The concept of an idea dictates that it comes like in a flash and if not properly documented and acted upon, it “goes” away. But you must understand that ideas flow when they are in an enabling environment – that is, you are able to “see” and “catch” them when you are in the right state of mind.
One thing that goes across board for successful people (no matter what your definition of success is) is that they had ideas (whether unique or not so unique) that they EXECUTED to become who they are. The most popular and widely accepted definition of success is “achieving a set goal”. That goal is an idea, no matter how popular it is, it was conceived, thought about, planned, and executed.
An idea is the first stage of what will turn out to be a project. It is the starting point of everything we are seeing, was the starting point of what we have seen, and will be the starting point of what we will be seeing. No great thing happens without an idea first. The good news is that ideas are free, you do not pay to get them, you just do.
How then do you generate and sustain quality ideas? Follow me:
- Expect Them
Forget the idea that some people are creative and others are not. Do not let that limit you. Everyone is capable of “creating” something. It may not be in the popular aspects like arts, culture, or technology, as those are not the only areas to function in.
So, if you want to generate ideas, you have to expect them. You have to work on your mind to be ready at all times to develop ideas. Many times this would involve focusing on a problem, societal, personal or otherwise. Problems are often the cradle of ideas.
- Record All Ideas You Get No Matter How Silly
One thing that affects most people is that they want to get the best idea in a flash. They are waiting for that ‘Eureka’ moment where everything just fits in and the idea is ready for implementation within seconds of generation.
Truth is that sometimes there is a Eureka moment where “everything about an idea just fits”, but this rarely ever happens at the point of generation. It often happens when you have been researching and meditating on an already generated idea. Every idea is a baby, it must be groomed and the first step is to write it down. You don’t make plans in your head, you make them on paper.
Strange ideas have borne crazy good fruit. Just imagine that people have made millions and billions of dollars transporting refuse and sewage. It all started from a ‘shitty’ idea.
I suggest that you have a ‘book of ideas’ like I do… this is a sign that you expect them and a place to record them.
- Try to Get New Experiences Regularly
Do not just be the guy that wakes up, goes to the office, works all day, comes back, works, grabs something to eat, ‘lazies’ around in front of TV and goes to sleep. Spice it up, and travel. Take some unplanned walks. Learn something new. Learn a new language. Whatever you do, just make sure you don’t just live a routine life.
You should also learn how to observe what’s going on around you. Do not be too involved in life’s motions that you miss out the tiny details. This is not to say you should be melancholic and quiet in gatherings, it is just saying you should always seek to understand the people and things around you.
Quality ideas are birthed by quality thoughts and quality thoughts are conceived in careful observations.
- Think in the Opposite Direction
If perhaps you are looking for how to market a product, think about the ways every other person does it to make their products attractive and accessible, then note them as ideas never to try, then turn around and just do the opposite or something so different it will make some people cringe. Heck, go way back and exhume a ‘dead’ idea. People will tell you its outdated but that is probably how it will be a great idea.
You see the world is cyclic. What is has been and will be again, that’s the beauty of the complexity of this world. People love novel things, but the truth is that it is always novel to te generation that meets it.
- Read Stuff… Just Learn New Things.
Surf the net randomly, pick books on business, read biographies of great men, pick up a novel or something, just read. Readers are the greatest thinkers and as established, thinkers have the best ideas. Ideas often hide in words and creatively constructed words will do it any day.
- Act on Previous Ideas
It is better to fail than not try. Do not keep the ideas “rusting” in your paper or in a folder on your PC, do something about it. Ideas will only remain in an active “host”. One little success is the greatest motivation you need for greater success. Besides, more ideas seem to flow in the direction of utility more than mere generation.
Do not just be an ideas collector, DO something about the ones you already have.