Are You Feeling lost on where to start looking for some new ideas? Or maybe are just feeling uninspired, down and don’t know where to start . Then take a look at our list of five unique ways to generate creative ideas. That are guaranteed to help get you start developing that idea you’ve been putting off, to get you thinking in the right direction.
First take a look at out our previous article on the nature of ideas (https://thequalm.com/where-do-creative-ideas-come-from/).
1. Change your Environment
The mental change of how you operate in different environments can make a massive difference to how you digest and process information. From sitting in front of your tv at home, versus in the office with your boss, both will give two completely different ways of processing the situation in front of you. This can dramatically change your perceived interpretation of the event and how the information is contextualised.
A change in your environment can be as simple as taking a stroll outside for 5 minutes to moving where the workspace is. You could try working in the kitchen if you’re constantly getting up for tea and snacks? Or by following more ‘esoteric’ methods such as Feng Shui to realign your energy in a workspace. Whatever image jumps to mind first when you think of the phrase “change your environment”, we’re chasing that energy.
Try experimenting by adding a dash of colour to your environment or belongings. Colours can have a practical purpose, besides just making life a little less dreary. They can infer meaning and moods into your life to help your surroundings resonate better with you. Try a Calming Blue Or an energetic Yellow or maybe minimalist white, whatever sparks interest from you. Get creative.
2. Perspective is Everything
Learning to approach things with different perspectives and scopes is an invaluable skill, whether this be through conversations, meditations or through a more analytical lense, you can really start to gain more insight in and around your idea.
You will find plenty of resources for this through Conversations, Books and other people.
Talking an idea out with for example your local gardener in comparison with an oxford professor, both about the same topic will yield unique results. This can grant you that extra insight needed to help generate more creative ideas.
You’re trying to look at the big picture through understanding all the components. Once you have an understanding of your idea or design, you should be able to mess and subvert its original context. Try it in reverse, opposite colours, different techniques, you can really do anything once you’ve broken it down into its parts.
3. Make New Connections
People are good but so is the internet, books etc.
Sometimes what you need is more input before you can sustain the output.
Try to find interesting or maybe just useful topics, we’re chasing your energy, really try immersing yourself into these new topics. Try to pick out the aspects that you like about it, cultural, philosophical, practicality and design, whatever is applicable to you, try to see what inspires you about it. We’re working to get to the root of these new concepts, to try and find the commonalities between them.
We’re essentially laying down the foundations for these conceptual highways and connections to be built upon, but first you’ve got to start digging.
You could even take this a step further by applying this with the previous ways to generate creative ideas that we’ve mentioned, maybe you’re learning about design or the environment, finding different perspectives and practicality of the ideas would play a big role.
4. Write it Down
Nothing is more tried and tested then just simply writing it down.
Whatever medium you choose paper, google docs or maybe even a typewriter, the main goal is just simply write it down and see what sticks.
Of course not all of us are writers, I’m definitely not, and staring at a blank page can definitely be intimidating for some, so sometimes what you need is a foot in the door and a place to start. There are probably thousands of methods, books and exercises out there, so I’ll list a few of the ways I’ve encountered that may help you start developing and generate some creative ideas.
The For and Against Method
Write 2 columns, one for and against aspects of your topic. This method will really start to break down your perspective and understanding of your idea.
You should also try this to get a perspective on things that you personally like and dislike, it might help concrete your modus operandi.
Word association or Spider diagrams
Although sounding like something as you’d encounter from school, don’t be fooled by it’s primitive connotations, simply learning to categorise and relate information is the foundation of a lot of great ideas and thoughts.
Journaling your life
Simply starting to write down your day to day and how it made you feel, might be the trigger that inspires changes and ideas.
Aspirations & Manifestation
Try writing down things you’d like to do in the future, 5 weeks, 5 months, 5 years etc. by working out your aspirations you’ve turned them into your manifestations.
5. Oblique Strategies and The Thought Behind Thought
I’m going to introduce you to Brain Eno’s and Peter Schmitt’s Oblique Strategies.
More widely used when faced with a more musical or artistic dilemma, Eno and Schmitt have essentially created a deck of cards, with creative prompts that can act as possible solutions to your problem.
The retorts themselves aren’t anything too concrete and allow you to transplant your own context onto them, prompting a creative solution to whatever it is you’re looking for.
The temptation to just pull out card after card until you get one you ‘like’ or ‘works’ is normal, but it’s not going to give you the most out of it. You’re trying to encourage a new perspective by making whatever oblique you get from the deck work for your situation or idea.
You can buy the cards over on his website (https://www.enoshop.co.uk/shop)
Or you can access an online version here (http://stoney.sb.org/eno/oblique.html)
Final Word on creative ideas.
Follow your energy, at the end of the day it’s whatever sparks interest in you that you should follow, whatever the hunch or the inclining strikes you, aim towards it and work with drive, logic and ambition. Quality over pure quantity
“The nature of things is the habit of concealing itself” – Heraclitus
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