Diego Segura

Daily Reflections

I wrote these reflections daily from May to August of 2018. I’ve compiled these all into one book and edited them for clarity. You can find To a Man Much Like Myself (Oct. 2018) at muchlikemyself.com.

On ideas

On good ideas Ideas and insights are fragile because they can come and go quickly. Once they're gone, it feels like they might be gone forever. Fine! You'll think of more. Don't live an anxious life because you're trying to capture each and every idea that comes in the door. That's a form of paralyzing perfectionism. If you are writing and forget a sentence that you were about to write, don't stop to try and remember it for hours. Keep writing, and more good sentences will come to you. You have to will yourself into good ideas. Of course, that's not to say that you should constantly be working and never allow your mind time to rest. In rest and in boredom, you'll find that you think of many great ideas, too. But never let these ideas (or trying to keep them) paralyze you.

On great ideas The truly great ideas will stick. You won't have to remember them because they make such a profound impact on you that they stay in your head for days on end. These ideas are life-changing and inevitably so. Part of the game is simply to throw lots of things at the wall and see what sticks. Those are the ideas that you focus on. In order to focus, you might have to throw some of these truly great ideas away, too. Never forget that your ability to do good work doesn't come from your ability to conjure up genius, it comes from your ability to focus on the genius you've already conjured up and bring it to life.

On the value of ideas You have plenty of ideas, both good and bad, throughout the day. In fact, all of your mental capacity is dedicated to creating ideas. What should I eat for lunch? How should I write this article? Why am I not focused on this? They are all a bunch of ideas. However, we seem to value "creative" ideas more. These are ideas that are artistic or exciting, rather than mere obligations. That's why we don't just call them thoughts, we call them ideas, as if they're special. Here's the problem: when you start to value your "ideas" so highly, you lose focus. Now, you're thinking about ninety-nine different blog posts you'd like to write because they're all good ideas, when you should choose one and focus on it. After executing on that one idea, zoom back out to take a look at the rest of them. Choose one, focus again, and complete it. You have to be able to take all ninety-eight of your other ideas and act like they don't exist for the time being. It's not that you're saying they aren't valuable, but none of these ideas are valuable if you're never executing on them. Make them valuable by taking action rather than thinking of more ideas.

Diego Segura