Saturday, December 18, 2010

Power Idea Generation

It’s a method I learned originally through Earl Nightingale.   But it’s also strongly endorsed by Brian Tracy.   It’s a way to solve problems quickly and get answers that “bubble up from the subconscious.”
Here’s the way it works.     You go through an exercise of creating your own answers for your problem.   But this mission is just the beginning.   The answers you get from the act of doing the exercise aren’t as important as what you get later on.
To use a metaphor it’s almost like the first Karate Kid movie.   It wasn’t intense karate training that gave him strong reflexes and fighting ability.   It was the act of doing routine chores that lead to a “side effect” of karate skill.
So to do this process, all you need is a pen, sheet of paper and time – approximately 30-60 minutes of quiet solitude.   The way to begin is to list out your most pressing problem at the top of the sheet of paper.
Here are some examples:
1.   What is a fun way I can make extra money in my free time?
2.   How can I get in shape by summer and enjoy the process?
After you have that, you simply list out your own answers to that problem.   The goal is to think and write down at least 20 answers.
As you are answering your questions, think of all angles.   Think outside the box.   Imagine if you had no limitations or if you had a mentor to help.   There are no wrong answers so write them all down.
It’s recommended you repeat this process every day or until you have enough ideas where you don’t have enough time to implement them all.   You get a cumulative effect from this if you do it every day.   Practice makes perfect.   You’ll get more and better ideas more quickly.
But as I mentioned above, the payoff doesn’t come during the listbuilding process it comes later.   You might be driving down the street.   You might be folding socks.   You might wake up in the middle of the night.   But as you develop the habit of focused thought, your superconscious will reward you with these gems.   But the only way it can reward you is if you get away from your thinking.
Take a break.   Take a walk.   Wash the dishes.   Whatever..just get going.   You don’t even have to think about your pressing issue.   Your superconscious mind will churn it over automatically and without any extra effort.
It’s also important that you take action on at least one of the answers on your list.   If you go to the “well of ideas” you need to faithfully pursue at least one of the actions.   I relate this to a bow and arrow.   If you load an arrow into a bow and shoot the arrow it flies fast and far.   If you don’t load the arrow into the bow, you could break the bow by just plucking it empty.
Don’t go to the well of ideas if you don’t plan on acting some of them.   You’ll break the process.
So there you go, set aside some time today and tomorrow, and the next to list out your own ideas to your most pressing problem.   Keep a pad and pen handy while you are away from your idea sessions so you can capture your super conscious insight

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