott Belsky.  The central idea in this book is simply to take action.  What separates dreamers from achievers is action.  Being action oriented will enable you to keep moving, to be one step closer to your goal.

If you want to see a harvest, then do this:

  • See everything as a project: in other words; ideas, that new theme, a new website, birthday party, if you need to take a series of steps, which may not necessarily be sequential, in order to achieve the desired outcomes then this is a project;
  • Each project will have three components: namely Action Steps, References, and Backburner Items;
  • Action Steps: these are essentially specific, concrete tasks that will help you move forward and bring you closer to the desired outcome
  • References: these are basically any form of notes, papers, articles, websites, books, etc that you may want to refer to from time to time
  • Backburner Items: these are items that you come across from time-to-time, which may be good but you will need to quickly identify them as distractors – for instance, when building this site on WordPress, I kept seeing myself going to Themeforest to search for the next best theme out there and when I do find it, I can sometime spend hours just trying out the demo sites!

Here’s some specific steps that you can take:

  • State your idea: e.g. I want to use the Scriptures to enable me to learn, live, and lead others
  • Action Steps: e.g. (a) buy “The One Year Bible“, (b) study the Bible daily, (c) write daily devotions, (d) identify the application of the Scripture to daily living, (e) create tools for application, (f) post it on website, (g) broadcast it on social media
  • Backburner Items: a great WordPress theme that will present my work in the most optimal manner

Dear Father, thank you for giving me greater clarity on my purpose.  Now empower me with the courage, strength, and wisdom to be able to undertake this task so that others can benefit from this cause and in due course, will learn about Jesus, will live like Jesus, and will lead like Jesus.  In Jesus name, Amen.