You read a book. Or a blog. You come across a line that excites you. It spurs a line of thought in your mind, activating all the neurons and lighting up a part of your brain. You highlight it. You pursue the thought process triggered by it. The new thought goes and bombards with concepts residing in your brain. You start jotting down ideas. A new way of looking at things. A new perspective. An idea for a blog. An idea for a video. An idea for a startup. An Aha moment! You are so excited. This looks like something worth a try. You could be on to something, here.
You take a break. You resume your work promising yourself that you will get back to this idea. You do the zillion of the other tasks you got to do. Few days or even few hours past. You come back to look at the idea, to continue where you left already. To ride the energy wave. To ride on the momentum. Only to find that the excitement is not there anymore. The ideas you jotted seems so ordinary now. You do not feel the inspiration anymore. You think you will probably come back later. You then ignore it, thinking that it’s just normal — to get excited by something momentarily. You blame your biology and move on.
Your interest seems to sprout in certain situations. Situations that seem to trigger certain chemicals in your brain, required for increased brain activity. You come across inspiring thought process and ideas during such situations. You are on the momentum, full of energy, ideas flowing, anything seems worthwhile. Only to lose them later. Only to go through the whole thing again and again. How to get into such situations again?
Why do interests and passion seem to come and go at their own whims and fancies? You were just crazy about the concept a few days or a few hours back. Not only this idea, nothing else excites you anymore. What changed during this time? Why do you feel so different about the same idea at different times — when nothing else changed? How can you change it?
We are all beings of energy. Our energy inspires us to act. Our actions create more energy. Have you observed how when things are exciting, you spend hours on something without noticing? Our inspiration and enthusiasm and actions are all related to our energy cycle. Its one big feedback loop.
Apart from good food and adequate sleep, there are certain steps you can take to trigger your energy. Energy that would help you nurture your ideas and do something about them.
- When you come with an idea, identify one immediate step you can take on the idea. If possible take that next step immediately. It could be researching on a specific aspect of the idea. Or reaching out to relevant people for advice. Taking that first step towards executing the idea, creates more energy around it. You can use this energy to do the next step. And the one after.
- Care only about relevant things, like what you need to execute the next immediate step. Thinking about how successful the idea can become or how much effort is required, is pointless at this time. Negative thoughts on practicality can impact your energy levels adversely.
- Don’t discuss the idea yet with others — it’s easy to get discouraged by others at this phase. There is a reason why you came across an idea- why you had the vision. It has to do with your own understanding and knowledge. It’s very difficult for others to have the same level of excitement for the idea.
- Create a system of ideas — build around the original idea on what is the problem its solving, who are the customers, what is the value created, what is the MVP. Create a 360-degree view around the idea. From a simple thought, you now have a system of what the idea is about.
- Focus your energy on how the first prototype can be helpful to you. You will the first biggest user for your product. What all you can do with it? Self-interest is the biggest trigger of energy.
- Explain the idea in a video or audio. This helps structure your thoughts. You get to know where the gaps are. It’s easier to identify the thought process that originally stumbled upon the idea. It also helps you to continue the thinking from where you left.
- Identify themes, around which many of your ideas occur. Make a habit to read more about these themes. The better your understanding of a domain, the better quality of ideas you produce.
- Understand your availability bias. The ideas you come across will be more from what you have recently seen, read, or observed. Be aware on what is triggering your thinking process.
- The first time you come across a new domain, for example, AI or VR, it’s possible that you get excited about the possibilities of the sphere. Use the excitement to come with more ideas. And to read and research more on the topic.
- Identify all the reasons why you think an idea is cool. Look at the various components that make your idea — assumptions, inferences, conclusion. Question them all.
- Identify words that you think portray the essence of the work you are doing. If you are writing a blog what should the article be about? Pain? Inspiration? Freedom? Transcendence? Narration? Genuineness? Raw? These are the power words and they guide you in your art of creation.Certain words have implicit energy in them. Use it for your creative process.
- Build an idea. Make it a habit of going from ideation to execution. Complete the cycle. Else you will get stuck in the ideation phase for eternal. Don’t worry too much about how successful it may be. Some of the biggest products today started as side projects and experiments. Thinking process is iterative. You find more energy when you can see results of your actions.
You are in the idea economy. Ideas are your rocket fuel. It keeps your mind in a flow state. The more ideas you can come with, the more avenues to act on. The more you learn to nurture and act on them, the better the quality of your actions become.
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