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A Bulletproof Way To Never Again Forget a Million Dollar Idea

A Bulletproof Way To Never Again Forget a Million Dollar Idea

Have you ever thought about how many million dollar ideas you have forgotten?!

I’m absolutely sure that at least a couple of times in your life you’ve had a brilliant idea but somehow it slipped your mind. You were on the crowded bus and you simply couldn’t write it down. Or maybe you were walking down the street but your mobile went flat or you didn’t have a pen.

And then a few months later you hear news on TV that some guy used YOUR idea and became a millionaire. We all know the feeling. I bet you can feel the surge of frustration this very moment!

So why did it happen?

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DISADVANTAGES OF TYPICAL NOTE-TAKING

  • It’s not always possible to write something down due to conditions and the nature of “eureka” moments. Usually the best ideas strike us in the conditions which make typical note taking impossible: under shower, while running, right before you fall asleep. No wonder. Usually that’s the moment when your brain is relaxed and produces alpha brain waves (Niedermeyer E.(1997). Alpha rhythms as physiological and abnormal phenomena).
  • You might not have proper tools to help you capture your ideas (e.g. pen, mobile phone, etc.)
  • It might be weird. Another fairly typical situation in which new ideas are created is when you have a conversation with somebody and then, out of nowhere, your beautiful brains crash to produce some inspiring idea. The problem is that you don’t always know some person well enough to put a conversation on hold in order to write your ideas down.

The point being – technology is great but it won’t always be there to save the day.Most of us are afraid of being dependent on other people. But do you really think that being dependent on a battery or a pen is more noble? (Sure, they won’t judge you but that’s about the only difference). Who will keep data for you when we run out of trees?!

So what can you do to prevent it from happening?

USE YOUR IMAGINATION TO PLAN IN YOUR MIND!

To make sure that you never ever forget another brilliant idea, you have to use the power of your imagination. So what’s the secret?

Mnemonics!

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One of the methods with proven record of effectiveness is the method of loci (Bellezza, F. S., 1996, Mnemonic methods to enhance storage and retrieval). This technique, as fancy as it sounds, was already known to the ancient Greeks and Romans.

The general idea behind this method is to create associations between the elements which are well-known to you and new pieces of information (ideas in our case).

To do this, we should:

  1. choose the layout of some building / flat / house which we are familiar with.
  2. select some distinctive loci within the place of our choice
  3. specify key words characterizing your idea
  4. create some vivid, abstract (or just plain absurd) associations between the loci and key words.
  5. finally, take a mental walk, once you’re home, to retrieve the precious idea

Let’s go through an example to show how straightforward and bulletproof this method is.

EXAMPLE

It’s a safe bet that you know exactly how your flat / house looks like and probably at least a few places of your friends, and family members. And that gives us a lot of potential places you can use.

I’ll use my own room as an example (distinctive loci) as I seem to spend there unhealthy amount of time. Let’s say that I have an idea to create a comic book about a dysfunctional super hero, called the Incredible Incompetento. His only super-power is being able to ruin every company’s project.

Through my mind’s eye I see him as a clumsy, white-collar worker with glasses (key word). Next, I’ll picture him entering my room and spilling a cup of coffee all over my sketches (association) and burning my hands in the process

 

Forget about forgetting and embrace your regret-free life. Never again will your brilliant ideas sink into oblivion! And if it ever happens that you become a millionaire, don’t forget to drop me a thank you message.

Has it ever happened to you that you’ve forgotten some important idea? Let me know in the comments!

Featured photo credit: soultga via rgbstock.com

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

Do you think of yourself as a creative person? Do you play the drums or do watercolor paintings? Perhaps compose songs or direct plays? Can you even relate to any of these so called ‘creative’ experiences? Growing up, did you ever have that ‘artistic’ sibling or friend who excelled in drawing, playing instruments or literature? And you maybe wondered why you can’t even compose a birthday card greeting–or that drawing stick figures is the furthest you’ll ever get to drawing a family portrait. Many people have this common assumption that creativity is an inborn talent; only a special group of people are inherently creative, and everyone else just unfortunately does not have that special ability. You either have that creative flair or instinct, or you don’t. But, this is far from the truth! So what is creativity?

Can I Be Creative?

The fact is, that everyone has an innate creative ability. Despite what most people may think, creativity is a skill that everyone can learn and hone on. It’s a skill with huge leverage that allows you to generate enormous amounts of value from relatively little input. How is that so? You’ll have to start by expanding your definition of creativity. Ironically, you have to be creative and ‘think out of the box’ with the definition! Creativity at its heart, is being able to see things in a way that others cannot. It’s a skill that helps you find new perspectives to create new possibilities and solutions to different problems. So, if you encounter different challenges and problems that need solving on a regular basis, then creativity is an invaluable skill to have.Let’s say, for example, that you work in sales. Having creativity will help you to look for new ways to approach and reach out to potential customers. Or perhaps you’re a teacher. In this role you have to constantly look for new ways to deliver your message and educate your students.

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How Creativity Works

Let me break another misconception about creativity, which is that it’s only used to create completely “new” or “original” things. Again, this is far from the truth. Because nothing is ever completely new or original. Everything, including works of art, doesn’t come from nothing. Everything derives from some sort of inspiration. That means that creativity works by connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value.From this perspective, you can see a lot of creativity in action. In technology, Apple combines traditional computers with design and aesthetics to create new ways to use digital products. In music, a musician may be inspired by various styles of music, instruments and rhythms to create an entirely new type of song. All of these examples are about connecting different ideas, finding common ground amongst the differences, and creating a completely new idea out of them.

What Really Is Creativity?

Creativity Needs an Intention

Another misconception about the creative process is that you can just be in a general “creative” state. Real creativity isn’t about coming up with “eureka!” moments for random ideas. Instead, to be truly creative, you need to have a direction. You have to ask yourself this question: “What problem am I trying to solve?” Only by knowing the answer to this question can you start flexing your creativity muscles. Often times, the idea of creativity is associated with the ‘Right’ brain, with intuition and imagination. Hence a lot of focus is placed on the ‘Right’ brain when it comes to creativity. But, to get the most out of creativity, you need to utilize both sides of your brain–Right and Left–which means using the analytical and logical part of your brain, too. This may sound surprising to you, but creativity has a lot to do with problem solving. And, problem solving inherently involves logic and analysis. So instead of throwing out the ‘Left’ brain, full creativity needs them to work in unison. For example, when you’re looking for new ideas, your ‘Left’ brain will guide you to a place of focus, which is based on your objective behind the ideas you’re searching for. The ‘Right’ brain then guides you to gather and explore based on your current focus. And when you decide to try out these new ideas, your ‘Right’ brain will give you novel solutions outside of the ones you already know. Your ‘Left’ brain then helps you evaluate and tune the solutions to work better in practice. So, logic and creativity actually work hand in hand, and not one at the expense of the other.

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Creativity Is a Skill

At the end of the day, creativity is a skill. It’s not some innate or natural born talent that some have over others. What this means is that creativity and innovation can be practiced and improved upon systematically.A skill can be learned and practiced by applying your strongest learning styles. Want to know what your learning style is? Try this test. A skill can be measured and improved through a Feedback Loop, and can be continuously upgraded over time by regular practice. Through regular practice, your creativity goes through different stages of proficiency. This means that you can become more and more creative! If you never thought that creativity was relevant to you, or that you don’t have a knack for being creative… think again! You can use creativity in any aspect of your life. In fact you should use it, as it will allow you to to break through your usual loop, get you out of your comfort zone, and inspire you to grow and try new things. Creativity will definitely give you an edge when you’re trying to solve a problem or come up with new solutions.

Start Connecting the Dots

Excited to start honing your creativity? Here at Lifehack, we’ve got a wealth of knowledge to help you get started. We understand that creativity is a matter of connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value. So, if you want to learn how to start connecting the dots, check out these tips:

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Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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