Do you want new and great ideas?
The kind that makes people
- Smile in wonder and possibility after you introduce it
- Question why they don’t ask for your opinion more often
- Recognize how intelligent, creative and brilliant you really are
If you’re nodding your head, I have a question for you:
What’s the problem?
Why aren’t you coming up with awesome ideas?
Why do you have trouble coming up with even good ideas?
It’s probably because you believe that great ideas are reserved for a lucky few.
I have some good news and bad news for you.
First, the bad (that’s the way I prefer it): To have new and great ideas require work. The belief that an excellent idea just pops into your head in an AHA! moment is wrong. Eureka, like overnight success, takes time.
Now the good: It is possible for anyone to generate great ideas. Stop thinking that you can’t be creative and realize that you just don’t know how. You have all the resources you need to create awesome ideas and lucky for you, this article will show you how to do it.
Broaden Your Horizons
Imagine having one building block, you probably can’t do much with it except put it on its different sides.
What if you had 2? Now you can do some rudimentary stacking.
What if you had 5? Would you be able to build more things? Different things?
What if you had 100 building blocks? Imagine the possibilities.
Ideas work the same way.
Experiences are the building blocks for ideas.
To have new ideas, you need to collect new experiences.
What you can do?
- Read books of all genres and do it often.
- Travel to different places. The more different the better.
- Visit museums. Attend concerts. Listen to music you don’t usually listen to
- Attend a workshop, class or seminar – Neurolinguistic Programming, Creative Writing, etc.
- Do puzzles that challenge your thinking – Check out Thinkertoys
- Learn a new language – speaking a different language allows you to access different minds
Push the Limits and Play on the Edge
A great way to get your creative juices flowing is by playing on the edge.
Whatever topic you need ideas for, first get to the outer limit, get comfortable and then start pushing it further.
What is the fastest, biggest, broadest, smallest?
What happens if I magnify it? Minify it?
What if I rearranged different elements? Combined my various experiences and ideas?
Don’t be afraid to be “wrong” and stop trying to come up with the perfect idea.
Ideas, like all great things, rarely come when we are looking for them.
They usually come at random times in the day and it is important for you to capture them for future use.
I always carry something that I can take notes on. It’s either my notebook, my iphone or some random piece of paper. When I get home I transfer these thoughts into my ideas book or organize them into Evernote depending on the type of idea. The important thing is to capture EVERYTHING. Even if it’s something that I don’t look at for months, when I do finally look at it, it helps me to generate many more ideas.
You’ve just learned 3 easy ways to come up with new and great ideas. It is easy to say, “that’s nice” or “that makes a lot of sense” and promise yourself that you’ll use these tips “one day”. We all know how that goes.
I encourage you strongly to apply what you learned immediately and here are some suggestions:
- Decide right now how you will capture your ideas no matter where you are: Get a notepad or voice recorder, sign up for Evernote (it’s free) or create an ideas sticky note on your desktop.
- Commit to reading something that you would not normally read (ask your friends for a recommendation or go to the library and browse a section you don’t normally look at). Here are a few books that I enjoyed reading.
- Visit a museum that you’ve never heard of.
- If you need to come up with new ideas for something particular. Walk along the edges of the idea and start trying to push the edge. Ask yourself questions that end in -est or try to combine elements that don’t normally go together.
- Look into taking a language class or signing up for a thought provoking workshop (comedy improv, NLP or creative writing)
Which one of these suggestions will you take first?
Do you have any tips for being creative?
Robert Chen is the founder of Embrace Possibility and the author of The Dreams to Reality Fieldbook. He helps people gain clarity and move forward in life. If you’re going through a tough time right now, check out Robert’s article on How to Feel Better Right Away.
If you find that you’re having trouble getting what you want out of life, check out How to Always Achieve Your Goals.
How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.