We are at a point in history where we have to stop pretending we are not brilliant beings.
We, as women, need to become idea machines, pronto.
The power that comes through it is a gift we owe to the world.
We have to own our talent and admit that we have something to bring to the table.
We are in a magnificent position to affect change in the world in a feminine way. There is no winning in playing small anymore.
I said that recently in a podcast interview. And then, of course, in true “Idea Machine style“…
I HAD to elaborate and come up with ten reasons why it is so important for women (and men, of course) but specifically, in this case, for women, to become idea machines.
Here are the reasons:
1. WOMEN STILL GET PAID LESS THAN MEN
Ideas are the currency of the 21st century.
Because the old job and retirement, or even social security is rather “iffy” at best these days.
We don’t exactly know how the money will come, but then again, in the past way of life, we also didn’t exactly know, because if we did then we were at a “job,” where the number was small and fixed…
And nobody ever generates wealth that way… Because there is little value added at a fixed, “boring” job.
Thinking of wealth in terms of ideas levels the playing field.
Just like the Philharmonic orchestra got more women into their pool of talented musicians once they started auditioning by hearing music ,BUT with a screen covering the gender.
Just like that screen… ideas allow us to level the field. Sex is not important, good ideas attract wealth. Keep reading and you’ll see how.
2. LET’S ASK MORE QUESTIONS
I will tell you one thing that disheartened me while reading Lean In…
Sheryl Sandberg says that when she gives talks it is always men that raise their hands and ask questions. Women rarely ask.
I am not saying we should be CEO’s, or start companies, or run Facebook’s operations, and I am also NOT saying we should be more like men…
I am just saying we need to start raising our hand and speaking up… And asking questions.
In the book “The Confidence Code” (see recommended reading below) I read that studies show that women will apply for a job (or ask a question) only if they feel 100% prepared.
Men will apply for a job if they feel they are 70% prepared!
And ask a question even when they don’t have one.
This is something I’ve been sensing, and that is why these days….
I ASK QUESTIONS. Every time.
Even if I don’t know know what I am about to ask…
Just as I did in the last conference where as I lifted my hand I had no idea what I was going to ask. But I did have a question in the end!
So yes, the question was formulated between the moment the hand started going up and the moment the speaker said: “Yes?” – So what?!
It is evolutionary for us as women to raise our hands, to ask, to take risks, to be bold.
Because our voice is missing from the conversation otherwise.
LISTING TEN IDEAS A DAY gets the idea muscle flexible, in good shape, and trained to look for questions, to look for answers, to look for the “gaps.”
Then it is easier to ask questions because they just come, between the moment the hand lifts from the table and the moment it reaches a high point, way up in the air.
3. THE TRANSFORMATION IS DECEIVINGLY SLOW BUT POWERFULLY POTENT
Some people have began listing ideas together with me since the book launch, and many are sharing them. (sometimes daily in Twitter)
This week I heard of someone who sent ten ideas to a music festival, and now that festival has him help them with their crowd sourcing efforts.
I sent ten ideas to 99Designs because I used their services three times in three months and I had enough experience to know where they could improve.
The CEO Wrote me a letter this week:
Hi. I’m the CEO of 99designs and I just wanted to let you know that we really appreciate your thoughtful feedback. We’re actioning items immediately that we can address around better communication/messaging and we are actively recruiting additional customer support representatives to ensure that everyone sees a chat window when needed (peak times sometimes makes chat unavailable to some users).
Are you happy with your final design for your book cover? Is there anything else that I could do for you? Really happy to help in anyway and thanks again for the tough love… We are always striving to get better and feedback like yours helps make that possible. Kind regards.
We had some follow up conversations, I thanked him for listening.
He told me that he was going to talk to his staff and share the list with them…
The point of this is to show how it is deceivingly slow…
You may say to me: “C’mon, a letter is nothing, that is not money!”
And you would be right.
But this is the way the world works these days.
Remember on the first point where I told you that later you would see how the ideas bring wealth… Well…
We send ideas….
We add “real, actionable, and good” value to others and…
It starts with a thank you letter…
It may continue with an invitation to come over and talk to the staff (as it happened to James with Amazon where they flew him to Seattle)… and then…
Relationships are built, you meet new people, you get new ideas, you get BETTER ideas…
We don’t need to see the end result, we just need to list ten ideas today.
It does compound. Fast.
For example, James got his book Choose Yourself, and even his next book The Choose Yourself Guide To Wealth printed in hard cover (which Amazon never does for self published authors) — BECAUSE OF HIS SENDING OF IDEAS.
He was able to make a deal with a list to sell Choose Yourself… in hard cover.
That is now the “POWERFULLY POTENT” part appears… it is a compounding, not a straight line…
It is an endless…giggly spiral and curvy up-ish and down-ish sort of gibberish doodle…
That is how a trajectory towards wealth in the real world looks like now.
4. GETTING OUT OF DEPRESSION
Last summer I went to Thailand and I was suffering from one of those bursts of depression I get often.
I was shocked when, after taking my pulse, Paul Dallaghan gave me a pranayama prescription that encouraged more solar breathing (right nostril).
I don’t want to go into details on that because I believe a prescription is that, something personal, but I did see the “RESULTS.”
We as women are more “receptive, lunar, open to communication, wanting to be liked” and on and on.
NOT ALL OF US, of course…I don’t want to generalize… And I know some women have a lot of sun energy in them…
I am just saying that as per ME, and in my own experience, my feminine energy is more earth while men’s is more sky…
Female is moon (ritual, nurturing) man is sun (possessive, abrasive).
Of course we all have both.
But I feel, at least in MY CASE, that I need to activate my solar energy a bit more.
ESPECIALLY WHEN I AM DEPRESSED.
It is all nice for me to write my morning pages, journal and do collage, but…
THE TEN IDEAS A DAY engages my mind in a completely different way.
It gets me going in a way that is foreign to my basic nature of silent receptivity and listening and praying…
LISTING TEN IDEAS A DAY connects me with the “how can I help” energy in a more practical, go-get-it… sun way
5) REMEMBERING TO GIVE TO OURSELVES
When coming up with ten ideas a day we will have days in which it simply is impossible.
Life is incredibly difficult, and things happen.
As women we tend to want to help, soothe, and give.
This is a wonderful feminine quality, but it is also important to remember that our own soothing, helping ourselves, and giving to ourselves is critical.
So we may skip a day of doing the ten ideas if the world goes upside down. But we can take it again the next morning. Because our ideas are important.
Because our contribution, the way we see the world, our thoughts, translated through a fine-tuned intuition of ideas IS IMPORTANT.
Whenever I find myself upset now-a-days I immediately think of listing ten things I could do.
I start with the most ridiculous ideas (because there are no ridiculous ideas, they are just ideas, I don’t judge)…
It is usually through those that I give myself permission to actually get out some pretty good ones…
Ideas can save our stressed out days.
Ideas can save relationships.
Ideas can help us.
This is a tricky one for us women…
There is an imbalance in how we are perceived whether we admit it or not…
A Harvard study had two groups of women take a math test.
The first group had to identify their GENDER before the test, the second one had to identify their ETHNICITY.
There were Asian women in both as I understand….
Guess what group did better?
The one that identified themselves as “Asian” rather than “women,” because ” Asian women are good at math” right? We all know thaaaaaaaaat….. riiiiigggghttttt?
These stereotypes DO EXIST. Denying them gives us no favors.
Acknowledging them is better because then at least we know what we are dealing with.
How does that play out in “confidence”?
Have you ever had an idea and then you said it and then later someone else (perhaps a man) took it and used it as if it was his?
This happened to me not once, but many, many times…
I find it to be my responsibility to point out that that was MY idea… not because I want to be better than, but to reassure MYSELF, to regain my own sense of self-confidence.
I find that coming up with ten ideas a day gives me the confidence necessary to trust the words that come out of my mouth.
By the way, this does not mean I turn into an *ass.* If I say something that is out of line I still can acknowledge I was wrong.
I am wrong many times… And I have no problem saying I am sorry.
But being an idea machine helps me identify when I am sure, in my bones, that what I am saying is the right thing. …
And when you have that kind of confidence, when you know that is something is the right thing for you, in your soul, then nobody can stop you.
7) WHAT IS MY PASSION? FOR TODAY?
I laugh when I hear people in Quora ask “How can I know what my life purpose is”?
Nobody can know that…
Since I was born I have had at least eight different “lives”…
There is no way at fifteen I could’ve said “I will be a writer” forever…
It just does not work that way.
I am currently a podcast host, and author, a partner at a private publishing firm, a blogger, a yoga teacher, an idea machine….
And with the idea machine, the PURPOSE changes every six months or so….
Because as we start coming up with lists of what we are interested in today, our lives change.
When we pay attention to what is igniting our inner fire today, then life has no evolutionary choice but to lead us in the direction of what we feel passionate about… TODAY.
8) CUTTING OURSELVES SOME SLACK
Last week I overheard a beautiful young woman with four kids say that she does not push herself enough.
She had just finished two hours of yoga asana.
I HAD to ask her: “Do you hear yourself speak?”
I was not mean, I was encouraging. I think any woman with four kids is a super hero period.
So, speaking of cutting ourselves some slack.
Let’s remember that most of the time we do everything that men do, feel all the same stresses, and still make the bed and cook breakfast, thank you very much.
Ideas help us recognize our brain power, our dedication, our power of transformation, and the results we bring into the world.
And if you are ever in need of some padding in the back do this:
List your “I DID LIST” for today
List all the things you DID, TODAY.
You WILL BE SHOCKED. Guaranteed.
9) WHEN THINGS FALL APART
When things fall apart, as they do, having a toned idea muscle allows the wisdom of the feminine energy to change perspective, to notice where our strength lies.
Heck! We are showing up for our daily practice!
It helps us to reassure ourselves that this, too, shall pass.
And there is nothing like going ten ideas on a problem… Because it shows different ways of looking at it, and in doing so we shift our perception.
10) THERE IS NO BEAUTY IN PLAYING SMALL
I am married to a strong man and I can see what happens when I play as if I am less, or not as important, and also, what happens when I act from my full power, as an equal, and sometimes even as a wise-teacher.
It is much more productive and leading to peace and balance when I stand in the fire-center of my power and own it.
When I speak what I know to be truth, when I say what I mean, because I know it in my bones to be truth, when I trust the words that come out of my mouth and yet have the humility to recognize if at some point they were not so wise.
I don’t know everything, or anything.
I am not a genius, but as a female I am as powerful -if not more sometimes- than the male energy.
My energy as female is needed in the world, badly.
And if we don’t return to nurturing this part of our energy, if we don’t bring to the front the feminine energy that births wisdom we are doomed.
This is the time for all of us as women to bring our voices to the front, to speak up, to let our ideas count, and to do what we know we have to do.
We can elevate the conversation.
We can bring up a notch, from silly gossip ot what really counts…
To how can we own our power?
How can we be more honest with ourselves?
How can we help each other, woman to woman (and men too… I love men)
How can we make sure when a woman is interrupted, that we say “Excuse me, I would like for her to finish her thought.”?
How can we be more kind to one another?
How can we get out of the way of our feminine wisdom?
Listing ten ideas a day seems to be working for me.
A few weeks ago I got another of those bursts of depression.
I bought an audio book… Ellen… “Seriously I’m Kidding.”
It made me feel better.
We women are GREAT at a sense of humor because we have to.
I noticed one thing listening to Ellen, she has a phrase going somewhere and suddenly it will turn crazy…
For example: she will say:
“No woman is perfect… Except for Penelope Cruz.”
There is always that twist, that funny turn.
I’ve never laughed more than when in a group of women who trust each other…
We are witty people…
This is why I am recommending the book (audio better really), because we can bring our brilliant sense of humor to the world too…
One list I am going to be doing is “sentences that end in a funny twist…” Matter of fact I just finished doing that list today.
Amy Schummer: “I went to LA last week… Have you ever had your self esteem lowered?”
See the “twist?” We are great at it, and you KNOW IT !