Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Secret to Great Ideas

Idea (Photo credit: Tony Dowler)
by Jessy Tomarow

Some seem to have them naturally. Others struggle to come up with any. Ideas. Good Ideas. Great Ideas.

Ideas define the way we live beginning with the first coffee in the morning over a day at work to the last thing we think of before falling asleep.

But how exactly does this whole idea business work and how can we influence, moreover improve it?

"[An idea is] a thought or collection of thoughts that generate in the mind. An idea is usually generated with intent, but can also be created unintentionally. Ideas often form during brainstorming sessions or through discussions."

It's that moment that lets you see things in a new way. Every idea is a paradigm shift. Even though ideas can by definition be created intentionally there is no connection to a person's intelligence.

Instead the driving factor is a person's level of creativity as recently determined by neuroscience and which is why we have to emphasize on creating a creativity friendly environment first.

The famous Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw explained it like this:

"If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas."

This quote visualizes one central way to steer our creativity. Inspiration due collaboration.

By processing exterior input and linking it to personal experiences the human brain creates new neural connections, widens it's network of synapses and in conclusion comes up with new or modified ideas. Therefore it is extremely beneficial to look at ideas others already had in order to get the inspiration necessary.

Secondly it has been researched that creativity can be directly linked to the level of stress applied meaning that stress is harmful with respect to it. Stress typically draws your attention to unrelated problems.

Moreover a majority of people feel the urge of rushing to a solution which may oftentimes be harmful to the outcome. This is why you should try to minimize your stress level and get into a relaxed state of mind.

Third and finally there is the concept of change. Creativity always needs a certain amount of chaos which is why all techniques of idea creation (e.g. brainstorming) try to create such. Change helps getting out of the situation you might be stuck in for too long.

This does not mean you should turn your whole life upside down. A change of scenery might be enough. Go for a walk, drive or run to switch things up and get the creative juices flowing again.

If you stick with these suggestions it becomes as easy as it can get to come up with the next big thing (even if it is just as a simple thing as a present).

If you are looking for great present ideas, visit us at We are happy about any input. Remember: Inspiration due Collaboration. Your 21st Birthday Ideas Team.

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