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I blog on Brain-Based Learning, Metacognition, EdTech, and Social-Emotional Learning. I am the author of the Crush School Series of Books, which help students understand how their brains process information and learn. I also wrote The Power of Three: How to Simplify Your Life to Amplify Your Personal and Professional Success, but be warned that it's meant for adults who want to thrive and are comfortable with four letter words.

Learning Ad Infinitum

The ratio of something to nothing is infinite. So just do something.
— Peter Diamandis

Ad Infinitum, a Chicago-based Death Metal Band formed in 1999. It split-up shortly thereafter. The founders probably intended to play together forever. But nothing lasts forever the saying goes.

Individuals die. Objects perish. But if people and things can’t live forever, can ideas?

No one makes plans to just cross days off their calendar of life and then slip away into nothingness. We strive to leave something behind; to make an impact. We want our ideas to live on. We want them to be significant enough that someone takes notice.

There is no one formula you can apply to find significance. There are many ways to increase your odds but having ideas is an essential part of every such formula. Volume is key - the more ideas of various kinds you generate the more of them will be good enough to share. But you must accept the fact that most of your ideas will be bad so that eventually a few of them will be great.

You must keep the volume up. This is what I keep reminding myself of and keep telling my students. Keep the ideas coming. Write them down. Test a few that seem viable. Ask other people what they think. Figure out the first step you can take to put an idea to life. Invest time not money into this idea. If it doesn’t work you lost nothing but gained everything.

If you created it, got feedback on it, researched about it, tried it, and failed… you learned. You’re getting closer. Even inching forward is moving forward - it beats standing still.

The key is to start coming up with many ideas, try them out, see them bomb, reflect on what happened, learn from it, rinse, and repeat.

Most of your ideas will suck but they will make a big difference. The few that don’t will make all the difference.

Ask your professional self: What are my ideas to improve my process? What am I doing with them?

If the answer is nothing you might be standing still. If you’re okay with that stay as you are. But if want to do something then do something.

This is mostly a pep talk to myself but if you’re at a crossroads and are lost like me it might be helpful to know that quantity is what eventually leads to quality.

So whatever it is you what to do - do it often, ideate with it, experiment with it, reflect on it, keep improving it and getting better at it. Learn Ad Infinitum.

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