How many times have you uttered to yourself, “I have a great idea!” Probably way too many times than you can count. So we are here to ask, what are ideas?
Are they divine sparks of inspiration?
Are they neuronal fireworks displays which happen to find meaning in our daily lives?
Are they accidental by-products of our weird brain?
Or are they more than all these things?
In this article, we’ll shed some light on the idea definition and give some tips to spark your creativity.
What are Ideas?
To define an idea, it is basically a thought or collection of thoughts that are generated by the mind. Ideas are generally generated with intent but can also be created unintentionally. Ideas are usually created through discussions or during brainstorming sessions.
In philosophy, ideas are usually construed as mental representational images of some object. Ideas can also be concepts that do not form in the brain as mental images. One of the most essential and defining features of a human being is the ability to create and understand the meaning of ideas.
In general, ideas usually surface in a reflexive and spontaneous manner, even with the absence of thinking or serious reflection. New ideas often lead to innovation.
How to Spark Creative Ideas
Creativity is often related to thinking of appropriate and novel ideas, as compared to innovation, which rather focuses on the successful implementation of those ideas.
Whether you’re solving a complex problem or coming up with an inspired design, you need creativity to spark some ideas. At some point, we’ve all experienced not being able to come up with good ideas because our creative juices are not flowing.
Below are some simple tips that will help spark your creativity.
Conduct Brainstorming Sessions
Two heads are better than one as they say.
If you feel like you just can’t conceive a good idea, have a quick meeting with your team or colleagues. Brainstorming sessions will allow you to bounce off ideas with other people. Sometimes, your best idea doesn’t exactly come from you, but it’s sparked by something that another person has said. Someone else may say something in passing or just thinking out loud, but it can spark an idea in your mind.
Take a Break
When you are creatively stuck, it will help a lot to give your brain a breather. Stepping away from the problem or issue can help put things into perspective and give your brain a well-deserved rest. This can be more productive than giving your brain constant stimulation all the time.
Let your mind wander and it may even stumble on a new concept.
Take a Walk
According to a recent study by Stanford, walking is a great method to improve your creativity. So just take a walk if your mind just can’t come up with anything.
According to the study, “Walking opens up the free flow of ideas, and it is a simple and robust solution to the goals of increasing creativity and increasing physical activity.”
It’s not really about the change of scenery (although it helps), so you can either walk on a treadmill or through a nice outdoor trail.
Use the Mind-Mapping Technique
Mind-mapping is a very well-known technique for developing creative ideas. Research has found that mind maps are beneficial for overcoming writer’s block and for creative problem-solving.
A mind map is a radiant structure that allows you to create new ideas by association and add them anywhere on the map. Plus, it gives you a visual overview of the issue which enables you to see the connections between ideas that you might have missed otherwise.
Keep a Notepad
There are times that you just ponder things while you’re being idle or preparing to fall asleep. These seemingly random thoughts that are floating in your mind can form a new idea.
There are times that some of your best ideas are conceived while you are half-asleep. You can record all your random ideas on a notepad or smartphone. Once you check your notes in the morning, there’s a good chance that you won’t recall that it was you who thought of it.
Explore the Unknown
Routine and habit can really put a damper on your creativity. To bring back your creative mind, sometimes you need to break the routine. Thus, don’t be afraid to do things you’ve never done before.
Take a trip to an unknown location, ride a hot-air balloon, try cooking a new recipe, and more. Choose an activity that will challenge, inspire, or even scare you.
Feeling Creative Yet?
So the next time that you find yourself stumped about solving a problem or coming up with inspiring designs, try the aforementioned tips we’ve given.
Any other techniques that you have tried to improve your creativity? Share your experiences below.