Based on studies related to the way our brain uses to create ideas, this article proposes techniques to increase the quantity and quality of the latter. A series of practical strategies will be listed, so as to train your brain in creating successful ideas.
The creation of ideas and how our brain is divided into analytical and creative
Strategies for activating the subconscious.
The left part of the brain is responsible for judgment, self-control and internal dialogue, it is our analytical part while the right side, the subconscious, is responsible for creating ideas and can process a large amount of information in a few seconds. It is therefore clear that the analytical brain is useless in the creation of ideas and on the contrary can block the work of the subconscious. So when it comes to creating ideas, it is good to turn off the analytical part of your brain and follow three basic rules: no judgment, no criticism and no internal dialogue.
Examples of strategies:
- for the creation of ideas Walt Disney used a strategy that was divided into three phases: dreamer, realist and critic.
- The dreamer does not impose limits on his creativity, his goal is to create as many ideas as possible without resorting to the judgment of his analytical side.
- In the realist phase, on the other hand, we try to find the suitable method to make the idea a reality.
- The last phase, that of the critic, is the moment in which to activate one’s analytical brain and judge the idea, identify its possible defects and difficulties in implementation.
The basic rule of this strategy is to activate the analytical part of the brain only after the first two creative phases.
- Exercise: try for an hour to create as many ideas as possible to earn $ 100, then choose the one you like best, try to implement it and see if it works, at which point you can decide whether to make it evolve into something bigger. In this way it is possible to create a large number of ideas but only if the exercise is performed regularly, for example while ironing, washing dishes etc. Ideas are born from life experiences and therefore are more easily generated while engaged in something, preferably in a repetitive activity.
Program your brain
To become first-class creators, you don’t have to let your brain laze.
- Thinking about different problems for 15 minutes a day, the subconscious mind will do the rest, analyzing millions of combinations while doing other things, like: swimming, training etc.
- Thinking about a problem to solve before going to sleep allows your subconscious mind to come up with a solution overnight.
The right technique to pose problems to solve your brain
Asking the right question to your brain is extremely important, as it will set the way of thinking and the type of ideas generated by the subconscious. Very often, if you cannot find the solution to a problem, it means that you are asking yourself the wrong question.
- Ask yourself as many questions as possible, so as to increase the possibility of finding the right one that will generate the most suitable idea. Think about a problem for 10 minutes and write at least 10 different versions of the question you want to find an answer to, without judging them. The goal is to create as many questions as possible, even if crazy, the important thing is to find those that will allow us to look at the problem from different perspectives.
- Change the level of demand abstraction, so as to stimulate the brain to find different ideas. An excellent technique to obtain this result is that of the “5 why”. For example, if the problem is: “How do I increase the sale of product B?”, The technique should be applied in this way:
Q. “Why do I want to increase sales?”, R. “Why do I want to make the product more profitable.
Q. “Why do I want to make the product more profitable?” R. “Because I want to increase my earnings.”
And so on, up to five because. In this way, the biggest problem is divided into many small, simpler questions to solve.
Strategies for generating ideas, the most effective thinking techniques
- Thinking and resting is one of the most effective thinking techniques. You have to think about the problem you want to solve, concentrating intensely on it for 30-60 minutes or a few hours and then write down all the ideas that are generated, even the most crazy. If no suitable solution is found in this first phase, one must completely forget the problem and return to one’s daily activities. While we are engaged in other activities, the brain will continue to work on the problem and generate ideas, at which point we have to write them down, no matter if we are busy doing something else. Finally, it is good to think about the problem for 2-5 minutes a day, so as to reactivate the creative mind and direct it back to the problem.
- Thinking about different problems simultaneously allows the subconscious to switch from one to the other, making the production of ideas more effective.
- Think through images and not words. Thinking about ideas through words activates the analytical mind, slowing down our thinking system.
- Avoid making decisions based on past experiences, because it would generate old ideas and would not allow evolution. The solution to this problem is not to stop at the first idea, but to create as many ideas as possible, some will be terrible, others decent and few exceptional: quantity = quality.
- Defining the maximum number of ideas you want to create, the deadline and the budget, in this way you place a defined task on your subconscious and you are more likely to solve it creatively.
- Avoid the pursuit of perfection at all costs, as it blocks creativity.
The essence of ideas
The researchers found that most ideas are a combination or modification of existing ideas. Our brain always tries to find common patterns between anything, so as to make sense of it.
- To create successful ideas you must first learn to copy existing ideas and then innovate them, for this purpose the more life experiences you have and the more ideas you know, the easier it will be to develop a new one based on them.
- However, it must be remembered that if you create something already produced by everyone, it will be difficult to achieve success. When thinking about a problem, you must therefore consider the ideas created and the actions of the competition, in order to guide your thoughts in the right direction.
- In addition, it is good to always remember to write your own ideas, they will be easier to manage and develop.
Exercise: choose two unrelated objects and find a connection between them in order to create a new product or a new business idea. Try to generate as many combinations as possible in 5 minutes and write them down without judging them. One should not try to create the most original idea, but the best product / service for the market. For example: soap + machine = a machine that goes to liquid soap, a soap in the shape of a machine, etc.
How to influence your subconscious and achieve a high performance state
The subconscious is very susceptible to self-confidence, if you are not convinced that you are capable of creating great ideas, then you will be blocked by the analytical mind. If you often visualize what you crave, the creative part of the brain will begin to develop potential ideas to achieve the goal, in the end you will get the right solutions to make your dream come true.
To increase the activity of your subconscious you must try to reach a state of high performance, this is possible when you reach the following five mental states simultaneously:
- open-mindedness to all ideas;
Other activities that can help the work of the subconscious are rest, physical activity, the frequent change of the environment around us (the context in which we find ourselves has a great effect on creativity) and exposure to other ideas, yes he says that “ideas generate ideas”.
Exercise 1: read a hundred ideas in two hours and imagine how they can be used in your present or future company, this technique is called “bombardment of ideas”.
Exercise 2: find someone who is on your same wavelength and who can be your creative partner, from whom you can receive constructive criticism and opinions.