If you are thinking you need to be creative or inspired to generate beautiful ideas, you are in the wrong. Because ideas don’t quite work that way. In fact, it is the exact opposite.
Firstly, you generate some ideas. And then some more. Over time, you slowly grow your creative muscle and get better at it. It’s similar to learning how to juggle. You don’t just became a world-class juggler overnight without any practice.
Luckily for me, I had James Altucher to teach me the importance of generating ideas:
But WHENEVER I’ve been stuck on the floor I knew the only way to kick into action was to start building my idea muscle again. Because it is in those moments that my brain had become smaller, damaged, and my idea muscle had atrophied. And from that moment it takes six months (on average) to 100% change my life around.
And that was when I realized the naked truth about creating ideas and its real impact on one’s life. And be warned that it can change your life – for better or for worse.
Jotting ‘em down
Now I hope I have convinced you about the importance of generating ideas. But it doesn’t stop there. One of the (two) crucial bits people forget about ideas is getting them jotted down immediately and with vivid details.
Most people mistake their memory to be expertly good at remembering their ideas and they have unconsciously failed at the art of ideas right away. A good ideator (that’s a partially made up word :-)) is one who makes sure he has scribbled down his idea somewhere for future reference – no matter how bad the idea is – because he knows the value of ideas.
Ideas when on bed
Moving on, a lot of us get some of the smartest ideas right before we are about to fall asleep. It’s almost like our brain is doing it on purpose to taunt us. If you are lazy or imagine yourself to be able to remember the details of the idea when you wake up, you have lost it. The key thing to do is to keep a notepad nearly just for this worst-case scenario. Or you can use the notes app on your smartphone. Anything that works as long as you have jotted it down somewhere.
Ideas are social
If there is one secret most “creative” people have kept away from the plebians, it’s this. Ideas are insanely social. By that, I mean if you have one idea in mind, there is a very high likelihood of having many more ideas. And they grow so fast it is almost scary. But don’t be scared if you are jotting them as they visit you.
The other crucial bit people don’t realize about ideas is that sharing ideas is actually good and beneficial. I am going to let Seth Godin argue this point:
How dare we criticize an inventor or an author or a leader for, “stealing someone else’s ideas.” Ideas can’t be stolen, because ideas don’t get smaller when they’re shared, they get bigger.
Then again, there are two aspects of sharing: giving and receiving. Even as you contribute your ideas to the pool, you should also put effort in learning about others’ ideas. If you notice, “creative” people turn out to be one of the most vociferous readers out there. If you want an idea (ha!), here’s Steve Jobs’ reading list.
I guess it’s time to leave you on your journey of creating a thousand and one ideas. Good luck!