Where do good ideas come from? Maybe they'll find you.

Where do good ideas come from? Maybe they'll find you.

Do you know where good ideas come from? Is it possible to come up with an idea in one minute? How do you come up with ideas? Is it possible to do so under pressure?

Have you ever had one of those moments where something just seems to come out of nowhere? Maybe it’s an idea you needed, or maybe it’s just some kind of spark or connection that seemed to come from nowhere. In any case, here are some places and things where good ideas can find you so that you can be prepared when one comes along and you’re ready to capture it and make it your own.


The way to good ideas

The way to get good ideas is to get lots of ideas and throw out all bad ones, first said American engineer Charles Steinmetz, explaining a bit of an obvious but still valuable rule of creativity. Brainstorming can be a tedious process, especially when it comes to generating new content for a business or website that generates revenue through advertising. However, if implemented properly, brainstorming can prove extremely effective in sparking new ideas or fostering collaboration between employees in your organization.
Here are some tips for brainstorming effectively Make sure everyone involved in brainstorming understands why you’re doing it. If people don’t have a clear idea of what kind of outcome you’re looking for, chances are high that their input will not be relevant to your needs. Take time at the beginning of each session to set objectives clearly with participants and focus on making sure everyone knows how his or her contribution fits into those objectives. Doing so will help people avoid wasting time during sessions while also keeping their energy focused on goals instead of off-topic chatter.


The need for training your brain

The brain is a muscle, and like any other muscle, it can be trained to become stronger. Studies have found that physical exercise—even short bursts of activity—can boost attention span and memory function in older adults, making them less likely to develop dementia later in life. Exercise isn’t just good for your body; it’s also beneficial for your mind.


Create your opportunities

Your best source of new opportunities might be your mind. Innovators, artists, and other creative types have been finding inspiration in their dreams, random thoughts, daydreams—and even in nature—for centuries (just ask Leonardo da Vinci). Whether you're mulling over a problem during your morning shower or waiting at a red light while stuck in traffic, take advantage of these idle moments to let your mind wander freely. Making an effort to capture that wandering may lead to new insights later on. This can be as simple as taking a few minutes each night before bed to jot down what came to mind during that day—ideas for big projects or little things—but also non-work-related activities such as personal errands or chores.


Look for inspiration everywhere

Our environment, social interactions, and seemingly inconsequential thoughts can inspire us—even if we don’t recognize it at first. Something as simple as a memorable sentence in a book or an image on a billboard can hold value to someone with relevant experience. Assembling these pieces of inspiration is what creative professionals refer to as stitching (think: patchwork quilt). Get stitched together by collecting everything that inspires you in one place and create an inventory of who and what has influenced your work history and where you want to go next. The goal here is not duplication; instead, think about how all of these sources might influence your current project so that when doubt or uncertainty creeps in, you have something tangible to turn to for new insights.


Step away from the internet

Most of us spend a lot of time online and there are some days when it seems like we're getting nothing done because we just can't pull ourselves away from our computers, smartphones, and tablets. One study found that we check our phones about 110 times per day on average -- and that's not counting texts and Facebook posts; on top of all that, tons of distractions pop up in your inbox or via push notifications. Step away from these distractions -- even if it's just for 15 minutes a day -- so you can concentrate on what matters (like nailing your next deadline).


Try something new

The quality of ideas is only as good as those who generate them, and if your current idea-generating process isn’t up to par, there are a few ways to make it better. For starters, take time every day (or at least once a week) to think about how to improve processes or start new ones that will yield better results down the road. Second, mix up your routine; be open to trying new things and exposing yourself to new environments and inputs—they might spark a great idea that’s been hiding in plain sight.


Set goals and pursue them

Goals are attainable targets or aims; in other words, something that we want to achieve at a particular time. Without goals, it’s difficult to set priorities and improve your performance - but with goals, you can focus on what’s important and how to reach your targets. The key thing about goals is that they work if you work them - so whether it’s a personal or professional goal, make sure that you put in place a series of small steps that will help achieve your aim.


Don’t wait for inspiration to hit, be proactive!

While waiting for inspiration to strike may be a safe way to avoid writing, creativity experts caution against being too passive with your approach to creativity. Instead of waiting for something magical to happen, look for any opportunities to put yourself in a creative mindset. For example, schedule time each day or week dedicated specifically for creativity and start small by making room in your daily routine for non-essential things like going out of your way to walk through a park or museum just because it looks beautiful on that particular day. By actively seeking ways to improve your creative output, you’ll begin seeing results before long—and might even be surprised at how quickly better ideas can flow when you’re trying hard!

Harvey Wood

The fight began much sooner than she anticipated after catching and returning the flamingo.