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Posts Tagged ‘Inspiration’

By Jeffrey Baumgartner

1. Listen to music by Johann Sebastian Bach.  If Bach doesn’t make you more creative, you should probably see your doctor.

2. Brainstorm.  If properly carried out, brainstorming can help you not only come up with sacks full of new ideas, but can help you decide which is best.

3. Always carry a small notebook and a pen or pencil around with you.  That way, if you are struck by an idea, you can quickly note it down.  Upon rereading your notes, you may discover about 90% of your ideas are daft.  Don’t worry, that’s normal.  What’s important are the 10% that are brilliant.

4. If you’re stuck for an idea, open a dictionary, randomly select a word and then try to formulate ideas incorporating this word.  You’d be surprised how well this works.  The concept is based on a simple but little known truth: freedom inhibits creativity.  There are nothing like restrictions to get you thinking.

5. Define your problem.  Grab a sheet of paper, electronic notebook, computer or whatever you use to make notes, and define your problem in detail.  You’ll probably find ideas positively spewing out once you’ve done this.

6. If you can’t think, go for a walk.  A change of atmosphere is good for you and gentle exercise helps shake up the brain cells.

7. Don’t watch TV.  Experiments performed by the JPB Creative Laboratory show that watching TV causes your brain to slowly trickle out your ears and/or nose.  It’s not pretty, but it happens.

8. Don’t do drugs.  People on drugs think they are creative.  To everyone else, they seem like people on drugs.

9. Read as much as you can about everything possible.  Books exercise your brain, provide inspiration and fill you with information that allows you to make creative connections easily.

10. Exercise your brain.  Brains, like bodies, need exercise to keep fit.  If you don’t exercise your brain, it will get flabby and useless.  Exercise your brain by reading a lot (see above), talking to clever people and disagreeing with people- arguing can be a terrific way to give your brain cells a workout.  But note, arguing about politics or film directors is good for you; bickering over who should clean the dishes is not.

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This article was first published at Litemind.

What’s the secret creative geniuses share to come up with their remarkable ideas?

Even though idea generation may look like a somewhat mysterious and random process, there is a practical, simple lesson we can all apply to increase our chances of having great ideas.

Everybody wants to have great ideas, but have you ever wondered what an idea is? If you haven’t, take a few moments to think about it. The answer is probably simpler than you initially thought: ideas are connections.

Any idea, no matter how trivial, is an association between previous, established ideas. These connections happen in our minds all the time – often spontaneously and below our level of awareness.

Because of the randomness in idea generation, having great ideas is not a task that can be approached directly. The only way to increase the likelihood of having great ideas is to increase the amount of ideas that you have at your disposal to form connections. Ideas, no matter how simple, are the raw materials for higher-level ideas. The more ideas you have, the more material your mind will have to associate and generate a good one.

If the best way to get quality ideas is by creating them from a vast pool of ideas, then our job is to have as many ideas as possible. Here are six tips that can help you develop an “idea abundance” mindset:

1. Expect to Have Ideas

The first step is to get rid of common beliefs such as “I’m not a creative person”. Drop any preconceived notions that ideas are reserved just for a privileged few. That’s often enough to have ideas start coming to you.

2. Welcome Dumb Ideas, or Any Ideas for That Matter

Your focus should never be on having great ideas. Always strive for quantity. Most people don’t ever try having ideas because they’re socially afraid to have their ideas labeled as “stupid” or “dumb”. Get over it: your ideas that are regarded as dumb today may be the foundation for a groundbreaking idea tomorrow. And when you eventually have such an idea, nobody will remember your less successful ones. (And on the matter of being afraid to show your ideas, keep in mind that teasing is a disguised form of shaming, of others trying to throw you off balance.)

3. Expose Yourself to New Experiences

Your senses capture the basic information that your mind uses to generate associations. The more you expose yourself to different situations, people and places, the more fuel you will give to your mind to make connections. Learn to welcome variety in your life: travel, try out new foods, read magazines you usually don’t. Just don’t be afraid of doing things differently.

4. Capture Ideas Immediately

Get in the habit of capturing all your ideas. Use a paper notebook, PDA or voice recorder. It doesn’t matter how you capture them, just make sure that you carry your idea capturing tool everywhere you go. If you don’t capture your ideas the minute they come up, it’s guaranteed you’ll forget most of them – even worse, you won’t even be aware that you had ideas in the first place. Also, each time your mind notices you’re paying attention to its ideas, it rewards you with more ideas.

5. Be Thankful for Ideas

Every time you have an idea – any idea – be thankful for it. By developing this habit, you create an additional positive reinforcement that works as a “pat on the back” of your mind, encouraging it to produce even more ideas.

6. Realize that Ideas Come in Bursts

It’s perfectly normal to go through several days and not having one single idea. But then, suddenly, ideas will come to you one after another, just like a surging river. Sometimes, the ideas will come so quickly you’ll barely have time to write them all down. Don’t worry about the natural slow times, but make sure that you take full advantage of those idea bursts when they come.

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(found at The Cheap Revolution)

  1. I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. – Thomas Edison, inventor and scientist
  2. The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary. – Vidal Sassoon, entrepreneur
  3. Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t. – A student in Warren G. Tracy’s class, entrepreneur (Thanks Daniel!)
  4. The best reason to start an organization is to make meaning – to create a product or service to make the world a better place. – Guy Kawasaki, entrepreneur, investor, author
  5. Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has its stages of drudgery and triumph; a beginning, a struggle and a victory. – Mahatma Gandhi, political and spiritual leader
  6. Failure defeats losers, failure inspires winners. – Robert T. Kiyosaki, author, entrepreneur, investor
  7. Entrepreneurs average 3.8 failures before final success. What sets the successful ones apart is their amazing persistence. – Lisa M. Amos
  8. Once you say you’re going to settle for second, that’s what happens to you in life. – John F. Kennedy, U.S. President
  9. In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable. – Dwight D. Eisenhower, U.S. President
  10. The greatest reward in becoming a millionaire is not the amount of money that you earn. It is the kind of person that you have to become to become a millionaire in the first place. – Jim Rohn
  11. Some people dream of great accomplishments, while others stay awake and do them. – Anonymous
  12. Experience taught me a few things. One is to listen to your gut, no matter how good something sounds on paper. The second is that you’re generally better off sticking with what you know. And the third is that sometimes your best investments are the ones you don’t make. – Donald Trump, real estate and entertainment mogul
  13. The entrepreneur in us sees opportunities everywhere we look, but many people see only problems everywhere they look. The entrepreneur in us is more concerned with discriminating between opportunities than he or she is with failing to see the opportunities. – Michael Gerber, author, entrepreneur
  14. An entrepreneur tends to bite off a little more than he can chew hoping he’ll quickly learn how to chew it. – Roy Ash, co-founder of Litton Industries
  15. The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer. – Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese’s
  16. I will tell you how to become rich. Close the doors. Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful. – Warren Buffet, investor and billionaire
  17. I never perfected an invention that I did not think about in terms of the service it might give others… I find out what the world needs, then I proceed to invent. – Thomas Edison, inventor and scientist
  18. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. – Mark Twain, author
  19. There is a tide in the affairs of men
    Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
    Omitted, all the voyage of their life
    Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
    On such a full sea are now afloat;
    And we must take the current when it serves,
    Or lose the ventures before us. – William Shakespeare, author
  20. Genius is 1% inspiration, and 99% perspiration. – Thomas Edison, inventor and scientist

Two more good quotes given by The Cheap Revolution authors:

Being an entrepreneur is a lot like playing poker – you can fold, limp in, or go for it – Yasmine Mustafa

If you kick it around enough, it starts to look like a ball. – Skip Shuda

What’s your favorite quote? Share your favorite bit of success wisdom in the comments section!

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