I’ve been going to the gym for about three years now.
Wait, that’s a half truth
The first two years down my muscle building journey I was inconsistent. I would work out with a strict regimen for three months, then I would fall off track and miss weeks at a time. I repeated that cycle over and over again without seeing the results I really wanted to.
Now that I have been going to the gym consistently for just over a year I have seen results that I never imagined possible. I still have a long way to go, but now I see constant improvement. I can lift more, run more, and my body looks completely different.
Last year I decided that I wanted to become a never ending fountain of ideas. I wanted to have a hundred ideas to overcome any obstacle that came my way.
Heck, I wanted to be able to spout off ideas to solve the problems of everyone around me. And I had learned my lesson from the gym.
Consistently exercise a skill, and it grows.
So I created my idea exercise regimen and I’ll share it with you now.
Write at least 10 ideas every day.
They don’t have to be good!
I say that first because every time I mention this to someone they always say “How on god’s green earth could you come up with ten ideas in a day?”
When I tell them that it usually takes me about 12-15 minutes they look at me like I’m some sort of super human.
But then I tell them some of the ideas I’ve come up with and their face changes.
Don’t worry if your ideas are bad. In the first six months of going to the gym you are going to be weak compared to everyone around you. Your muscles haven’t developed yet. It’s the same with your idea muscle.
The point is to consciously make your brain struggle every single day. If you want to become a never ending source of ideas, especially good ideas, it’s going to take time.
One of my ideas recently was a themed restaurant where the waitresses/waiters get paid really well, and they decide how much they tip the customers.
Is the idea interesting?
Is it good?
Always be on the search for problems.
This is something that you need to train yourself to be vigilant in. Every time you hear someone complain about something, think of ways to fix it.
Even if they’re bad ideas; even if you’ll never follow through.
You need to be able to apply your idea skills to real world situations and just like anything else, that takes practice.
If you hear someone complain— or notice something that doesn’t seem to work correctly—just write it down and make it the subject of your next 10 ideas.
After enough practice with this, ensuring that you do your 10 ideas every day, you will be well on your way to become a fountain of ideas.
Combine your ideas.
This is a crucial skill to learn if you ever want to create something new.
Combining to totally different ideas, or objects, will provide weird and sometimes very amazing results. I learned this concept from a book called ‘Creative Thinkering.’
A lot of history’s greatest ideas have happened this way, whether the person has realized it or not.
The natural way this happens is you think about something for a long time, then when you stop focusing on it and you mind wanders to something else, that other focus causes a eureka moment.
A man named Christopher Sholes was watching a piano recital when he noted that each key of the piano produces one specific note. He thought, why not create machine that writes in the same manner, with each key creating a specific letter.
Through the combination of playing a piano and writing, the first type writer was born.
I believe that you can improve any skill with practice, and you ability to create quality ideas on a whim is no exception.
If you follow these tips consistently, you will see results.
First you will be able to come up with ideas with ease, whether they are good or bad. Then you will start to come up with quality ideas, or novel ideas more and more often. Then you will start to come up with truly innovative ideas and you will naturally have the motivation to start executing them.
Just like my body has grown stronger from training at the gym, my creativity has improved drastically with this idea training.
Don’t wait for some amazing idea to hit you, start training your creativity and light your own light bulb.