Be an idea generator

Why you should come up with new ideas and how to do it

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Be an idea generator

Be an idea generator

Be an idea generator

Pixabay

Be an idea generator

Pixabay

Pixabay

Be an idea generator

Katie Paape, News Editor

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Ideas make the world go around. World-class companies, products we use daily, and the subjects we study in college all began with a simple idea. Ideas change the world.

Many people seem to be awe-stricken with ideas, or they believe only people with brilliant minds are capable of conceiving original concepts, but this is not true. Everyone can come up with unique ideas because we all see the world in slightly different ways. Everyone is unique from everyone who has ever – and will ever – live. With the belief that we all have something to contribute, learning how to come up with more ideas becomes that much more important.

If you ask a creative person where their ideas come from, most likely you’ll get a reply similar to this: “I don’t know, they just come to me!” This is hardly a useful answer; so the question becomes, where do ideas come from? Why do some people seem to be blessed with sudden inspiration while the rest of us trudge along waiting for an unforgettable spark of insight? Many people participate in creating a mysterious aura around the magic of ideas because they don’t understand how they are formed.

An idea is just a series of connections. We make connections from every part of our life from different sources of information such as reading new books, listening to podcasts or meeting new people. Ideas form when the brain fuses together unrelated bits of data that happen to be collected around the same time. Current information combined with past experiences make these connections wholly individual to the person who forms the idea. This is why two people with the same ideas will likely end up with entirely different results.

If you want to become an independent thinker, perhaps all it takes is a little paying attention to the small details that go unnoticed in your life.

Anyone can learn how to be more observant, and everyone can be creative. Creativity is a human necessity. We all have some form of creativity and we all use it to survive on a daily basis. If we weren’t creative, we would probably be helpless robots who can only perform tasks that we’ve completed in the past. Critical thinking and creativity inseparable.

Some people confuse creativity with technical proficiency. Learning how to draw, for example, is a useful technical skill, but being an artist cannot be taught through rules and directions. Though being an artist and having the means to express art go hand in hand, if you want to be more creative, an art class won’t necessarily help, but closely observing the world around you will.

We can only contribute something new if we pay attention to what we absorb. Studies have found that we forget 90 percent of what we learn. How many more ideas would we have if we brought that number down to 50 percent or even percent? How many more connections would we make between people, places, or books? What could we bring to light that the world has never seen?

Ideas are all well and good, you might be thinking, but how do we actually put this theory into practice?

James Altucher, best-selling author of “Choose Yourself’ explains a method anyone can use to become what he calls an “idea machine.” All you have to do is write a list of ten ideas. The list can be anything. Ten books you want to read, ten ways to improve your life, ten dream jobs, 10 pictures you want to paint, or anything that sparks your interest.

The point here is not to come up with a lot of genius ideas every time you write.

The method is meant to be a way to exercise your ability to generate new ideas. Altucher describes idea formation as a “muscle” that needs to be practiced, and the only way to practice is to think of a lot of ideas. Most of them will be useless, but you may find a few that you may just want to hold on to.

We live in a culture that thrives on new ideas and change. To be successful, we have to be adaptable, and we have to learn how to navigate this world. If you listen to what is ignored, and see what is hidden you could be ahead of the game and find yourself with an original idea or even a new theory that could change the entire world.

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