Where does an idea come from?
Where will your next big idea come from?
These are some really valuable questions to ask yourself, especially if you are looking for inspiration for a project or business idea.
Think back to the last time you had a good idea. Where were you? What were you doing? Were you with others? Or by yourself?
Whether you were sitting in a board room, driving a car, on a hike, or reading a book, your last great idea came just as your next idea will - by doing something.
Some of my most memorable meetings have been while we were doing something as a team: hiking, going on a walk, driving, or even playing ping pong. It seems like the creative juices just flow a lot easier that way.
As I ask myself how I have come up with ideas, they usually come after doing a series of things, but first and foremost I was doing something active. Riding my bike, for example, is a great way for me to get into nature and think. Of course, I need to mention I wouldn’t have much to think about if it wasn’t for my goal to read 200 books this year (4 so far) and listen to a podcast episode every day. I am taking in a lot of information every day and getting out on a run, walk, or bike ride is the perfect way to allow my brain to process all of it. It seems like almost every time I am done doing something active, my mind is so full of ideas that the pen has a hard time keeping up with my mind to get it all down into writing (yes, I still hand write everything into a notebook).
That is my formula for how to come up with ideas. Or, at the very least, a template of some kind regarding how to learn how to think.
To summarize, here is my creative process in a nutshell:
Read. A lot. My goal is 200 books this year.
Learn in other ways (actively and passively) though podcasts, courses, videos, conversations, and observing.
Be active. A fit body = an active mind. Get outside as much as you can.
Write everything down. However you organize your ideas is up to you, but I am a big advocate for writing things down by hand, your recall is just better.
Take the time to understand your creative process. How do you learn? How do you come up with ideas?