The Hard Part of Ideas: Making Them Happen
Introducing The Gear Show Podcast
I had an idea of New Years to launch a podcast on outdoor gear. I had spent the better part of the holiday with visiting friends talking about gear - skis, boots, bindings, what's in your backpack... Inevitably, the conversation always pivoted to discussion of gear, working and not working gear.
Today, I'm launching that podcast and I'm feeling a bit sick to my stomach over it. It's easy to have an idea. It's a different thing altogether to make ideas happen. And in my first episode, I talk about that exactly: the hard part of ideas is making them happen. By the way, as a blog subscriber, you will be receiving these podcast episodes, since they publish on my blog. If you don't want to - and only want blog posts, simply click on update preferences down there at the bottom of this email and check the box for blog posts only.
There are a few ways to get the podcast:
- Listen to it with the embedded player below.
- Get it on Stitcher or iTunes.
- Read the transcript below.
Recommended resources mentioned in show
Read the Transcript (but seriously. TOO LONG. just listen instead)
Hi everyone and welcome to the Gear Show, my first ever podcast. This is the one I’ll come back to in a year and cringe. So I thought I’d get it out of the way without the benefit of an actual guest.
And take the opportunity to explain why this podcast and how does it tie in with what Big Leap Creative does.
I regularly have conversations with gear obsessed individuals so I can be sure and have the right stuff when I’m out in the wilderness doing what I like to do. Depending on the time of year, it could be skiing - in the backcountry, in the resort, cross country and skate skiing. Or it’s trail running and mountain biking. Good gear helps you perform better, and I know most of us want to improve, we have goals we want to hit. But it also could turn a bad day into a good day. Wet shirts, feet that hurt minor to major injuries, often can be avoided with the right gear and knowledge. Not to mention the occasional shit show - stuff doesn’t go as planned and you need to figure stuff out on the fly
So, it occurred to me to share this knowledge, share these conversations with gear-obsessed people about their passions so together we can all get better and have more fun outside without having to become gear obsessed ourselves.
Maybe you have a goal or a vision to be or achieve something better than what you have today. Maybe you want to tackle that 50 mile backpack trip next summer, maybe you want to run a 5k, or train for a 25k trail run. Maybe like me, you want to do more backcountry skiing. Maybe you just want to be healthier, more fit and feel better.
Whatever it is, we all need help with the right knowledge on what to wear, what equipment to use, best apps and technology, and tips to get us there.
If you are like me, getting outside is your outlet (it’s more than just fitness, and getting your exercise in) - it brings discipline into your life, allows you to push your physical limits, your comfort zone with the associated high of accomplishment. it also helps to unleash creativity and keep us generally grounded. In other words, it gives us the ability to live life to it’s fullest.
I love this from Mitchell Scott in the Winter 2016 issue of Kootenay Mountain Culture:
It's what people of the adventurous ilk are looking for. They want to be tested, to push past barriers: physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, social, sexual and otherwise. This is life thick and rich. It's also where we eat the most shit.
Discipline, accomplishment, creativity. Let’s talk about those three things.
I usually register for something like a 25k trail race that kicks my ass, and makes me regret doing it when I’m standing at the starting line, or three fourths of the way into it. in 2016, I did the Broken Goat Trail Race in Rossland BC. The week of the race I’m nervous as can be. I’m worried about getting injured about being stuck out there in the wilderness unable to finish. I worry about finishing dead last. I worry about potentially suffering for hours. Race morning, I am so nervous, I can’t even eat which is obviously super important so I force breakfast down and I go the start line with my friends and stand there wondering why the hell I do this to myself. Three, two, one and we are off, and climbing, climbing, climbing, and even though I know this will take me a few hours, I am counting the minutes to finishing. Right? What was I thinking. After about an hour of climbing, I came out onto a high alpine ridge top. I can see in all directions forever. the trail ahead of me is mellow and meandering on a long ridge through meadows of wild flowers and I had this feeling of heaven on earth. This unbelievable feeling that I’ve done this, I’m doing this. Absolute freedom from any stresses or worries about in day to day life as I just get myself from here to there. and I thought how lucky my body lets me do this.
I do it because I love the feeling of having accomplished something. It’s that life thick and rich part Mitchell was talking about. and even though I definitely suffered that last 45 minutes as I descended down to the finish line, I only remember the part of working hard for something and the feeling of accomplishing it.
For you, a 25k run might be out of the question. It’s all relative. Basically, insert your goal into that story - working hard for it, and achieving it. The accomplishment is not diminished.
The discipline part
But let’s talk about that working hard for something for a minute. and the discipline. Doing this gives me the discipline to train for something, and that means I can’t make up excuses for not going out in the cold April rainy morning and getting my run in. It makes me better. it also forces me to juggle my day, get my work in and plan accordingly. I have to be more productive in less time, but because I’m out training, my creative output is better so I am more effective with that smaller amount of time. See how it works?
What I just described is a huge part of the take a big leap model. It easy enough to come up with an idea. Just like it’s easy enough to register for a trail race 6 months to a year ahead of time. The actual hard part is doing the work to get there - to bring that idea to life, and to perform in that race. It sucks at times. Like really sucks. Like curl up in fetal position sucks. But afterwards? It’s where we live life thick and rich as Mitchell Scott put it.
Launching this podcast is a perfect metaphor for it, as it turns out. I came up with the idea over New Years when a bunch of us were talking nonstop about gear. and I thought I want to do this. it will be fun, I said! I wrote up a plan and topic ideas, I had my designer do a graphic, I got my editor/producer lined up. That was the easy part. but then I actually had to start creating great content. I needed to interview people and I need to record this episode you’re listening to and the doubts start creeping in. Will anyone even listen to this? Are people going to find this valuable and interesting? Can I do it?
Its easy enough to register for the race; to come up with the idea. the hard part is doing the work to get to the finish line or to launch day. On a higher level, I hope this podcast serves as inspiration to get things done.
It gives us the open space to be more creative.
Most of us have to be creative at work and that’s not always easy: You can’t just turn it on when you need it. Ever wonder why that best idea came to you while you were in the shower, drifting to sleep, or even better, out playing or running (skiing/biking) in the woods?
Our brains work in two phases when it comes to creative problem solving, according to Daniel Levitin in “The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload“. The first phase involves gathering all the facts together needed using our left prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate.
In a second phase, we need to relax, let go of the problem and let networks in the right hemisphere take over. Neurons in the right hemisphere are more broadly tuned, with longer branches and more dendritic spines. When the brain is searching for an insight, these are the cells most likely to produce it. The second or so preceding insight is accompanied by a burst of gamma waves, which bind together disparate neural networks, effectively binding thoughts that were seemingly unrelated into a coherent new whole. For all this to work, the relaxation phase is crucial.
Duncan Wardle, a Disney creative director uses the term beta busy to describe our brains when we are sitting at our desks responding to email pings, Slack dings, and text dongs. When we are in beta busy, we can’t access our right hemisphere - the part that makes the creative connections for us.
Think about the last argument you had. After you walked away, the killer one-liner comes to you. But not DURING the argument, right? because you were in beta busy when you were in the argument.
Being in your cubicle at work is = being in your argument. Being outside is = accessing your right hemisphere, doing your best work. Tell your boss I said so.
This is precisely why I make it a priority to get up from my desk and go for a hike, trail run, ski, mountain bike ride or whatever it is that frees your soul and relaxes your brain. The fitness part of it is, for me, a wonderful side effect. the real reason is to keep myself grounded, stay creative, have fun, maintain discipline in my life, give me that high of having accomplished something that pushed me, and raises the bar for the next thing. It basically allows me to live life thick and rich. I want to help you do the same.
What’s your next goal? I’d love if you’d tell me your story in the comments. It could drive future episodes. I’ve already recorded several shows and I”m excited to bring you valuable information for getting started in backcountry skiing and then we’ll quickly transition into spring and summer with trail running, mountain biking and hiking discussions. We’ll talk about specific gear, favorite apps and technology.
We just want to keep your next shit show from happening.
FAVORITE APP, WEBSITE OR TECHNOLOGY
Next week, we are going to talk to gear geek and personal friend Brian Harder about the importance of giving thought to things we don’t think are important. He’ll be tuning in from Anchorage Alaska and I’m excited because it’s all his fault this podcast was born. You’ll learn why next week. See ya then.
So, if you’re excited like I’m excited! Please do any or all of the following:
- Share this with others who will be excited.
- Tell me your story and share any topic ideas, gear experts I should talk to or questions you have for a future show
- Like, rate, review
Find show notes and links to books and apps mentioned at thegearshow.com