Grasp your bright ideas

Mabel Sieh

Stefania Lucchetti says everyone has creative ideas - but we rarely act on them. She talks about how to harness our inspiration

Mabel Sieh |

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Stefania Lucchetti believes our biggest problem is not following through on our many ideas.
Often good ideas wither on the vine as we fail to act on them. But Stefania Lucchetti can easily tell you how to make ideas a reality: she is the author of Ideas in Reality: Making Your Ideas Happen.

Lucchetti is a lawyer-turned-entrepreneur and writer. After working as a corporate lawyer in Europe and Asia for 13 years, she quit her job this year, launched her book, and started a leadership project for young women.

The Italian-born author now lives in Hong Kong with her husband and eight-month-old son. Despite what many of us may think, she believes we are all creative with lots of ideas, but rarely act on them.

"Ideas are fast. One can come and go, like a dream. Without [further thought], it will disappear and be forgotten soon," Lucchetti says.

She compares the process of turning an idea into reality to the three stages of matter turning from gas to liquid to solid. "Ideas are like gas: they are often abstract," she explains. "You need to take note of it and conceptualise it into thoughts and words, then it'll become liquid. But it's only when they're materialised and put into action that they become solid ideas."

Lucchetti should know: the idea for her own book first came to her in a flash. But then she acted on it.

So what prevents people from making things happen?

Lucchetti explains: "People aren't aware of the different processes and what is required at each stage. For example, if you want to generate ideas in the first place, you need to be in an open, relaxed environment. We often hear people having brilliant ideas when taking a shower, travelling or [surrounded by] nature. This is because our creative mind needs mental space and quiet. Creativity rarely happens when you're busy clicking back and forth between emails, or browsing the internet.

"To capture your idea, you need to write it down immediately. That's why I always carry a notebook with me. And to conceptualise the idea, you need to express it in words by telling others about it."

But the most difficult is the third stage, which is to make it happen.

"The challenge is to mould the idea into something 'touchable' in the outside world, to turn it into a project. This requires organisation, relentless execution and mental loyalty. You should treat the project like an enterprise and with a timeline," says Lucchetti.

It's highly likely there will be times when you feel like giving up, a point she calls hitting a "project plateau".

"It's the moment when you think you just can't go on anymore. It could be because it's too time-consuming, you've run out of resources, or you get bored with it," she says. "If you give up at this stage, you will never make it happen. So don't."

Lucchetti thinks her approach is particularly useful for teenagers who are often sidetracked in life.

"You may think you need to fulfil your parents' expectations or find a well-paid job instead of an interesting job. But there is always a way to materialise your passion. You just have to find a smart way to make things happen."