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10 Ways to Inspire Truly Awesome Ideas

10 Ways to Inspire Truly Awesome Ideas

We all want to come up with truly awesome ideas, but sometimes it seems the inspiration is just not striking. Next time you find yourself in an idea rut why not try one of these 10 ways to inspire ideas that are truly awesome.

1. Surround Yourself With Greatness

There’s the old adage that you are the sum of the five closest people to you. If you want to be inspired with truly awesome ideas then surround yourself with great thinkers. They will inspire you and bring out your best ideas.

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2. Explore Your Creativity

We’re all creative in our own unique way. Whether your thing is drawing, painting, poetry, crafting or something completely different, get creative and see where it leads you. You don’t need a master plan to get started, just take out your materials and start playing around. You might be surprised at how quickly inspiration strikes.

3. Listen and Observe

It’s easy to get caught up in your own thoughts when you’re looking for an awesome idea. Take some time to sit back, listen to others and observe the world around you. The world and everyone in it are an endless source of inspiration if only you’ll take in what they have to offer.

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4. Mix Up Your Environment

Your ideas can get stale if you stay in the same place for too long. Get out of the house this weekend or go on a walk in your lunch break at work. Mix up your environment and get inspired by everything new about it.

5. Collaborate With a Friend

Two minds are better than one, and new people bring their own unique experiences and perspective to the table. Two different ways of thinking coming together can inspire ideas outside the reach of any one person alone. Collaborate with a friend to tap into the amazing creative potential of two people working together.

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6. Do Something New

If you always do the same things, you’re likely to keep getting the same results. To inspire ideas that are truly great, you’re going to need to do something different. Fill your days with new experiences like new places, new music, new people and new books.

7. Examine the Anatomy of Great Ideas

You can learn a lot from the great thinkers of our time, so start studying their great ideas and their origins. How did Einstein come across his best ideas? What was Steve Jobs approach? How did Beethoven compose his best work? Study the greats and learn all you can from them.

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8. Take a New Perspective

Take a new perspective by looking at things from a different angle. It can be tough to do this since we are often so set in our ways of approaching situations but it’s a powerful tool if you can. If you’re struggling to look at things from a different angle, get a friend to help you out by questioning your current assumptions. By taking a new perspective, you’ll be seeing things with fresh eyes and ready to soak up the inspiration.

9. Silence Your Internal Chatter

Your inner mind chatter is rushing through your head at a million miles an hour, forever distracting you from the real gold – the truly awesome ideas. By silencing your inner mind chatter, you’ll make room for inspiration to flow in and inspire ideas. A great way to do this is through a daily meditation practice.

10. Take the Pressure Off Yourself

Last but not least, take the pressure off! Sometimes you can push yourself so hard for an amazing idea that you move into a creatively blocked zone where nothing seems to be flowing. Take the pressure off yourself by taking your time and accepting that truly awesome ideas don’t always happen overnight. How do you inspire great ideas? And what’s one thing you’ll do today to get inspired?

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Last Updated on July 16, 2019

6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

Have you ever thought of yourself as a problem solver? I’m guessing not. But in reality, we are constantly solving problems. And the better our problem solving skills are, the easier our lives are.

Problems arise in many shapes and forms. They can be mundane, everyday problems, or larger more complex problems:

What to have for dinner tonight?

Which route to take to work?

How to fix a project that’s running behind schedule?

How to change from an uninspiring job to a career you’re really passionate about?

Every day, you’ll be faced with at least one problem to solve. But it gets easier when you realize that problems are simply choices. There’s nothing ‘scary’ about them other than having to make a decision.

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No matter what job you’re in, where you live, who your partner is, how many friends you have, you will be judged on your ability to solve problems. Because problems equal hassles for everyone concerned. And people don’t like hassle. So the more problems you can solve, the less hassle all-round, the happier people are with you. Everyone wins.

Why Are Problem Solving Skills Important?

Problem is something hard to understand or accomplish or deal with. It can be a task, a situation, or even a person. Problem solving involves methods and skills to find the best solutions to problems.

Problem solving is important because we all have decisions to make, and questions to answer in our lives. Amazing people like Eleanor Roosevelt, Steve Jobs, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., are all great problems solvers. Good parents, teachers, doctors and waiters all have to be good at solving different sort of problems as well.

Problem solving skills are for our everyday lives.

How to Enhance Problem Solving Skills

Most people believe that you have to be very intelligent in order to be a good problem solver, but that’s not true.

You don’t have to be super smart to be a problem solver, you just need practice.

When you understand the different steps to solve a problem, you’ll be able to come up with great solutions.

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1. Focus on the Solution, Not the Problem

Neuroscientists have proven that your brain cannot find solutions if you focus on the problem.[1] This is because when you focus on the problem, you’re effectively feeding ‘negativity,’ which in turn activates negative emotions in the brain. These emotions block potential solutions.

I’m not saying you should ‘ignore the problem,’ instead, try to remain calm. It helps to first, acknowledge the problem; and then, move your focus to a solution-oriented mindset where you keep fixed on what the ‘answer’ could be, rather than lingering on ‘what went wrong’ and ‘who’s fault it is’.

2. Adapt 5 Whys to Clearly Define the Problem

5 Whys is a problem solving framework to help you get to the root of a problem.

By repeatedly asking the question “why” on a problem, you can dig into the root cause of a problem, and that’s how you can find the best solution to tackle the root problem once and for all. And it can go deeper than just asking why for five times.

For example:

If the problem is “always late to work”…

  • Why am I late to work?
    I always click the snooze button and just want to go on sleeping.
  • Why do I want to go on sleeping?
    I feel so tired in the morning.
  • Why do I feel tired in the morning?
    I slept late the night before, that’s why.
  • Why did I sleep late?
    I wasn’t sleepy after drinking coffee, and I just kept scrolling my Facebook feed and somehow I couldn’t stop.
  • Why did I drink coffee?
    Because I was too sleepy at work in the afternoon, not having enough sleep the night before.

So there you see, if you didn’t try to dig out the root of the problem, you may just set a few more alarms and have it beep every five minutes in the morning. But in fact, the problem you need to solve is to quit Facebook surfing endlessly at night so you’ll feel more energetic in the day time, and you won’t even need coffee.

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3. Simplify Things

As human beings, we have a tendency to make things more complicated than they need to be! Try simplifying your problem by generalizing it.

Remove all the details and go back to the basics. Try looking for a really easy, obvious solution – you might be surprised at the results! And we all know that it’s often the simple things that are the most productive.

4. List out as Many Solutions as Possible

Try to come up with ‘ALL POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS’ – even if they seem ridiculous at first. It’s important you keep an open mind to boost creative thinking, which can trigger potential solutions.

Coming from 10 years in the corporate advertising industry, it is drummed into you that ‘No idea is a bad idea’ and this aids creative thinking in brainstorms and other problem-solving techniques.

Whatever you do, do not ridicule yourself for coming up with ‘stupid solutions’ as it’s often the crazy ideas that trigger other more viable solutions.

5. Think Laterally

Change the ‘direction’ of your thoughts by thinking laterally. Pay attention to the saying,

‘You cannot dig a hole in a different place by digging it deeper.”

Try to change your approach and look at things in a new way. You can try flipping your objective around and looking for a solution that is the polar opposite!

Even if it feels silly, a fresh and unique approach usually stimulates a fresh solution.

6. Use Language That Creates Possibility

Lead your thinking with phrases like ‘what if…’ and ‘imagine if…’ These terms open up our brains to think creatively and encourage solutions.

Avoid closed, negative language such as ‘I don’t think…’ or ‘But this is not right…’.

The Bottom Line

There’s nothing scary about a problem when you start to adapt my advice.

Try not to view problems as ‘scary’ things! If you think about what a problem really is, it’s really just feedback on your current situation.

Every problem is telling you that something is not currently working and that you need to find a new way around it.

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So try to approach problems neutrally – without any judgment. Practice focusing on defining a problem, keep calm and not to make things too complicated.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Planet of Success: Problem vs Solution Focused Thinking

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