Today’s post is the featured article from the June 2010 issue of The Front Porch Newsletter. If you would like to automatically receive The Front Porch e-newsletter on the last Thursday of each month just click here to sign-up for your complimentary subscription.

john-newWarning: There is not one new idea in this article. But then again new ideas are often over-sold. Recently, one of my clients shared with me some great wisdom on development:

People don’t need to be taught as much as they simply need to be reminded.

This is so true! In July, I will take time-out to attend the National Speaker Association’s National Convention in Orlando. Most participants will arrive hungry for new ideas and insights. Many looking for that “silver-bullet” to skyrocket their business. I will be among them. But I’m going … just to be reminded. Maybe participants should consider taking an extra suitcase filled with all of their handouts and notes from all prior conventions. You know, all those files you created with great intentions to “go back” and take action!

I realize one of the great benefits of any meeting is the face to face conversations and the relationships that are started or further nourished because our paths have crossed. Participants might be best served by just attending all the social events but stay in their hotel room during all scheduled sessions. That’s right, sit in their hotel room and pour over all those previous great ideas that have wilted from being fed with the junk food of great intentions, but starved from the lack of the real nourishment of taking action.

Learning new things demands little from us. It is like “brain candy” that feels good in the moment, but is quickly followed by the sugar slump. I have often felt if I would put into action only half of what I already know … I would be amazed at the results.

Maybe you can relate. Or maybe you just need to be reminded.

I want to put out an unlikely challenge. I am sure I will hear from all of my friends addicted to innovation! But here goes anyway. For the next month … try to learn nothing new. That’s right … it is the hot and lazy days of summer in some parts of the world and the sleepy winter in the rest. Seriously, “chill-out” and learn nothing new!

Instead, starting on July 1st … for the whole month, create your own “reminder retreat.” Schedule a few moments each day to pour over what you already know … but haven’t yet embraced in your work and in your life. Some days it might be a few moments just to sit on a deck or look out your office window and think about great ideas and insights that have faded. Some days it might be actually pulling out those fading notes of wisdom that have been filed away. Other days it might be lunch with a friend or spouse discussing what you have known … but forgotten. Another day might be creating an ice-breaker for your monthly conference call or department meeting with a simple question: What are some great ideas we have forgotten?

You will likely be surprised just how refreshing old ideas can be!

There is an inherent risk this “reminder fest” will lead you down the deadly path of guilt. Don’t you even think about it! Rather, let it fuel your engines to rediscover the gems you can best see only by looking back over your shoulder. You see … old ideas can always be new again. Not because they have changed, but because you have. In fact, I should probably warn you. If you choose to take up this challenge to learn nothing new … you will probably fail no matter how hard you try. For you will quickly learn that your “reminder retreat” will make it virtually impossible to avoid learning something new!

I look forward to my upcoming convention. Alright, so I will attend the schedule sessions. They are always incredible. And as the presenters share their “new” ideas, I will have my notepad ready to take notes … on what I rediscover and hope this time to remember!

As you ponder to rediscover … make a new list of your old ideas. By the end of the month you will have created a great list of reminders … making them easier to remember. Don’t you dare file it! For August will be patiently waiting … for action!