There’s this pernicious little phrase that floats in and out of almost everyone’s conversations at some point. The phrase is “someone should…”
You hear it uttered (or even utter it yourself!) in response to some problem or idea. “Someone should fill in these potholes,” or “someone should write a book about that!”
The problem is that when people say “someone” in this context, they clearly mean “someone else.” It’s easy to point out a problem or to have an idea. But it takes work to make turn those things into positive change in the world. So “someone” really ought to be you.
Today I had an extremely minor version of this happen. Someone at work presented a bit of information that led me to say “oh, someone should extrapolate this into a marketing doc, it could be effective.” And while folks agreed, everyone’s plates are full! Their job isn’t to jump at every random idea one of their co-workers spouts off. It’s easy to be the idea guy, but the idea guy is useless on his own.
So I thought, “why not me? If I think it’s a good idea, why can’t ‘someone’ be me?” And then I thought “because creating marketing graphics isn’t even remotely in your skill set and it would probably be bad.”
To which, of course, a much smarter version of me said: “So what? Go figure it out.”
Having a good idea that “someone should” act on is actually a really great catalyst for figuring out a new skill, or a different application of an old one. It’s a chance for you to fiddle productively with some new tools because you can actually see the end result you want to create.
It can be as small as that – or as big as changing the world. The best kinds of people are the ones that don’t wait for someone else to fill in the potholes. Turn “someone should” into “I did.”