An executive book summary on how the power of ideas can make you unstoppable.

The psychedelic catfish and how to become an idea machine

Ideas are the currency of the 21st Century, and execution is a subset of ideas. When you exercise your idea muscle every day, you become an idea machine.

Here are the strategies of becoming an idea machine

  • Ideas are the currency of life. Not money. Money gets depleted with constant usage till you go broke. But good ideas get better with use – buy you good experiences, buy you better ideas, buy you better experiences and buy you more time.
  • Coming up with ten ideas a day is like an exercise. And exercise makes the idea muscle stronger.
  • When you come up with ten ideas a day, or about 3000 ideas a year (depending on whether you include weekends or not), ideas will explode out of you. You will be unstoppable in every situation.
  • Remember: complaining is draining. Make better use of that energy.
  • Change can only start with us from within by making sure we are physically, mentally, and spiritually healthy.

The psychedelic catfish and how to become an idea machine

  • Go beyond ‘thank you’ and make gratitude a way of life. It unleashes more power into you and creates a more enabling environment for ideas generation.
  • Surround yourselves with people that support and cheer you up but also love you enough to challenge you.
  • When an idea has electricity in it, you will have no choice but to move into action, and you will love it because it will set your heart on fire.
  • “Idea sex” is mixing ideas and releasing control. It might lead to the birth of brilliant, more powerful ideas”.
  • The more value you bring to the world with your ideas, the more value you will bring to yourself, your family, and your community.”

Idea lessons from the Catfish and the Cod – Chuck Swindoll

At the turn of the last Century, codfish were immensely popular on the East Coast. News of the tasty fish quickly spread across the country to the West Coast. But there was a huge problem which the shippers first had to overcome: How to get the codfish to their customers, further inland, while maintaining the wonderful flavour and texture of the fish?

They began to experiment with different ways of shipping their product. At first, they froze the cod and shipped them that way but discovered that freezing the fish took away much of their natural flavour.

Next, they attempted to ship them alive. They used great tanks of seawater in the trucks. The results of this trial were even worse than freezing them had been.

Several issues arose over this method. The first problem was that it was much more expensive to ship the fish in this manner.

The codfish still lost its flavour, and the texture of the fish was seriously affected. Their flesh became soft and mushy. No one would want to buy, much less eat the codfish’s product.

Finally, someone began to think outside of the “box.” They began to look at how the codfish lived and survived in the vast expanse of their natural habitat – the ocean, to discover the answer.

They found out that the codfish has a natural enemy – the catfish. So the shippers, going on the word of these “codfish experts,” began to ship their codfish alive in tanks of salt water, along with their natural enemy – the catfish.

Something amazing happened. When the codfish were shipped from their point of origin on the East Coast until they arrived at the final destination, those cantankerous catfish chased their natural codfish prey all over the tank.

What happened?

The codfish arrived at their destination, just as fresh as when they were first caught. They had neither lost any of their flavours nor was their texture affected.

The answer to a lousy business problem had been solved, albeit in an unusual way. Ship the codfish with its enemy, and the codfish would arrive healthy, tasty and strong!

The power of ideas truly knows no bounds. There is a great life here. We need to learn to live with the “catfish” in our tank. It strengthens us. We become the people we are supposed to be through the trials, tribulations, and problems of this life.

Pastor Chuck Swindoll aptly pointed out that “we survive by resisting, and working through those difficulties that life hands us.” Just like the codfish. We must remain vigilant against the “catfish” of life or end up being overcome by them.

May you swim well in the tank of life!


Pastor Chuck Swindoll

Brad Morris

Samuel Davies

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