The Evolution of an Idea

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The Evolution of an Idea

An idea, especially a Good One, takes time to evolve… but can we fast track that? 

Like, quit banging those sticks together & use a lighter to start the fire already!

Just as it took our ancestors time to evolve into us it takes time to evolve an idea but are there any ways we can hurry along that process of evolution?

I’ve come to believe that there is an intelligence to this process and time plays an important role but there are ways we can help an ideavolution.

In this piece I lay out those lessons as they relate to the Hero’s Journey so that you can evolve your idea without unnecessary delay.

The ideavolutions:

1. Inspiration requires relaxation

 

2. Let The Muse find you working

 

3.  Confront your fears 

 

4. Play with your idea

 

5. Identify & explore your subconscious blocks

 

6. Keep your mentors close & discover your own inner mentor

 

7. Take intentional action in the face of the Unknown

 

8. Affirmations for Heroes

 

9. Identify a friend to call you through

 

10. Practise gratitude for the idea & journey

 

11. Remember why you started

 

And an extra tip #12 in the authors notes


First of all, what is an idea?

Ideas can take the shape of anything you could imagine - good or bad. They can be either inspiring or repelling. 

A bad idea is something we can have in our minds and act out through our lives, even within our society. It creates chaos, confusion, disharmony & distrust. 

A Good Idea is certainly sought after by creatives & anyone desperate for a solution to a problem that they just can’t figure out. They bring balance, fulfilment, happiness & beauty. We like Good Ideas. 

Where do ideas come from? 

Some say ideas come purely from our subconscious & our ability to sense our environment and make connections. Others believe that they come from another realm and enter into us when we are receptive. 


What path does the ideavolution take?

As an avid student of Joseph Campbell & Carl Jung, I have come to see the Hero’s Journey as a very fitting description of the path of following your Bliss - the journey of the individual who is following their highest calling or Bliss. 

Humans are an idea, albeit a complex one, that has evolved over time to become more intelligent and capable of expression. Just like us, ideas follow the path of the Hero’s Journey. 

An idea has a conception, it faces challenges & it undergoes transformation as it finally comes into form. The Hero’s Journey describes the phenomena that occur along the path of a Hero - let’s see if there are any spots along the path that we can hurry along an ideavolution.


The Evolution of an Idea through the lens of the Hero’s Journey 

A quick synopsis of the Hero’s Journey

The Hero’s Journey is a metaphor for the path of spiritual growth & development of the soul in human form. This story is told in myths, movies and books throughout history & all cultures.

The Hero’s Journey is an epic quest that will take the Hero into novel, possibly dangerous lands where they will surely battle against demons & warlords but in order to save the princess, seek the treasure or defeat the ultimate evil, the Hero takes that step forward with an ignited heart. 

Along the way they meet their mentors and matches and their path leads them into the depths of despair where they struggle to remember why they ever started but the Journey always ends with a transformation, a glorious victory and a return that brings the Hero back into the known homeland to share his gifts of enlightenment. 

 

Now let’s explore how the evolution of an idea fits into the Hero's Journey.





The Call to Adventure

This is the stage where the protagonist is presented with the exciting opportunity. An adventure to extend her horizons beyond what she currently knows. Unaware of the dangers thus far, it is just a pure shining light that awakens a deep passion within the Hero.  

Inspiration - When The Idea Strikes

When an idea first hits us, it can seem to come out of nowhere. For many (according to one study 72% of people), ideas strike in the shower. This could suggest that it’s when we are relaxed and at ease, when we least expect it - an idea will present The Call. 

Ideavolution Tip #1: Inspiration requires relaxation

Breathwork, yoga & meditation are guaranteed to bring you degrees of relaxation

Owaken Daily Breathwork 

Yoga With Adrienne - Day One - Show Up

This Moment Meditation - Ram Dass 


Others, like author of The War of Art Steven Pressfield, have suggested that we need to be engaged in the work of our field of interest in order to be touched by the divine realm of ideas.

Putting pen to paper, stepping one foot in front of the other day in and day out will show ‘The Muse’ that we are serious about making something happen and she will bestow a good idea upon us.  


Ideavolution Tip #2: Let the Muse find you working

Week 14 The Muse Sees You

The Refusal of the Call

After The Call to Adventure, the blinding light of it starts to fade, fear creeps into the Hero’s mind and insecurities plague her. She starts to think that she isn’t prepared enough or good enough, maybe it’s too dangerous.

It has transformed what home feels like also, once comforting and safe it now feels restrictive & lacklustre. Stuck between a rock and a hard place, the Hero has a decision to make. 

This is the part of the journey that slows down the evolution of an idea most. 

After the initial inspiration has struck, especially if it really is a Good Idea, most of us will experience The Refusal of The Call. During this period we are confronted with our deepest fears. The Idea, which always seems to be so specifically made for us, elicits fears that perfectly counterpose our inspiration. The greater the inspiration, the greater the fear. 


Resistance - The Force that Counters Us


Steven Pressfield talks about the voice of Resistance.

A force that is trying to inhibit you from reaching your goals & experiencing any growth. Your Resistance is a voice in your own head - it knows you intricately and uses your fears and weaknesses against you. Anyone who is on the path of their dreams knows this voice. 

Resistance in terms of the Hero's Journey would be Sauron in The Lord of The Rings. A disembodied force that knows your intention and sends its evil armies to push against your advances. 

Ideavolution Tip #3: Confront your fears 

Steven Pressfield: Overcoming Resistance


Exploring The Unknown

Fear = The Unknown. So, understandably we doubt and we retreat from it.

The Unknown is a place we normally avoid. We stick to what is known, dependable, solid & secure - a web built in childhood. 

The Unknown is constantly encountered when we are young as we experience the world for the very first time. We associate all reality in terms of the Self & Identity. The way we engage with The Unknown as children is during play.


Ideavolution Tip #4: Play with your idea


Playing with The Unknown

We enter into a funny sort of state when we play. Our minds are still active and engaged but our entire bodies are in on it too. We tickle & wrestle. We get stuck in the mud & climb trees. Children are prime examples of real embodied play.

What would your idea feel in your body to play with? Dream, imagine what it could be. Take your idea for a run and see what happens. 


Subconscious blocks

If something is encountered on that edge and we deem it bad - a core belief is created. 

Perhaps a child discovers that when they ask for something that they truly desire, they will experience a painful rejection. A core belief around asking for a personal desire is created. When an idea strikes and it most definitely is something that the now grown adult desires - that core belief is triggered. 

Core beliefs take some real digging to find This takes time and it is time that you cannot hurry. I suggest spending as much time as necessary to mine these depths because it will serve you the most through the rest of your journey. 


Ideavolution Tip #5: Identify & explore your subconscious blocks


Supernatural Aid - The Mentor steps in

Now, the Hero has decided to pack his bags and begin his adventure - the mentor arrives to help him. A mentor is someone who has many keys for you to unlock within yourself. A mentor generally has a large system of knowledge that you have an innate sense will guide you to where you want to go.

Your mentors can change over time. You don’t need to have close contact with them. Watching their lectures & reading their books or listening to their ideas helps to unlock answers that are needed for the next steps on the journey. 

A mentor is someone who has been on this journey before. They can’t live it for you, but they are right there built into the cycle for you to use. 

Ideavolution Tip #6: Keep your mentors close & discover your own inner mentor

During this time you can also connect to your own inner mentor - your intuition. You have access to a deep well of wisdom within you. It's an inner guide that is aware of the endpoint for your higher purpose and knows how to get you there. It can meet you at the junction of any decision - big or small - and call you through. 

Stepping into the consciousness of your body will connect you to this wisdom.


Crossing of the Threshold

Stepping out of her homeland in search of her treasure, the Hero goes beyond all that she’s ever known - venturing into the forest where she’s never been and has no reference for.

She is in a whole new world - does she tip-toe or run through that forest?

When an idea takes you beyond what you’ve ever known, it can scare the living bejesus out of you and stall your step. The ideas that you dealt with in the known comfort of your home were predictable & safe. A wrong step out here in the unknown could bring all sorts of terror & peril. It’s understandable that you would step with caution.

But rather than dawdling across the threshold, taking intentional, sure steps will evolve your idea further & faster. When you are faced with a great big unknown - like a blank page and a blank mind - taking the plunge and tapping that keyboard anyway will ensure that the words will come. 

Ideavolution Tip #7: Take intentional action in the face of The Unknown


Abyss - The Belly of the Whale 

Over many obstacles goes the Hero, facing challenges and fighting battles. Her face shines in the glow of the vision she holds but after so many battles - perhaps one battle is lost - that vision now starts to fade.

The Hero turns away and looks around - she doesn’t know where she is, she misses home & she has lost faith in her destination. Failure brings her to her knees and burns away at her soul.  

Something was lost in that battle, yes.
But perhaps something else can be found.

Maybe the failure of a project or even a relationship took away the bedrock from underneath your feet and plummets you into a dark abyss. Your identity may have been formed around that thing and without it - who are you? 

It is built into every good story. The Hero must face a darkness and find something in it that will bring her through into the light again. In your most vulnerable, weakest and desperate moment there is a precious stone for you to find. These moments test us. They test our faith, our relationship to Self & our courage.

Where do we find that courage?

1. In how we speak to ourselves

How we act in these moments is pivotal.
When we lay on the ground & encounter the core of our pain in that abyss, we must approach it with compassion, kindness & love. As you acknowledge and embrace your pain fully, the gift is revealed.

This journey into the abyss will reveal your core values & beliefs that will be your anchors as you arise again into the turmoil of the outer world. You will find the courage to hold onto them as you pull yourself back up into the light.

The words you speak to yourself in these moments will bestow courage upon you and you can carry on. 

Ideavolution Tip #8: Affirmations for Heroes

2. A friend to call us through

The landscape of your relationships may have altered throughout the adventure of ideavolution. The path has a way of removing people that hold us back but it is in the ones who remain where your courage can be found.

If you have found yourself in that abyss - speak to your closest friend. In offering their support they are reaching out a hand for you to grab onto to pull yourself out. 

Like Samwise & Frodo on the edge of the cliff over the fires of Mount Doom - Samwise will not let him go. Frodo had let the power of the ring overtake him but as he falls into the abyss, Samwise is there to call him back. 

Who is the Samwise Gamgee in your life?

 

Ideavolution Tip #9: Identify a friend to call you through


The Transformation

The ultimate bedrock of your idea has been struck

After we have allowed the fire to burn away everything that is unnecessary from our idea - we are left with only what is true. Our ideas may appear to disintegrate & crumble in the fire of failure but they are actually re-formed & fortified as a solid structure. 

An idea that has gone through to this stage of the journey is a worthy idea. It is strong, it is capable, it can hold the weight of others. 

The Transformation represents the victory of your idea against the force of Resistance. The countless obstacles, doubts & fears have been overcome. With this comes the feeling that your idea is unshakable. You’ve discovered the depths to which courage can still find you. You’ve witnessed your idea come up against enemies of indecision, negative beliefs & failure.

It’s a feeling of invisibility wrapped in humility. 

Humility because where did this idea come from in the beginning? What were the forces, seen & unseen, that helped you along the way? Bow your head & give thanks that The Muse found you worthy & had faith that you could achieve this idea.

Ideavolution Tip #10: Practise gratitude for the idea & journey

In this new world of transformation the identity of your idea is as solid as the bedrock upon which it stands. It is time to make The Return. 


The Return

Stepping back into A New World

Man discovers fire and the world was never the same. 

Newton got bopped on the head with an apple & the boundaries of our minds exploded with knowledge.

Some nerds figured out the internet & now we are walking on the edge of an unknown future. 

Our transformations may not be as dramatic as these but their effects will still alter worlds.

When we bring our idea back into the homeland, the one we left behind in order to discover new horizons and deeper wells, we have completed the cycle. When the idea touches upon another soul within the greater society, the adventure of our idea is fulfilled. 

The product is launched, the coaching practice is advertised, the restaurant doors are opened and the first clients roll in - this is when the idea has made The Return.

The idea that has stood against all the tests is now ready for its emergence into society. The Hero that returns from the adventure is not the same as she who set out. The realms of the spiritual have been explored but it is in the physical where this idea is to make its impact upon another.

The journey has awakened her to the existence of the Divine & the dissolution of the boundaries between self & other. As much as this idea was meant to transform the individual, it was made to transform the grander whole. 

“The individual, through prolonged psychological disciplines, gives up completely all attachment to his personal limitations, idiosyncrasies, hopes and fears, no longer resists the self-annihilation that is prerequisite to rebirth in the realisation of truth, and so becomes ripe, at last, for the great at-one-ment. His personal ambitions being totally dissolved, he no longer tries to live but willingly relaxes to whatever may come to pass in him; he becomes, that is to say, an anonymity.” - Joseph Campbell, The Hero With A Thousand Faces

Making the return into the homeland is an entire journey in itself. Your mentors may need to step back in to help you. Merging the spiritual lessons into physical reality has its own pitfalls. You may need to think back to why you started and reconnect to the lessons that you learned during your enlightenment.

Ideavolution Tip #11: Remember why you started

What was that first strike of inspiration? What was the problem you were trying to solve? Who did you have so much compassion for that you wanted to rescue them? What was the ultimate vision that ignited your heart? 


The Journey is complete - What next?

So, your idea has made its journey into the world. It has evolved from a blunt, jagged edged stick into a sleek, penetrating arrow. It has taken on a life of its own as it dances in the hearts of your fellow man. Where does that leave you? What should you do now?

Get ready for the next adventure!

Let inspiration find your relaxed and working away and you'll be off again on another adventure, this time, armed with more experience & knowledge. 

 

Closing notes from the author

In my journey to evolve my Good Idea, I have learned an especially important key lesson, call it bonus tip number 12. It’s so vital that I will reiterate it a few times. 

Everything that happens to you on your journey is meant to happen. 

 

Everything is happening for you, rather than to you. 

 

Everything, no matter how absurd, annoying or painful, is helping you & your idea to evolve. 

 

Everything happens with perfect timing.


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