In this post you’ll find a few tips on how to come u[ with more ideas.
In the world of business and invention in general, the level of your success tends to be highly influenced by the number of great ideas you can come up with. Since anyone can imagine anything at any time, and not everything you imagine is worthy of your effort, there is an increased emphasis on the quality of your ideas, probably even more than the quantity.
If we look at the way we evolved mentally, we started in a time in which most didn’t even dare coming up with potential ideas for business or inventions, since there was still that deep rooted belief that ideas come only to the ones who are blessed with the talent of coming up with ideas. As time went more and more people divorced from that kind of mentality, and though some people still live by it, a good deal has gained the courage to take a step forward and dare to dream. Now we live in a time of enhanced self-esteem, which is good, but also comes with its own evils. With an enhanced sense of self belief, it’s very easy for anyone to go far down the other side of the fence. When before we had a hard time believing we could think of something great, now, most people fall prey for the temptation of believing that everything they think about is golden.
How to come up with more ideas
The question of this post is How to come up with more ideas, but as counter intuitive as it might sound, coming up with more ideas is more about the ability to look at an idea and regardless of how much in love we are with it, to tell whether it really is as good as we would like it to be.
1) Distinguish diamond from worthless shiny glass
The first step is to be able to tell when you have something good in your hands, and when you have nothing. This is by far one of the hardest things for anyone to do, since we tend in general to be biased towards the things made/created by ourselves. What we want here is clarity, and when you find your biases clouding this clarity you so desperately seek, the easiest thing to do is to ask a handful of people about this idea you think is great but that you’re not completely sure of. The downside of this approach is as you’re probably thinking about, that someone could steal it, and/or that the feedback is does not reflect the truth you’re looking for. In other words, the idea truly is good, but the feedback is negative and vice versa.
For the two problems above the best solution is to find a good sample of people that you can trust with your potential diamond, and with a good track record on decision making.
2)Consume more varied content
The way to mastery in any field is through specialization, simply because of the fact that when you narrow your target you get more available time to spend studying it. The problem with specialization is that when taken too far can cause us to have a myopic view of life. You do get good at one specific thing, but you also give up on the kinds of insights and cross disciplinary connections you only get by studying a variety of subjects. You learn about a classical, and often used problem solving strategy in one field, apply in another area that never used the same strategy and you’re seen as a genius. Learning more about more gives you the power to better judge your own ideas, as well as coming up with newer ideas simply by applying this simple cross disciplinary copy of ideas and concepts. When you run dry on ideas, sometimes the way to go is not to look for something totally new, but to instead look for the already existing, and finding ways to translate it to other unexplored areas.
3)Constantly think about new ideas
The third way to coming up with more ideas is to constantly think about them. We’re used to the story of the person who makes absolutely no effort to having a good idea, and through a surge of inspiration no one is able to explain the source, the person comes up with a work of art. The thing about this view of the world is that although possible, it’s not the only one. When you practice thinking about new things, this so caveated surge of creativity and motivation becomes even more likely to appear. Sometimes the juices only start flowing after a few minutes of effort followed by 10 or 20 mediocre ideas written in paper. Either way the process is unpredictable, and sometimes it is the case that it takes a little longer to get a stream of ideas.
4) Brainstorming with others
Another way to have more ideas for businesses, or for new inventions is to look discuss with other people. Sometimes we can tap into other peoples flow when we can’t for whatever reason get there by ourselves, and this is often an effective and productive thing to do when we’re in teams, trying to figure out the next step the group should go towards. Suddenly one member starts with a small and slightly brilliant idea, and because the group shares the same moment of inspiration, this small and inconsequential idea quickly becomes something major whose one single source is difficult to pinpoint, since the idea has become an organism of many parents.
One thing that makes accepting this point difficult for some is that old view we all have that if we are to come up with a great idea, we have to do so by ourselves with absolutely zero aid of anyone. This view is of course not a good representation of the truth. Keeping it is the same old idea of the person who obsesses about how she should achieve her goal even more than achieving the goal itself. It’s the old problem of obsessing about the path, instead of the destination.
5) Experience more
The last tip from this post is to seek for more experiences. I’m sure you’ve heard of it, and chances are that you failed to apply this amazing creativity strategy. If you didn’t really have a reason to do so, here is one. Sometimes the reason why we don’t feel creative is because the feelings and emotions we currently have don’t let us access the new stream of ideas. Meaning that one possible reason for any creative block is that an emotional block. When we are bored it can be difficult to feel creative. So, the way to more creativity might be to seek for more emotion to your life regardless of the kind. Meaning that as long as not harmful to you or to others, even feelings of sadness, and mild indignation can spur our creative juices. If taking extreme sports is what it takes, then this should definitely be added to your creative tool belt. Most of us are witnesses to the sad and still creative energy that comes right after a breakup. Some chose to take some time alone and think about it, some direct that creativity to tweets, while others write poems or even novels from it. The point is to check whether you’ve been touched by the muse whenever you find yourself having strong emotions, and if yes to take advantage of it immediately. And if you feel apathetic, maybe seeking these same strong emotions is the next intuitive step in your inspiration generation strategy.
To summarize this post, coming up with brand new ideas is more than just plain old sourceless inspiration. Just like our body and brains, the idea generation machine is the kind of thing that can and should be worked on in many levels, and the first step towards more ideas is perhaps to eliminate the belief that you’re either born a genius for ideas or not. The first step is to assume that if you have a brain, and some degree of awareness, you can come up with brand new and unique ideas for your life, and business, and you can see the truth weight of this statement through your own life. I’m sure you can think of a moment or two where you came up with something unique. It needn’t be something world changing. Just something you didn’t know where it came from, and that since then you’ve been looking for the same kind of inspiration.
It is all about knowledge and experience 😉
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