We love stupid ideas

Stupid, idiotic, bad ideas are great. Think of bad ideas. Think of very, very stupid ideas. I challenge you – think of five stupid ways you could improve your business or lifestyle right now. Five rubbish ideas.

Bad ideas are good because bad ideas lead to good ideas. If you wanted to be a photographer but didn’t take a single photograph until you were sure that every photo you were going to take would be a good one – you wouldn’t take any photos. Creativity seems like an illusive mist to most people who think that creativity is some sort of gift. It is not a gift, it is a skill. Like any skill it has methods that need to be mastered. Like any skill the methods need to be practised. Just knowing the lines of a play aren’t enough. It’s the rehearsal that makes it work.

You can learn how to negotiate, how to project manage and how to sell. There are courses on all of those. You can practice those in your field of work. But don’t leave out creativity from the mix. Learn the techniques and use them to get the ideas to get ahead.

We need to think new thoughts. Find better ways of doing things. Find better things to do. That’s what people overlook. That’s what creativity is.

So when you have a problem and you need a solution don’t be concerned with convention. Don’t be concerned with what’s expected. Don’t be concerned with what people will think. Don’t even be concerned with what’s possible. If you put constraints like these on your ideas or if you judge your ideas during the brainstorming phase you might as well give up and join the legion of mediocrity because these things will prevent you from having the best ideas at best, but will more than likely totally kill the process at worst.

Work out what is actually possible and allowed later, in the planning phase, not in the creative ideas phase. Learn to play, to make new associations, swap things around, wonder, be silly, experiment. These are the attributes that will enable you to solve the problem with a unique solution and to think of that elusive winning idea.

Where do good ideas come from? From Bad ideas. So don’t be a fool, think of foolish ideas. Get them out and get them out of the way. Don’t judge them or analyse them, just get them flowing out. It’s from associations connected to these bad ideas that the really great ideas will come.

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