You may have been around, or have read online about, those people who seem to be “idea factories,” churning out great new idea after great new idea. And then actually following through with those ideas. What propels these people forward? How do they come up with these great ideas? What do they do to keep themselves unaffected by harsh critics — both external and internal?
It can seem like it takes no effort, but while there may be times where the ideas just seem to “come” to those people, it most often takes focus, determination, and commitment. There is not some magic formula, and “poof,” a great idea is just “born.” Ideas start from a spark, and that spark is recognized, acknowledged, and developed. A spark is not the idea, but is the kernel of truth from which the great idea springs forth.
How does one “grow’ an idea then? Here are 10 habits of people who develop ideas and run with them. They
Some of the best inspiration comes from experience and relating to the world. Going within is great, but human interaction and relations creates a foundation for inquiry. Without contrary opinions, how can your thought process start? If it is just you and your perfect bubble of thought, how can you form an idea?
Do the Work
They research. They read. They interact. Ideas are not born in a vacuum, and daily reading from multiple sources can help create the next big idea.
They embrace new experiences, and say “yes” to requests to try new foods, experience new places, and live a life beyond what they can imagine on their own.
They know no one is going to do it for them. They are less motivated by pleasing people, or external circumstances, and have the drive and determination to go it alone to create. Doing it without being told to creates the most authentic and inspired ideas.
Feel the Fear . . . and Proceed in Spite of It
Idea people are not without fear. They often have greater fears because the stakes are higher for them – they take greater risks. Instead of letting fear – of what other people might think; of the outcome; of the embarrassment – stop them, they take that fear, give it a great big hug, and do it anyway. That, is the definition of courage.
Try New Things
Some of the greatest idea generators, such as Chris Guillabeau, even ask their readers what new things they should try, and then they actually try them! What is something new you have been wanting to try? Great things may be on the other side of the experience. Sometimes the idea is generated not in the result, but in the process of trying itself.
Let Go of Being a Know-it-All
If you think you know it all, you close yourself off to the possibilities of fresh concepts and information you never even thought you would discover about something you thought you already knew. Try on a little “beginners’ mind,” and see where it can lead you.
Read and Watch for Inspiration
If you find yourself in an idea slump, try watching a few of the most viewed Ted Talks, and see what occurs. Just go with what inspires you, and see where it lets your mind wander. Sometimes, focusing on something else inspiring can spark the fire within your own idea factory.
Staring at a blank page too long can only frustrate you. Change your perspective by getting up, stepping away from what you are doing and either going outside, or focusing on something entirely different. You may find that an idea will just appear when you stop willing it into existence so hard.
Enlist the Help of Your Community
Be it your friends, your Professional community, or a Facebook group you are a member of, sometimes you need some brainstorming to get that idea churning to fruition. You may have a thought that is not a fully informed idea, and by asking a poll, or putting an inquiry out to people you know and respect you can find the next big idea.
Featured photo credit: Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com