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10 Habits Of People Who Can Always Generate Great Ideas

10 Habits Of People Who Can Always Generate Great Ideas

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

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Connect

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.

Say “yes!”

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.

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Motivate themselves

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.

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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.

Take Breaks

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.

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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

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Bridget Baker

Web Presence Sherpa

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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