I found myself short on ideas and creative energy recently.
So I asked, what is it that has repeatedly made me more creative?
Forcing myself to come up with as many ideas as possible.
Just the thought of list-writing for the sheer fun of it gives me tingles.
If you have read this far, it likely has the same effect on you too.
Lists are not only reserved for your to-dos and your next listicle blog post.
They have other, compelling, and practical uses.
Lists make you more intelligent.
When you use lists to come up with ideas, you are engaging in actual, in the moment, idea-peeling.
That first idea you had? Looks nice. But it looks even cooler, and possibly weirder when you strip away that first layer.
When you limit yourself to a topic; when you prime yourself with a question; when you push yourself further than the first answer to appear in your head, you begin an outer-worldly journey of idea-formulation.
Picture a rocky landscape on a foreign planet. The earth is red with specks of white and gold. Plumes of steam rise up above bubbling volcanic vents. This is a no-mans-land, and those plumes are idea-eruptions.
This is where you are when you ask yourself exciting and reasonably narrow questions with a potentially endless stream of answers.
You are becoming more intelligent in this process because you are literally rooting around in your brain.
You are encouraging your synapses to interact, crackle and form new connections.
This gives me a sense of aliveness like little else because I am using my head in a way no human has done before.
Can you say that I’m wrong?
I doubt it!
Am I grandiose? Probably. I blame the coffee.
Here are some list-writing ideas to get you started.
If you are in business for yourself, these may be particularly relevant, but feel free to tweak them to your liking and what works for your set up.
Take a pencil and a pad, and give yourself twenty minutes to scribble down as many answers to the following questions as you can. Try and go beyond ten answers for each. Nothing is too stupid or weird.
See what this leads to.
Don’t hold back. Just write like a maniac.
The weirder, the better.
Let your brain breath.
At the end of it, you will have some interesting answers, which you can use in the real world, or pin to your wall of idea-writing fame.
More than anything, use this exercise to show you what you are capable of.
You may be surprised…