Virtues of Smaller Thinking Vol. 2: Instinct

In the first installment of our 12 Virtues of Smaller Thinking, we got hungry. Or at least hungrier than we'd been before. Hunger is our starting point, the origination of our direction. But once we press this "start" button, where do we go? We have a few ideas of where not to go and a few that make more sense. Trust us. We've seen it happen. There's a spark, an idea or even just a gesture of an idea. We immediately want to go out and quantify or qualify (pick your poison, in this case) the merits of our concept. But wait -- do we really need a measuring stick for a hunch? Can we even measure a hunch? This is a critical point, because this is the juncture between killing ideas and stoking them.

When our initial hunger leads us to action, there's an internal shift of momentum. A hunch that something is good or bad. In other words, our instincts tell us if something is worth an investment of time, money or other assets. The beauty is that we can do this all on our own. We are pre-wired to detect the quality of our own ideas. Delphine de Girardin said, "Instinct is the nose of the mind." This feels right to me -- that our minds, not just our heads, would have noses.

This early in the game it would be a shame to get caught up in analytics and statistics. We're still operating on the nebulous playing field of concepts. So a little (or a lot of) trust is needed in ourselves to allow our ideas to germinate a bit. Not always easy to do, but essential early in the life of a project. By hopping right into a swirling pool of research and analytics, we become focused on the vortex of information and not our idea. Before we know it, our concept is awash in reasons to live or die. Pretty heavy stuff for an infant.

So our point is to allow your instincts to guide you early on as you are working through a project. There's a lot we can learn from ourselves. Plus, there's plenty of time to measure and test a little further down the road.

For the next few weeks, we'll be exploring our instincts here on the PARAGRAPH blog. Specifically, we're pondering how trusting instincts early on can lead to quick victories that help establish momentum. We want to delve a little deeper into how our internal hunches can positively direct our productivity.

For every virtue of smaller thinking, we create a custom desktop and make it available to you, the people. This time is no exception. Check out the desktop below that captures a bit of the indescribable, yet potent nature of instinct and how trusting it can produce unexpected and beautiful results. Trusting my instincts, the author will eat a chocolate chip cookie for every download of the desktops. I'll even tape the proceedings when they occur.



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