How to generate great ideas - the answer is more; not less.

In order to generate great ideas, you need to allow yourself to be creative, exercise your idea muscle daily, and never underestimate the advantage of being a newbie in a field.

How to generate great ideas - the answer is more; not less.
Photo by Nick Fewings / Unsplash

We often hear that there is nothing like a "bad question" - but I would like to make the same case for "bad ideas".

"Hi, my name is Eugene and I am an A-Type personality."

If you are an A-type personality like me, you could find it difficult to generate new ideas and you probably push yourself very hard to perform at a high level. We want our ideas to be perfect - the first time around.

Wake up call. It doesn't work like that. Especially not if you are trying to come up with a creative solution to a difficult problem.

Creativity thrives in a "No Rules" environment

You've probably encountered some creative people in your life. You know - the people with the funky hair and the laid-back lifestyles. Why is it that they manage to be so creative?


It really is as simple as that, we are too hard on ourselves. We need to open up the metaphorical floodgates of ideas and start generating crappy ideas. And lots of them.

Exercise your "Idea Muscle" daily

Keep your eyes peeled for simple problems around you and start generating ideas for solving them. Just quickly think of 2-3 ways to solve the problem.

The only RULE is - you are not allowed to disqualify any of your ideas prematurely.

Simply write them down as you think of them. Chances are most of them will be useless, but that's the point of the exercise, to get yourself thinking, without limiting yourself.

Never be too quick to decide that your ideas are invalid - maybe they just need to be refined a bit or combined with another idea.

Who knows - maybe one of them is a million-dollar idea.

Never underestimate the power of having no experience in a field

In every field, you have your experts. They work in the field every day, they see the same things every day and they are faced with the same challenges.

These experts are at a disadvantage. They have become blinded by the mundane.

If the non-expert (you) looks at the problems they face daily, you are much more likely to see a new solution to problems they have accepted as "just the way things are". And this is exactly where the opportunity lies.

“The obstacle in the path becomes the path. Never forget, within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition.” - Ryan Holiday, The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage

In Summary

  1. Allow yourself to be creative; allow yourself to generate crappy ideas
  2. Exercise your idea muscle daily
  3. Never underestimate the advantage of being a newbie in a field

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