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One brilliant thought, that commits to action is priceless. Most successful enterprises all begin with one single idea, a concept that’s built into a theory, that develops into a solid foundation – The ability of something intangible to convert to something tangible that gives fruit. Yet ever so often, it’s the idea that evades us.

Everybody wants a great idea. But, not everybody knows how.

The secret to generate a great idea is simply to connect.

Creativity is the ability to see things everybody else sees, but to relate them to completely unrelated things, to form a new connection. Remember Newton and the apple? How many other people would’ve wondered what caused the apple to fall to the ground? Now that was a great idea.

Get those creative juices flowing

First, set a goal for yourself. Goals are time-oriented, ideas however aren’t. You can’t expect to get great ideas if you keep thinking of how much time you have left to come up with something good.

Relax. Go for a walk or listen to your favorite music. And while doing any of this, try to imagine. Imagination is the key to unlocking great ideas. Think of your concept. What do you need to make it work? Think of similar things you’ve seen and heard that are related to your concept.

Doodle

Doodle

Open your notepad. Write your key word/ key concept at the center of the page. Now write the similar words around the key concept and work your way towards the end of the page, with the most similar words nearer to the key word and the least similar words towards the page ends. Now try to establish a connect between the words.

For example, if your key concept is a product, evaluate it’s strengths and weaknesses. Now do the same for the similar products, understand what you can work with and what should be worked upon.

Capture every idea

Ideas will hit you at any stage of the thought process. If you’re lucky, ideas will hit you at every stage of it. What you should keep in mind is that every idea should be noted. You may just chance upon something good right while you’re in the middle of doing something else. Remember, an idea missed is an idea lost.

Different perspectives

Often, what you oversee maybe captured by someone else. Always ask other people about your concept as well, so that you get an all-round perspective on things. This will help you widen your horizon and broaden your thought base.

Use metaphors

Jason-Moning

What are metaphors? ‘A figure of speech which an implied comparison is made between two unlike things that actually have something in common’ is the dictionary meaning. eg. β€œLove is a rose’. The usage of metaphors helps anybody,absolutely anybody get creative ideas. Believe me.

Here’s the story of how the popular chips brand ‘Pringles’ was invented:

In the 1960s, William Gordon, a psychologist and inventor with around 200 patents, was asked by Proctor and Gamble to solve the problem of disappointed customers who opened big bags of chips onlyΒ  find them mostly filled with air. Gordon discovered the solution while rakingΒ  his backyard.

On a dry sunny day, he noticed the leaves would crumble as he shoved them into the bag while, on a rainy day, the wet leaves would not break. In fact, each wet leaf conformed to the shape of its neighbor, making it easy to pack the bag. The idea of wetting and forming dried potato flour in a similar fashion gave birth to Pringles.

Similarly, juice boxes and food packages are packaged in hues of red and yellow to stimulate appetite as well as to give the prospective buyer an idea of the nature of the content inside.

What’s unrelated can be related too

Use unrelated terms to create new perspectives and fresh ideas. Lets assume our key word is ‘yellow.’ You can start thinking of related and unrelated words like sunshine, flowers, lemons, tweety birds. This is the first level.

In the next level, you can think of reactions and emotions that the first level words bring about- let’s say warmth, brightness, tang, happiness, humor, light etc. Once you start, you’ll see that it’s really easy to go on.

Now let’s take one of the above terms say, light and think of something related. Maybe a biscuit or a cracker. Haven’t you come a long way from your keyword?

Soon you will be able to establish a connect between your keywords and the related and unrelated terms, to see things in a entirely fresh and new perspective.

Brainstorm

Brainstorm

Once everybody has made their separate lists, collective brainstorming creates the coming together of ideas. During this, one can highlight and eliminate ideas to close in on one idea that stands out.

Ask for feedback

Talk to people who are not part of the creative process but are part of the target group for feedback on your idea. Often overlooked facts and loopholes may come to the fore here, which you can rectify.

In the bigger picture, the best way to get ideas is to keep thinking, to keep working on ideas. Existing ideas can prove as great basis for better ideas, just as each level must be conquered to move to the next.

On an everyday basis, try reading and researching as much as you can. There really is no substitute for knowledge.

Alternately, if you’re feeling void of ideas, take a break or a nap. Sleep over it. Remember, you can’t force a brilliant idea. The best ideas often come when you least expect them!

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Posted by Rachel Vera

Rachel Vera is currently associated with Wisestep, a referral reward professional network with Free job posting.

13 Comments

  1. Amazing article !!

  2. Santosh Tarlapally May 29, 2013 at 6:52 am

    Inspiring , I will try it out for sure.
    “you can’t force a brilliant idea” – So True

  3. Ramanji Reddy Eredla May 29, 2013 at 6:55 am

    It is really inspiring.

  4. Thank you very much! Keep those great ideas coming πŸ™‚

  5. Thank you Prince πŸ™‚

  6. I appreciate it! Thank you so much πŸ™‚

  7. Thank you πŸ™‚

  8. Shiva Balaswaminathan May 29, 2013 at 7:31 am

    This article is made up of beautifully arranged words. Was a pleasure reading it. πŸ™‚

  9. You’ve always inspired me Shiva, thank you so much πŸ™‚

  10. When I see advice I always hope that the author will supply a half dozen examples that will suggest that it is true.

  11. These advices and tips really give me a much greater impulse than I used to have. Thank you!!

  12. Anything to broaden the horizon Allie πŸ™‚ Glad to be of help πŸ˜‰

  13. Hi πŸ™‚

    1.) Doodling helps your mind break free from most other communicative media. Example: a picture speaks a thousand words. I’d show you something, that always works better than telling something.

    2.) Capture every idea – Going eureka in the bathtub says that ideas can hit you anytime,anywhere. If Archimedes had ignored the idea and continued with his shower, well…

    3.) Different Perspectives – The clouds in the sky may look like different things to all of us, which is why getting a broader perspective always helps you see your ideas in better light. What may seem great to me, may be mediocre to you. I’d take your advice, and work on the loopholes in my idea- that will improve my idea, or anybody’s for that matter.

    4.) Metaphors – I included the story about Pringles here, which I thought was a pretty fine metaphor. Since ideas abound from creativity, why restrict them? Metaphors let you work on parallel realms.

    5.) Brainstorm – Most creative agencies do this, because they believe many smart heads thinking together is better than a single one πŸ™‚ Inspiration strikes

    6.) Feedback – And yes, feedback matters to all of us, because it helps us see what we’ve overlooked or missed. And also , lets others know that their opinion matters.

    Your opinion matters. I hope the examples were useful πŸ™‚

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