When was the last time you had a good idea?
Think about that question for a moment. Does something strike you as odd? Most obvious is the problem of how can we judge if the idea was “good.” What seems awesome in the moment can turn out to be faulty later. Conversely, what was dismissed as so-so now could have great merit when applied.
Most striking for me, the question implies that each person is solely responsible for creating their own ideas. But the funny thing is that ideas are not commonly born straight out of divine inspiration. Even if it seems that the idea come from nowhere, it likely has mundane origins. The truth is that ideas require other ideas to give them form and to evolve.
After all, fires don’t start just by thinking about them. They originate from the combustion of different elements, be it two sticks rubbed together or a match and lighter fluid. It is the same with originality. New ideas do not appear on its own, but show up when different ideas are combined together to produce something new.
This means the fastest way to create “good” ideas is to expose yourself to as many ideas as possible. Whether they come from books, articles, conversations, or observations, having an abundance of ideas to work with greatly increases the chance of finding one that is transformational. Like puzzle pieces, pick up as many as possible and place them together in different combinations. Play long enough and you soon end up with a beautiful picture.
So when was the last time you had a good idea?
Don’t worry about answering that question. Instead ask, “Where will I find the next great idea?”
Then expose yourself to as many ideas from as many different fields as possible to see what sticks. Don’t wait, this post has ended, so start looking now!