If you want to come up with some cool new ideas (for business related topics, financial related issues, entrepreneur stuff, apps, new products, or existing product improvements, or even anything else you are interested in) you have to be in balance with yourself.
Your mind cannot operate properly under bad conditions. Just as you cannot work and give your best performance in loud and noisy environments, your mind cannot deliver its best potential (in form of new ideas) when it is not given the supporting environment it needs for that challenging task.
So your number one priority (or basically the foundation for all this “coming up with fancy ideas” stuff) should be getting yourself ready first. Get yourself in balance. Great the perfect conditions for your mind to do its magic.
Here are some things you should consider (beside my recently mentioned tips on that topic)
The Basics of Becoming an Idea Machine
- Sleep a lot. I have “tested” cutting sleep to a bare minimum before, but running now on a 8 hour sleeping mode already gives me great benefits compared to before. Give your body (and your mind) time to rest! Don’t go crazy and sleep 12 hours a day, but don’t go below 7 hours too. You will feel the difference.
- Exercise and move your body. You don’t have to do huge and exhausting workouts like P90X or Freelectics or anything like that if you are not into it. Also having a walk every day and getting some fresh air and sun are good enough. It gives your mind the possibility to “shut down” for a moment. Meditation and deep breathing can have a similar effect as well, but you need both. A calm mind and some workout (in whatever way or form). Your body and mind are interconnected and therefore both have to be in its best shape.
- Don’t eat garbage. I am not focusing on nutrition on this blog (yet). But you have to remove the junk food out of your life. Sorry, McDonald’s, you lost a happy customer with me!. If you think you don’t wanna miss out on all that “tasty” stuff, google it. You will be surprised what you are actually putting into your body (or to put it more drastically: your organism tries to re-create your body cells out of a Bic Mac. You don’t want to be a big Bic Mac).
- Read spiritual stuff. I am not that big religious person myself. I would say that I am very spiritual tough. When you expose yourself to some spiritual texts everyday you are aligning yourself with your purpose in life. You are “awakening”. Sounds rather esoteric, but I found it quite true. You learn how to live in the present moment (which is ultimately the only moment you will ever have) and you deepen your ability to enjoy life. Isn’t that what we all want? Check out my reading adventures for some good recommendations!
- Remove the alcohol. Alcohol can do one thing and that very well. It makes you stop thinking, silences the voice(s) in your head and shuts down your brain. But how do you think you can come up with some “1 million dollar” ideas that will totally change your life (or whatever solution you are looking for), if you are “shutting down” your brain? Don’t you think you will need it for that very task? Also, if you think about it (and this is just my reason why I quit drinking alcohol), if you need some form of drugs to cope with your issues, dramas or life situations, if you need alcohol to let go and let loose, if you need it to “be social” and get over fears (like approaching that one girl over there), don’t you think that there has to be something wrong, like really wrong? Just as a thought experiment: wouldn’t it be great to feel that good ALL the time and without all the headaches and problems that are connected with it? When I tell you know that you can, you might not believe me, but I don’t actually care!:) I am just writing about what works for me. And to be honest: the transition from “drinking” to “not drinking” was kinda tough at first (not because of some kind of addiction or something, just furthermore because you are not used to it and it is “common” to drink in some social scenarios with friends and while partying). But although it was not that easy and I feel isolated from the “fun” some times, I would never go back. I chose something bigger for myself and you could do too. But will you?
Taking it to the Next Level
AFTER you have taken care of that, you can start to work the real magic.
That is where the great stuff happens and where you can learn yourself how to come up with killer ideas and literally that idea machine that produces nice and meaningful ideas nonstop.
But like anything in life, this takes time.
It takes a lot of time even.
You have to sit down and work your brain muscles like you would work out your body. Your mind has to sweat each day.
At first it will be tough because (just like if you would start out doing some running for the first time) your brain is not used to this new kind of “exercise”. It’s just overwhelmed.
Still, I can show you what I have done, and what you can try for yourself as well, to educate myself to come up with new ideas that push my life to the next level every time. I hope this works for you just as good as it helped myself!
Do anything (or all) of these things and try to integrate them into your daily life. And you will see great results in the long run.
Which means: six months and more…
Yep, this takes some dedication and commitment.
- Write down 10 new ideas every day. The idea behind this is to create a habit for yourself that supports you in the long run. You might have to force yourself to do it in the beginning and it might be really tough if you are not used to it. But eventually your mind will “open up” and you will be surprised how much potential is buried in you. Just write everything down that comes to your mind. To be honest, a lot of the ideas will be bad. There will be a lot of them that are just stupid, or even something that is already done. But you have to put yourself into a habit first. Once your mind is used to the daily exercise you will feel (and see) the difference. Eventually something will click. Do this over the next 6 months ever day and after this time span you will have produced 1860 new ideas on how you can improve your life and bring more happiness or freedom to it. Sounds good to me, what do you think?
- Expose your brain to new stimulations. That is why I would recommend you guys to pick up some new hobbies from time to time. It is like you trigger completely new areas in your life when learning new skills and exposing yourself to new challenges. This will allow you to merge the new experiences with the old ones and somehow this is exactly how great ideas are produced. If you think about it: every great idea that was ever thought of is somehow a mixture of already existing stuff with some new twist to it. Think about, this is quite true. There are barely no new ideas out there. It is just that the one person that thought about it looked at it from a different perspective and therefore saw new potential. This could be you as well.
- Immediately execute on one idea you came up with. I had a lot of days where I came up with a lot of bullshit ideas. A made my list of 10 new ideas and I thought that every one of them just sucked. The problem I found was, that when this happens to you over a longer period of time (which it did) that you get somehow paralyzed. You end up at a place where no idea is good enough anymore. Everything sucks. You focus on the downside of everything you come up with. And finally you find yourself in a place where you are just doing nothing. The point here is that you have to get used to combine creativity with execution. When you execute on one idea immediately (it can be the tiniest step towards it, like a phone call, a google search, some additionally written down thoughts about it, anything) you will never fall into that pit and will become an executor. You deepen your sense for great ideas. You become the idea machine that everybody wants to become.
- Let your ideas have sex with each other and create cute little baby ideas! This is a fun little thing I eventually love doing from time to time. When you stick to your habit and work on your 6 months idea challenge, you will at some point in time end up with a 1860 long list of ideas (good or bad). Now think about how many mutations that would be if you randomly combine two or three of them. The possibilities are endless. Just pick 2-3 ideas by random and think about how they could work together. Again, this is more of a brainstorm so don’t be too critical with yourself. The idea behind is to look at things from a different angle and therefore open up to new insights that you have not yet thought of. Oftentimes this little twist helps you becoming that “idea machine” and creating cool and very lucrative new ideas and products.
- Ask open-ended questions and let your brain find the answers. The right question at the right moment is oftentimes the only thing you need. Ask a lot of questions. Let them be open-ended. Ask something like: “What can I do to increase my sales?”, “What other options do I have for this specific challenge?”, “What else would my customers be interested in?”, “How can I improve this area of my life just a tiny bit?”, “What can I do right now?”. Questions like this force you to come up with solutions. I truly believe that the quality of your life is directly linked to the quality of your questions you ask yourself each day. So better pick good ones!