Today I’d like to talk about generating ideas. I know, it sounds like a very vague and general term…which it is! I love thinking about thinking. What makes us think? What makes one person think differently compared to another person? How do some people seem to generate better ideas in a certain subject then myself?
All these questions to how people think, and I find it very difficult to come up with answer to any one of these! What is challenging, is that all people are different, and come from very different backgrounds. I was raised in Snohomish, Washington. How that affects my thinking habits compared to someone raised in say, Goldsboro, North Carolina, is well beyond my expertise. But that’s what I want to explore.
The first question I want to ask is; how does an idea move from thought to action. I must give a fair warning, I might go off on a tangent with this post.
Moving from thought to action
So for the first exercise in generating ideas, I want to explore what it takes to go from the idea to taking action. I think a lot of what determines thought-to-action is determined by experience. For example: I have a lot of experience playing the video game Diablo 3. Now, if I create a new character, I first think about about the reasons to create a new one, then I take action. It’s pretty simple. For me, that is very easy to do in that video game. I have played through that game many times and I know a lot about it. But think about this; what if I didn’t know anything about it? What would be my hesitation about taking action on the question of playing this video game? Again, that’s an easy question for me to answer, because I have my experiences with video games that goes back nearly 20 years. I don’t want to waste my time, I don’t want to make the wrong character choice for the time I have to play it, I want a fun experience, I don’t want people to think I’m just a gamer, etc etc.
I decide that I want to take action, and I create my character and I start playing. After a while, I am so intrigued about playing and learning to play better and better, that a lot of the questions I had about it before start to disappear and are replaced by thoughts of “how to I become better?”.
You see what’s going on?
From action to mastery
This is what I am talking about. It is very easy for me to start something, and so hard to master it. And that’s where a lot of people fall into.
So the questions change. Now we ask ourselves; how can I get better, what can I do to be more efficient, how does this spell work with a crit damage buff, what spells should I use with this type of gear, etc etc. Notice the difference from idea to action, and action to mastery. When you are moving from idea to action, there are concerns and questions about the act of getting started, but you don’t know anything about the action. Then when it comes to action to mastery, you are committed to the action, so your focus is on becoming better at that action.
The keywords, committed and focus. When you are committed and focused on anything, whether its video games, marketing, sales, advertisement, writing a book, your children, your relationship with your wife/husband, or your dead-end job, that’s what you become the best at.
Ok, so now that we have those two sections done, what about the original thought of generating ideas? We generate ideas based on who we are, what we are interested in, and what we hope to become one day. So they come from past, present, and future. Pretty simple concept if you think about it. So what makes people better at generating ideas? Focus and commitment. That’s it. The internet is full of websites that can help you direct your thoughts, and we spend a lot of that time on facebook or some other social media for the wrong reasons. Social media is great if it’s being used for good, but if you are constantly checking out how other people are living their lives and you aren’t living yours, then you should put it down. Social media is great for generating ideas! The key is to know when enough is enough.
When I say generate ideas, I am talking about anything. How to make money, how to garden, how to build a desk, how to decorate a room, how to change your oil, etc…ideas are endless! So lets come up with ideas in a market and then lets roll with them. Lets move from that idea, then take action, then become a master of it.
Talk with you all later!