Last Updated on February 22, 2021
Generating great ideas has been overly associated with deep thinkers. This belief makes an average person lack confidence in the power of their thoughts. The truth is you don’t need to be highly-intelligent to come up with a ground-breaking idea.
Every person, in their life, has had a million-dollar idea.
Sara Blakely, Founder & CEO of Spanx, Sara Blakely Teaches Self-Made Entrepreneurship
You must have heard, countless times, someone saying, “That’s a good idea!”
Good ideas occur in our minds all day long. You use them to fix minor issues and fulfill your daily desires.
When it comes to great ideas, more mental effort is required. They come to mind less frequently and take more energy to execute.
Whether you want to make tons of cash or inspire lots of people, you need to open your mind and find one great idea.
Here are 7 simple techniques to turn your mind into a generator of great ideas.
1. Observe as much as you can.
Don’t just see. Observe.
There is a huge difference between seeing and observing. If you see something, you only use your eyes to detect it. By observing, you pay attention to the details of whatever your eyes are viewing.
Observation is a process that involves both sight and thoughts. Focusing, analyzing, and memorizing are some aspects of observing. You can change your opinion or learn something new by looking at things closely.
Ancient discoveries started with observational evidence. Sir Isaac Newton is an example of a great person who used his observation skills to explain the nature of things. He came up with several scientific laws and formulas.
If you practice observing, you can develop great ideas from things that already occur in the world.
2. Socialize with people outside your circle of friends.
Having friends is necessary for shaping our lives. They always come up with ways to help us deal with normal life problems. But since friends are always available, they may not be the best bet for finding fresh ideas.
Socializing is a great way to learn about the opinion of others on various subjects. If you interact with people randomly, you might land an expert and get information for free. You can also share your goals with someone and let them help you improve it.
It’s easier to meet new people by initiating conversations. Waiting for someone to talk to you can slow down your search for ideas. If you aren’t used to being the first to speak, you may find it daunting at the beginning.
You don’t have to worry about being rejected. It rarely happens if your intentions are pure. You only have to look out for the quality of the response you get and decide whether to proceed with the talk.
Put on a smiling face to attract new conversations. When looking for a stranger to talk with, you’ll most likely approach one with a happy face. Do this, and it’ll become easier to bring potential conversationalists your way.
3. Read more items.
English essayist Joseph Addison said, “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.”
Reading is a proven way to become smarter. It stimulates your thinking and helps with noticing the patterns of things. Solving problems and picking up new information becomes simpler with each day of reading.
When you read about a particular topic, you gather facts to reinforce your beliefs. Finding arguments that counter your way of thinking also becomes a simple process. All these benefits lead you to better ideas.
When it comes to reading, most of us only think of books. But they aren’t the only pieces that have valuable information. Newspapers, magazines, encyclopedias, and even poetry can enlighten your mind.
Include fiction in your library of reading materials. Lots of authors use their life experiences as inspiration for their writings. You may end up finding some concepts you’ve never seen in self-help and non-fiction books.
4. Browse the Internet.
As you know, the Internet is home to an awful lot of free information. It is probably the best place to generate great ideas. If you aren’t careful, you’re also more likely to get misinformed online than in any other place.
Google is a great tool for finding ideas over the Internet. You only need to type a keyword and gain access to millions of articles online. Adding quotes to a particular phrase generates precise search results.
Social media is useful for gathering firsthand information from people. You interact with users from all around the world without having to meet them. Be helpful and friendly to others so that they can share their experiences with you in return.
Pinterest can ease your search for new ideas. The platform contains pins and boards with billions of pictures that can be saved with a few clicks. You can find money tips, trendy styles, home projects, and even recipes to use as inspiration.
The best ideas on the Web are those which you stumble upon. Always be curious to learn more about any brief thing you see online. Follow links, add new friends, and sign up for newsletters that align with your interests.
5. Keep an idea journal.
You need an idea journal if you are an entrepreneur searching for marketing strategies, an influencer looking to keep their engagement at the top, or a student who needs to score high in exams. To sum it up, anyone who needs a great idea should have a journal!
We all have brilliant thoughts that flash through our minds from time to time. An idea journal is necessary for recording those bits of information. Even if you trust your memory, do it!
Idea journals aren’t for storing fully-formed ideas and proven methodologies. Just jot down your daily achievements, desires, and observations. Do you like a quote by a famous historical figure? Put that down.
The journaling process is similar to saving money. Each coin or dollar you drop into your savings contributes to the final sum you’ll get for achieving whatever you wanted. Likewise, every tiny thought you pen down makes it easy to come up with a killer idea.
Have a notebook in your pocket any time you go to a place that might spark inspiration. Dedicating a journal to a specific purpose reduces the chances of it appearing messy. If you intend to go the all-purpose way, organize your ideas from the start.
Now that you have all these random and immature ideas in one place, how do you generate a great idea? Simple. Revisit everything you have recorded frequently and try to piece them together. If it looks like some premium stuff that can change your life or a list of people who can give you further insight, your great idea is on its way!
6. Get started with mind mapping.
A mind map graphically represents ideas. It structures your thoughts, making it easy to analyze and keep them at the top of your mind. You generate new ideas quickly because you have a clear vision of what you already know.
You can clarify any ideas and concepts you have for personal or business purposes using a mind map. Some scenarios where mind mapping comes in handy are financial planning, arranging a presentation, project launching, and writing a story.
The first step to creating a mind map is writing or drawing the main idea of what you want to achieve on a blank page. Keep the paper in landscape orientation. Add the subtopics around the primary topic and connect them to the center with a line. Continue developing smaller subtopics while linking them to the correlative subtopic.
Spice up your mind map with illustrations, colors, and symbols. Ensure that the texts are brief and straightforward. Vary your fonts in ways that look appealing to help you develop new concepts quickly.
7. Practice meditation.
Meditation boosts creativity. It helps in accessing the resourceful part of the brain and getting the most out of it. If you need more ideas popping into your head, meditating is the way to go.
Do you ever find it difficult to penetrate the creative part of you? The good news is that you aren’t alone. The bad news is that you have to practice how to use your brain to the fullest. But no, practicing to meditate isn’t bad news.
You only have to sit in a quiet place, focus, and try to reach a higher level of awareness. Be aware of your breathing and practice a mantra until you get some inner calm. Although it’s possible to meditate with eyes open, closing them is necessary if you are a beginner.
By meditating in the morning, you improve your concentration as you go about your day. In the evening, it relaxes your brain and prepares you for the day ahead. Whatever time you prefer, your mind still attains peace and opens up to new ideas that can be life-changing.
The key to great ideas is setting aside time for finding them while putting in as much energy as you can. It’s possible to derive a great idea from all the experiences you go through each day. Once you find it, execute it, or find someone to help you with that!