Home > Food for Thought, Reviews > Review: “Making Ideas Happen” by Scott Belsky

Review: “Making Ideas Happen” by Scott Belsky


WARNING: Opening this book may cause you to rethink much of your everyday life. (that's a good thing)

This is the first book I have read cover to cover in nearly 4 years. The previous book, I actually read twice and it’s called “The Traveler’s Gift” by Andy Andrews. Because I read it twice means that it has some relevance to my up and down life, and to be quite honest, I feel as though I should read it again. I should probably read it once a year, every year for the rest of my life. For those that need an inspiring story with some of the greatest characters the real world has ever known (Abe Lincoln, Anne Frank, Winston Churchill, etc) this is an amazing story.

The Traveler’s Gift isn’t the reason for this post, but “Making Ideas Happen” by Scott Belsky is. I found this title while looking for something inspirational on Amazon. I needed something that would help me to organize parts of my creatively chaotic life while pushing me to new heights in others. I had been searching for a book like this for so long and then the title hit me like a ton of bricks. “Making Ideas Happen” is exactly what I was looking for. I have so many ideas floating around in this scattered brain of mine, but I needed to hear about others who are like me and that think like I do. I needed to know how they overcame this disorganization and achieved “something.” I’m not even sure I know what I want to achieve, but I know that it is something. I want to be successful like rapper Drake says. “I just wanna be successful.” I want to own companies. I want to make things for the world. I want to help those that can’t help themselves. I want to change/influence people’s lives in some way. Those are the things that I want to do. Those are the “somethings” that are always on my scattered mind.

I know that I have the creative mind. I believe I have the drive. BUT I need to organize, divide, and conquer. That’s what this book did for me. It opened me up to a new way of thinking and allowed me to see that only 1% of all ideas come to fruition. I don’t want my dreams to be flushed away or forgotten like the other 99%. I want to be a change agent, someone who is known for making things happen. Bringing ideas to life if only to see it through from concept to creation. I want to physically hold the things I dream in my mind and I want to see people’s reactions to the things my friends and I are capable of creating.

I am no devout follower of Mr. Belsky. I do not worship his presence, it is nothing of the sort. But his writing, his examples, his research, and his way of breaking down our thought patterns can be used by anyone seeking some organization and rejuvenation in their lives. Even if you don’t strive to be an entrepreneur, even if you don’t want to create something for the world to embrace, you can find meaning here. You can find a way to help execute better in your everyday life, to be more successful at planning your day. It helps to reduce “life clutter” and allows the reader get to the heart of their everyday tasks. Better execution, means less wasted time (which we all don’t have enough of) which translates into a more effective day, which should relieve stress and bring upon happiness. I realize that is a run-on sentence. I’m over it, and you should be too.

This book has shown me how to harness my creativity while simultaneously helping to eliminate the disorganization of my everyday. Being military, I should have learned to become organized and at work I am. I’m talking about life though. I’m talking about transforming my life into a more effective way of living it. I don’t want to work at life ALL OF MY LIFE. I want to enjoy it for all that it has to offer, but I also want to live up to my potential, self-imposed potential. Sometimes I stress too much about the everyday and life gets lost in that stress. That is not the way it is supposed to be. I dont want to lose out on one second of the only turn I am granted, so I knew I needed to make a change.

“Making Ideas Happen” teaches the reader how to break down most daily actions into three categories; Action Steps, References, and Backburners. Action Steps are those items that need to be taken care of immediately and require “action.” It’s like a “to-do” list, but for everyday of a person’s life in many aspects of your life. References are all the materials/notes that a person uses to refer to when making decisions about the actions steps. Backburners are those ideas that are not ready to be executed because they are too broad or the world just isn’t ready. Most of our daily tasks can be lumped into these three categories and this method allows for declutterization (yeah I created that word) of the trivial so that life can open up.

Not only does the book help, but so does the web applications that are derivatives of this way of thinking. Behance.net is a creative professional platform for people to talk and exhibit their ideas to other like-minded individuals in the hopes of bringing them to life. Its a forum meets idea-generation station where creative people can interact and engage one another. It is definitely worth looking into, if only for the inspiration that those web pages are filled with. Some of the people in this forum will be changing the world in some way, shape, or form in the coming years. Mark my words.

the99percent.com feeds off of the book and is powered by Behance to offer up further guidance beyond the pages of “Making Ideas Happen.” It gives tips on how to improve everyday life in work and at home. It includes articles by some of the world’s most creative minds. It provides insight and structure to those that are in search of those things. Check it out and see where it takes you.

I truly love the concept of “Making Ideas Happen” and have already incorporated some of Belsky’s thoughts into my life. When people talk to me about a disorganized life, I talk to them about this book. When a friend needs some guidance on a work endeavour, I talk to them about this book’s concepts. When someone expresses interest in reading this book, I lend them this book. It’s in the mail as I write this to a fellow blogger who wants to see why I rave about this book. Maybe she will be linking to this post sometime soon after internalizing some of the it’s concepts. After she’s finished reading and it’s returned to my possession, I would be happy to lend it again. I only ask that you sign and date the inside of either cover, a little tradition of mine when I actually do read. If you can’t wait that long, then pick it up here. I can say, with almost 100% certainty, that this book can help in your life because I have already had many people tell me that it has helped in there’s.

Cheers to reading my first book, cover to cover in four years. And Cheers to many more books just like this. Thanks Scott Belsky for helping to simplify life a little for me. Mr. Belsky, I owe you a beer when we run into each other in NYC, which is bound to happen with the ideas I am going to make happen.

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