Thomas Edison, the great American inventor, said ideas were in the air. When he was stumped, he took a nap. When he awoke, sound recordings, electric light, and moving pictures were born!
Edison wasn’t extraordinarily intelligent, but he had learned the secrets of success.
Most importantly, he believed whatever answer he was seeking existed. It may not have been discovered yet, but it was there. This is a critical step most people skip when they set a goal. Later, when the going gets rough and they’re frustrated, this unwillingness to believe comes back to haunt them and sinks their dream.
“It was never going to happen.”
It doesn’t matter what your idea is: a new invention, resolving a problem, or repairing what seems irreparably broken. Before you put one ounce of energy into your goal, you have to believe it can be done, and that you will do it. Play to win or don’t play!
After the initial steps, the path becomes murky. Edison was right: multitudes of ideas are somewhere in a misty no-man’s-land, waiting to be discovered. (He would know: Edison’s ideas resulted in 1,093 U.S. patents!)
That world, which often seems inaccessible, can only be entered through the subconscious, that part of our mind that is responsible for gut feelings, premonitions, and the like. People reach their subconscious mind differently. Edison went to sleep. Some people pray. Others go for a bike ride or meditate. The ancient Oriental philosophers preached the doctrine of a “one-pointed mind“.
Only you can find what works for you. Sometimes that takes a lot of time and practice. This is the end of the road for those who never were convinced that achieving their goal was possible. With no faith to buoy them, they give up when they don’t see the results they want.
Only a few continue to strain forward, even when they don’t see the results. They accept failures – even repeated failures – as a natural part of the process. Eventually, people like that must succeed. Their success, one might say, is unavoidable.