Isn’t the feeling when you get a new idea the best? That sense of revelation that strikes seemingly out of nowhere?
If you’re looking for a definitive answer on this, you’ll be disappointed. Scientists are hard at work to provide one, but until that moment comes, there are only speculations. Of course, it doesn’t mean that possibilities aren’t to be explored.
‘Aha’ Moments Are Deserved
Those ‘aha’ moments that appear are not innocent-like or God-given. They need to be deserved. What this means is that ideas come if you’re alert, looking, searching, probing, trying, failing, and trying some more.
Should you be open to answers, one will come. Otherwise, the gate for ideas is closed. Make sure to be on the lookout. Wear your ideas goggles.
They say ideas strike suddenly, when you least expect them. True as this is, what lies behind the prompt light bulb is the slow incubation process; something developing in the subconscious, unaware of what the result may be or when, and if, it will ever happen.
In other words, if you’re not trying to solve a problem, you’ll never get a solution. Even if you do try the solution may not come, though you’re at least giving yourself a chance.
The incubation process is the work invested, and the idea is the ‘letting go’ – the hatching. The former may take a long time, decades even; the latter a matter of seconds.
Imagine your mind as a mental gym. Should you do a regular workout it will grow stronger; otherwise it atrophies. The more you stretch yourself, the bigger the reward.
Preoccupation With Ideas
Ideas are an aspiration to me. It’s where I find the sense of life. So, I chase them. Search for them. I sometimes sprint, other times stumble, and occasionally crawl, but I keep going. Without them, the world is blank.
Here are a few of my thoughts on ideas:
Ideas defy expectations. They have their own internal rules to follow.
A combination of individual work (solitude) and teamwork (brainstorming) is the key. Obviously, everybody is different. Find your right mix/balance.
There’s no such thing as a bad idea. Only wrong timing and bad implementation.
Gathering others’ ideas is the first step towards getting your own.
Books are not the only source for gathering ideas. Media, science, the arts, the street, people, nature – sources are limitless. Just like ideas themselves.
Don’t be bored. By all means do take time to let go, unwind, let your mind wander, think of nothing, but don’t be bored. Time is short.
Twist things around many perspectives. It changes everything.
Show up every day. Sometimes it will flow; other times it will be laborious. Yet, if you don’t push through when it’s hard, it will never be easy.
Be ready. When the moment comes, recognize it. Write it down. Don’t fool yourself that you’ll memorize it – it rarely works.
Make time for contemplation. An idea is impossible to occur without any thinking involved.
Ideas are relevant. Don’t discard an idea until you’ve exhausted all possibilities. Even then, put it on the side for future reference.
Don’t shut yourself down. Ideas are a two-way street. Be at both ends by being generous and share yours.
Penetrating the subconscious happens by conscious trying.
No matter how unfamiliar phenomenon the emergence of ideas is, only by tapping in the unknown can you hope to find an occasional jewel. And it makes the whole tedious process before worth it.
How do you inspire ideas? Do you have your own way? Please do share.
P.S. I’ve recently created a FB page and I’ll be happy to connect.