How do we learn to tell the difference between a good idea and a bad idea?
What works, especially as a blogger, an entrepreneur, a video producer or an influencer?
How do we tell the difference between temptation in something that seems like a really good idea today, but tomorrow we will wish we hadn’t done it, versus an idea that truly adds value and that we will look back on and say, “I’m really glad I did that.”
TEMPTATION vs INSPIRATION! How to Tell the Difference?
If you would like to avoid the next big pitfall, if you would like not to get sucked in by that next seemingly great idea that suddenly you wonder how could that have seemed like a good idea a while later, will you please watch all of this new episode of Happier People Podcast because the story I’m about to share with you is one I just went through in the last 24 hours and it’s a skill I’m just learning that you can learn and it will save a ton of time and energy and hassles if you are anything like me?
If you will enjoy reading and contributing to the discussion for this post, will you please join us on the YouTube video below and leave a comment there because I read and respond to most comments on YouTube?
This idea I recently had, was another great idea.
My great idea was to start running a contest on my YouTube channel where I would give $20 away on every single video.
I’m not doing that because this idea did not pass the system I’m giving you here today, which I also just came up with after having made the mistake a bunch of times already.
How do we differentiate temptation versus inspiration?
Maybe that should be the title.
“How do we tell the difference between temptation and inspiration?”
Here’s the difference.
Temptation does not pass the test of time.
Temptation often comes up as, “Oh, my God. We’ve got to do this today, today, today. I’ve got to start this contest on my channel today. I’m missing out. I’m missing views. I’m missing subscribers. I’m missing getting ranking higher.”
Temptation often has urgency to it, whereas a great idea tends to be patient.
A great idea will wait and keep coming back no matter what’s happening.
Now, I realize there might be some debate on this, but my desire to do music continued to come at me relentlessly and still hangs around.
I was not intending to do anything musical and all of a sudden I get this idea I should order a piano and I start thinking about it like, “No, that’s stupid.”
And then as time goes by, again, “Maybe I should just try playing the piano and make a video of it. Oh, that’s dumb. I’ll just try it anyway.”
More time goes by, “Maybe you should learn more.”
The music idea has got me over and over again, over a long period of time, over 3 years now.
The music idea that I should play the kind of music I love, expand my horizons musically and share that from the very beginning, that idea has hit me over and over again, no matter what I was doing, no matter how far off tangent I got something would bring me back to it.
That to me is an inspiration.
That is an inspired idea.
That’s an idea that might be truly in the best interest of others.
Now, let me give you a contrast to that.
Over the last 24-48 hours, I’ve continually been thinking about how great it would be to run contests on my YouTube videos because I could rank higher, because I could blow my channels growth up, because I could get more likes and subscribers.
You see, that’s temptation, because that is already not lasting the test of time, because the more I think about it, the more it starts to sound like a bad idea when I reflect on all the things I’ve done before.
Often the temptation ideas I have fade very quickly and don’t continue to come back, at least in the same way.
I’ve had lots of contest ideas and some have gone well and I’ve done some on YouTube, and yet what I can see about temptation is that when I consider the bigger picture, it doesn’t look very good.
When I just consider my own selfish interests and ego to have as many YouTube subscribers as possible, to be the biggest deal possible, then sure, running YouTube contests based on what I’ve seen others doing that looks like a great idea.
But when I consider everyone who might participate in the contest, when I consider, “Would I run a YouTube contest if I had a hundred million subscribers?”
No, I would not run a YouTube contest if I had a hundred million subscribers because that would be too many already to just do most of the basic things.
I wouldn’t want to artificially get more likes on my videos.
I wouldn’t want to artificially boost comments that would already be ridiculous.
I wouldn’t want to artificially boost my sub count.
I would want an accurate subscriber account.
I wouldn’t want hundreds of thousands of people trying to participate in every single contest.
That would be nuts.
It would be a nightmare.
So, why would I want that with two hundred and forty thousand subscribers?
And the thing is temptation never pass the test of a bigger picture, of thinking about others. I’ve had lots of tempting ideas in my life.
One day, I got the idea that I should sue Udemy, that how dare they ban me from their website?
I thought that I should just sue them, that I might be able to get more money out of them as if they hadn’t already given me enough, that I might be able to get restored on the website.
This felt like a really good idea at the time.
I woke up one morning and it felt like a brilliant inspired idea.
24 hours later that seemed really stupid.
Temptation and inspiration often can be differentiated when we talk to other people.
My wife actually is an attorney and she knows about these things so I talked to her. I pitched her my great idea, I said, “I’m thinking about suing Udemy.”
And she said right away, “Nope. You don’t want to do that. Here’s why. They don’t have to pay for their attorneys. They’re already on staff. You would need to pay for everything. You might not win and it might cost you a fortune if you tried to sue them and lost. You might not have a case and they’re not located in the same state and on top of that, is that the kind of energy you want to put out after they’ve already given you so much? Is that the right thing to do?”
As soon as my wife made these points, I said at first, “We can make it work. We can make it work.”
But then, the more I thought about it, the more I felt, “Wow, that’s dumb.”
It’s a year and a half later and that still seems like a really dumb idea.
Udemy has paid me over six hundred thousand dollars.
Do I really need more?
I mean, good Lord.
How greedy would it be to try to sue them?
“You banned me!”
Sure, I might have a case or I might not.
Well, why even bother? Why go there?
That’s a dumb idea because even if I did win, even if the fantasy scenario did happen, “Yes, Jerry. We’re so sorry. We were totally wrong. We’re going to restore your account and give you a million dollars just to say we’re sorry,” how much time and energy would I have to expend to even get it to that point?
Is that the kind of world I want to create with litigation like that even if it works?
Especially if it works?
Might other people see that?
You see, I don’t want to spend my time and energy involved in that kind of thing and ultimately if I don’t want to be sued I probably shouldn’t sue other people.
It’s just one of those simple things, you know. If you don’t want to have something happen to you, don’t do it to anyone else.
That is a good example looking back at temptation and it’s always easy to look back at temptation and say, “Well, yes. That was definitely stupid.”
But what about when it hits us as a great idea today?
What about when we wake up and all of a sudden what we think is inspiration is really temptation?
I was driving down the road the other night, I saw a police car and I thought I’d like to just PIT maneuver and see that police car running and wreck all over, and see what happens.
Now, I can see that idea very clearly as a dumb idea, especially being a police officer before. I can easily tell that’s temptation and it’s funny, it’s ridiculous.
But what happens when an idea with that quality comes up and we can’t tell that it’s ridiculous?
A lot of the ideas I’ve had that I’ve gone forward with were of that quality and I couldn’t tell they were ridiculous.
I just started playing video games again and I asked a bunch of people, I asked on YouTube, I asked and asked because I’ve learned one of the best ways to differentiate inspiration and temptation is to ask other people.
Temptation is essentially an idea that leads you into hell, that you feel, “Oh, my God. How did I ever do that? Why did I do that?” and the only saving grace is that every temptation that leads you into doing something dumb is often a very good learning experience, and which is why I’ve got so much to share because I’ve been led into dumb temptation directions so many different times.
The only reason I can say I’m not launching a contest on YouTube is because I’ve already been down that road so many times. I finally caught it in real time before I went forward with it just by talking about it to my wife who often doesn’t respond passionately like, “Okay.”
If I’ve got an idea that’s not inspired she often has no passion in her response and that’s how she was like, “Oh, Okay. That’s great.”
With the gaming, I asked a bunch about it before trying it again because I was afraid that this is temptation, that I’m being tempted back into playing video games again.
I asked my friends and family, my YouTube and Facebook audience, and got almost universal support.
Now, that’s not to say if everyone is jumping off a cliff, everyone might not tell you to jump off along with them. But, if everyone else jumps off a cliff, you might just want to go with them. It might be really boring after that. I don’t know. Don’t jump off a cliff on account of me just to be clear, but you get the point.
It’s not an absolute perfect science and if you are surrounded with a bunch of people who love drama and who get into temptation, they may want you to get into temptation just so they can hear about how bad it went.
“Oh, yeah. Go ahead and date her. Yeah, I’m going to be interested in hearing this disaster story for the next five years.”
Therefore, you do want to ask people whose opinion you trust and value that have your best interest in mind, and then you can give back in the same way. Then other people will ask you the same idea.
So, I’m really grateful today that instead of telling you about some new YouTube contest I’m running, I’m telling you about why I decided not to do that, and how in what seems like a miracle I distinguish temptation from inspiration, that this idea to run a YouTube contest is temptation just like many of the ideas I’ve had before.
In fact, I would even argue that all of my excitement and journey into cryptocurrencies fall into the temptation category.
It might be inspiration.
But sometimes there are different aspects of the same thing, that’s what makes life interesting. Sometimes there is the inspiration and temptation that is wrapped all around it.
So, I’m grateful today.
I hope this was useful for you.
Next time you get that great idea to run it through this question:
Is this inspiration or is this temptation?
Ultimately I’ve shared this here today because I am interested in really learning it and remembering it because I’ve already spent hours considering, planning and imagining YouTube contests.
Next time, I’d like to maybe drop that down to just a few minutes that I can detect an idea and say in a few minutes, “No, I’m not going to do that,” instead of it taking so long.
I used to take sometimes years on temptation ideas.
Down to a few hours or days is a lot of improvement and this is a part of making even further improvement avoiding temptation.
There is no guaranteed way to never be tempted though and that’s what makes life fun and interesting.
There is always temptation.
There are always things that come up and you can either enjoy it in terms of just noticing it and saying, “I see that as temptation and I’m deciding, thanks for that. That was entertaining. But I’m choosing we’re not going to go down that path today.”
I don’t see any, except if you are dead and your immortal soul is flying around, you might be tempted to reincarnate again. I don’t know, that seems to have happened to me anyhow.
I love you.
You are awesome.
I hope this episode of Happier People Podcast is really helpful for you.
“Jerry, how do I get more subscribers? How do I get more views? How do I get people to find me? How do I grow my channel?”
The main thing is to look at the challenges, the struggles, the learning points, the pain points you are going through and share that.
This is exactly what I’m going through today.
It gets no more real than this.
If you would like to share your experience on the same subject, will you please leave a comment on the YouTube video because I’m actually reading those now and all of the time I’ve been distracted with temptations freed up?
I am inspired to actually read and respond to your comments and you might enjoy having a discussion about this in more detail in the comments.
If you found anything helpful, will you please leave a like because that’s how we honestly engage with each other?
Instead of me manipulating you into leaving a like with a contest, maybe you will just leave a like in the video because it was helpful.
If you would like more like this, will you please subscribe because I think if you enjoyed this much and got all the way to the end of this video, I’m pretty sure you will love and enjoy more?
To actually make sure you see it, it might be helpful to turn on the little notification icon.
It might not.
You might not want to get an email every time I make a new video.
That’s up to you.
Alright, I just spent enough time asking you for stuff.
I love you.
You are awesome and I hope to see you again on another video if you have enjoyed this one.
If you didn’t enjoy this one, I don’t know if we will hang out again.
But that’s up to you.
Edits from video transcript by Michel Gerard at www.michelgerardonline.com.