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last updated 13/05/2024

How to Become an Ideas Person

 Ideas are all around us. And yet, it is difficult to get the right ones at the right time!

Inspiration can strike anywhere. It can catch us unawares in the most seemingly inconsequential of circumstances.

Thus, there is no rocket science to being an ideas person.

Ideation is all about observation, intuition, creativity, spontaneity, some method, and quite a bit of unpredictability.

Getting inspired to become an Ideas Person

An idea can turn your life around. At the root of all innovation and entrepreneurship, lies the creativity of an idea.

Elon Musk is one of the greatest entrepreneurs of our time. His ability to turn unique ideas into tangible projects makes him truly special.

Be it SpaceX, Tesla, or Neuralink, all of Musk’s companies started with visionary ideas. He then connected these ideas to issues faced by people, thus paving the way for their success.

Great people inspire you to become an ideas person. When you read the biographies of world-famous leaders and achievers, you realize they all have something in common. And that something is the trust and conviction in their innate power of idea generation.

How to define a good idea?

All ideas are not equal.

You might have tons of creative ideas that do not solve any practical problem concerning people or do not shine a new light on a field of inquiry.

Those ideas are then average but not good.

The main characteristics of a good idea are

  • The ‘Why ‘and ‘What’ factors – This is the litmus test of a good idea. Why do you think this idea is important? What are the projected benefits? What is this idea going to achieve? You must ask yourself all these questions to distinguish a good idea from an average one.
  • Vision – An idea must be rooted in a long-term vision. You don’t consciously come up with ideas to suit your vision. But once you get your creative juices flowing, you must be able to put the dots together.
  • Novelty – The novelty factor is what makes an idea truly brilliant. It must give you a new insight into an existing area.

For example, if you are in the café business, you might want to think of an innovative theme for your café that no one else has come up with before. Or, if you are a motivational speaker, you must constantly think of novel concepts and dig out interesting real-life inspirational stories to keep your listeners engaged.

  • Simplicity – Simplicity is the hallmark of a great idea. An idea must be simple enough to be implemented and translated into practice. New thoughts might strike us in complex and convoluted forms. But, we must then chisel them to the point of comprehensibility.

Transformative power – Great ideas have the innate ability to transform beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes. To be a game changer, an idea must be able to turn around the market for good.

How ideas can change people’s lives

Great ideas have the potential to change people’s lives.

By making ideation a part of your life, you can transform your life and the lives of those around you.

Surround yourself with positive vibrations and creative energy. Occupy yourself with constructive hobbies while not working. Even the simplest of things like reading, writing, traveling, checking out a new café in the town, attending an art exhibition, or starting a new course can be a source of the most inspiring of ideas.

Remember that no one is born with the innate ability to generate valuable ideas. It is something you develop over time.

The ability to come up with incredible ideas that can change people’s lives is both an art and a science.

Let’s find out more.

Top tips on how to be an Ideas Person

1. Read widely

This might sound clichéd but it is one the most time-tested tips to improve idea generation.

Don’t limit yourself to reading a particular kind of stuff. Read as much as you can from eclectic sources on many topics. Consume whatever you can lay your hands on including blogs, articles, news write-ups, non-fiction, fiction, poetry, essays, travelogues, commentary, satire, etc.

Reading opens your mind to new possibilities and improves your creative thinking and problem-solving abilities.

If you are an entrepreneur, reading about the success stories of other entrepreneurs can give you new insights into your own journey. It can also give you new ways to solve a problem.

Once you begin to read widely, you notice that your mind automatically starts forming unconventional associations between different kinds of material.

2. Give yourself an idea challenge

This can be an innovative strategy for successful idea generation. Give yourself the challenge to come up with six new ideas every week.

It will ensure that you actively spend time ideating rather than waiting for inspiration to strike.

You can make your challenge even more exciting by specifying the kind of ideas you must look for. For example, if you are struggling with an issue professionally, look for three ideas to improve that situation. The other three ideas could be related to your personal development.

3. Develop a solution-oriented approach

This is one of the most effective tips to boost ideation.

If you are constantly whining about problems, you will look for troubles and roadblocks in every situation.

Change that mindset. Become a solution-oriented person.

Developing a solution-oriented mindset helps you solve the most complex of problems related to work and life effortlessly and efficiently.

When you interact with your clients or boss, give them workable solutions to improve an existing situation. Once you develop a problem-solving mindset, your productivity will automatically increase.

4. Network & Socialize widely

Don’t keep socializing limited to your usual circle of friends. Meet new people, and spend time connecting with them.

When we hang out with the same set of people all the time, we tend to fall into predictable thought and behavioral patterns. Networking with new people jolts us out of our comfort zone.

Once you are out of that comfort zone, you create space for new insights, ways of thinking, and refreshing perspectives.

5. Take frequent notes

Whenever you observe something new or striking, make it a point to jot down the main impressions.

Taking frequent notes is the key to metamorphosing into an idea person.

Keep a notepad handy at all times. You could get the most exciting of ideas in the middle of nowhere. Jotting them down as they occur would ensure that you can work on them later.

Make it a point to go through your ideas diary at least once a day. If possible, try to catalog the ideas section-wise like ‘work productivity ’, personal development, ‘professional goals’, ‘hobbies’, etc.

Looking at your notes daily will keep you a lot of actionable material for solving real-life problems.

6. Ask questions

To be an idea person, embrace the culture of asking questions.

Remember the 5 W’s and 1 H of journalism – who, where, when, why, what, and how. While these are the principles of a good news story, they can be implemented in other spheres of life.

When you are reading something, watching a YouTube video, or listening to a podcast, ask yourself these questions. This will open your mind to new sides of the situation that you had perhaps never visualized.

Remember that idea generation is all about curiosity, creativity, and inquiry.

7. Understand the vision and goals of your workplace

When you are in a job, understanding the vision of your workplace is crucial.

Go through their website in detail. Find out all about their goals and objectives. Interact with senior colleagues as much as possible. They can tell you more about the company culture and vision than any document possibly could.

You need to constantly come up with new and innovative approaches and ideas to excel at work. And if your thinking adds something to the company’s vision for its growth, there is nothing like it.

8. Attend as many conferences and events as you can

Attend as many conferences and talks related to your niche as you can.

It’s important to read up stuff on your niche but it’s equally important to listen to what the business leaders have to say.

This will expand your horizons and bring you face-to-face with the latest theoretical frameworks, developments, and actionable advances in your niche.

Interacting with like-minded people and business leaders from across your niche is a must for getting new ideas worth sharing.

These actionable insights, when put together, can give you valuable material for professional and personal development.

9. Participate in frequent brainstorming sessions

Brainstorming sessions are a must for getting fresh perspectives.

Most workplaces conduct regular brainstorming sessions. Even outside the workplace, you could form your own informal ideas club.

Get together with like-minded peers and friends to have regular sessions like these. Pick up a broad topic in advance, do some research, and you are good to go.

During these sessions, feel free to borrow from each other and connect diverse perspectives. This will sharpen your problem-solving skills, and your ability to see unconventional solutions on the horizon.

Participating in regular brainstorming sessions will help you in your career prospects and your personal life.

10. Make some time for random web browsing

The internet is a great resource. Most people use it for targeted research.

But, random web surfing can be creatively and intellectually stimulating.

It’s like playing a fun game. You start googling a particular term and then start randomly checking out the content that shows up. Be playful in your approach. Make sure you surf through all the interesting stuff that’s hidden in the form of links within the content.

The internet is a great medium for someone looking to go down the good idea trail! Reading stuff randomly enables you to develop unconventional linkages and associations, thus boosting creative thinking.

11. Think associatively

Associative thinking is all about making cross-contextual connections.

It’s a creative mode of thinking that enables you to forge connections between seemingly unrelated things and concepts. For example, if you have a problem at hand that needs solving, you might think of something totally unrelated from another context. And now, the challenge is to apply that thinking to this new context.

To be able to think associatively, you must be ready to let go of your assumptions and set patterns of thinking.

This is essentially an interdisciplinary approach to consume idea generation.

12. Mix up different information sources

Information comes in different forms – visual, auditory, text, etc. The key to encouraging creative thinking lies in mixing up multiple sources.

If you like to read, that’s all very good. But mere reading wouldn’t do the trick. You must watch Youtube videos, listen to podcasts, watch documentaries & movies, and go for work-related online tutorials and courses whenever possible.

Combining information from multiple formats keeps up the excitement of learning and makes your brain look for new connections and associations.

You need to reinvent your information sources constantly to be an idea person.

Benefits of Being an Idea Person

Whether you are working for someone or running your own business, innovation is a must.

The definition of competence has changed with time. It’s no longer about learning how to do something and doing it well. It’s more about the new systems and approaches that you can bring in place. In other words, what can you do to be a game-changer?

A person whose head is buzzing with ideas has a definite edge over others. You inspire creativity, positivity, and confidence all around.

These are the benefits of being an ideas person in a nutshell.

1. Professional progress

By constantly coming up with new ways of doing things, you get to excel in your career and work.

Your colleagues look up to you as a problem-solver and the bosses always prefer you for handing over new tasks and responsibilities.

By embracing new and dynamic modes of thinking, you open up newer and exciting avenues for career development.

2. Positive mindset

Someone whose mind is always at work generating creative solutions is a harbinger of positivity.

If you are constantly looking for new and exciting challenges and horizons, negativity doesn’t get to you.

By becoming an idea person, you get to effortlessly enjoy a positive mindset.

3. Improved self-expression and communication skills

       Developing an idea-oriented mindset will vastly improve your self-expression and communication skills.

By embracing creative thinking, you learn to be more mindful of your personality and self.

You are no longer self-conscious and socially awkward. Rather, you transform into someone who is looking forward to extending that mindfulness to things and people around you.

As a result, your communication skills also flourish and you increasingly excel in work and life. The power of creativity unlocks your inner potential and there is no looking back.

4. Problem-solving skills

 An idea is the starting point when it comes to finding solutions and fixing issues.

It’s like the classic difference between theory and practice. It’s alright to know your theory by heart but to solve problems, you need to apply the theory.

The application bit is where you need to be creative and resourceful. The one size fits all approach doesn’t work.

By embracing creative thinking and ideation, you greatly enhance your problem-solving skills.

5. Innovation

Experience teaches wisdom. And ideation teaches innovation.

Innovation is the key to achieving lasting success in one’s career. By implementing your ideas at work, you help the systems and procedures evolve.

By being the person who is always in the middle of creative thinking, you provide a new lease of life to your niche or line of work.

If you are in the marketing business, you are constantly thinking of new ways to capture untapped markets. If you are a part of the product development team, you are ideating on how to improve the product. If you work in the advertising industry, you are coming up with out-of-the-box campaigns to capture consumer attention.

Bottom Line

Ideation is the first step.

You must next find out how to implement those ideas.

One might have thought of the craziest and the coolest of solutions to the earth’s many problems – overpopulation, climate change, water scarcity, food crisis, etc. But you get called a visionary and innovator by coming up with a model to practically implement all those ideas.

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