February 10, 2023

Coming Up with Ideas

No ideas? Do you sometimes find it hard to come up with new insights? Do you feel like your mind has become stagnant?

Here are three things you can do:

1. Study.

Read more books. Watch more movies, documentaries, or YouTube videos. Take an online course—it doesn't need to be career-related. Look for something you enjoy like woodworking or pottery or painting.

Consume more, but be mindful of what you feed your mind. Make sure it's something that adds to your life. To your happiness and fulfillment.

Why do this? Because you can't expect yourself to come up with new ideas without new information coming in. You'd only be recycling what you have in your head. Keep consuming meaningful content, as much as you create.

2. Look for a variety of experiences.

Some things you learn only through experience. There's a kind of depth that comes from being up close, absorbing information through your senses.

Hiking feels much more fulfilling than reading about the mountains or checking beautiful photos. The thoughts are different too. When you're up there, looking at a breathtaking, unmatched view, you'd be reminded of how small you are and how big the world is. You'd be reminded of how lucky you are to experience that very moment.

It doesn't have to be huge. You can simply visit a relative who lives in the countryside. Experience the slow, simple life. Maybe even visit a farm where you can get eggs every morning and harvest vegetables for cooking.

These experiences can give you a different perspective of the world. Of life. Insights that can spark new, creative ideas, when they come in tangent with your existing knowledge.

3. Be more observant of your surroundings.

If you're doing both of those already, then you probably just need to be more observant. The information is already around you—you only have to recognize them, to see them.

Have you ever paused to watch the grass dance with the wind? Have you ever noticed the color of new leaves, how beautifully different they are from the rest, how shiny and unsoiled? Have you ever listened to the birds' songs in the morning, with your eyes closed and your mind still? Have you ever touched soil with your hands, noticed they're damp and cold?

Look around you. What do you see? What do you observe? Even the people around you can give you rich information—take note of their preferences, behaviors, facial expressions. It's fascinating.

Take everything in, and learn from them. The patterns you noticed and insights you came across—store them all in your head and in your favorite note-taking app.

And then, do nothing. Let your mind wander. That's how the magic happens.

Make sure you have a good capture system in place, because the ideas will come without warning, and you'll have to take note of them ASAP.