I believe that engaging our ideas is key to bring out the best in all of us. A bold statement, maybe, but bear with me. Most of us have ideas once in a while, and some of them are actually valuable, but rarely we do anything with them, or even remember them. The solution is to systematize our idea process. This allows us to form an idea habit of consistently generating new ideas. Suddenly, we can see opportunities where before there were none, and we will naturally want to take action. Let’s begin by peaking into the process.
1. Write down 10 ideas every day
To build and maintain your idea muscle, author and entrepreneur James Altucher recommends that you make it a habit to write down 10 ideas every day. For the last year, I have been doing exactly that — almost every morning I write down my 10 ideas.
Quickly you’ll find that the 10 idea habit doesn’t use up your idea arsenal. On the contrary, the habit will put you in an idea-forming mindset — you’ll discover how every experience or problem can inspire an idea. In a recent mastermind, we coined the term idea abundance to describe this. At least in my experience, the 10 ideas habit is a simple way to introduce idea abundance into your life.
2. How you can immediately make use of your ideas
Imagine yourself a week into the 10 ideas routine, you now have extracted 70 ideas from your head and have stored them in written form. Already the power of the power of the idea system starts to reveal itself. I would argue that you wouldn’t be able to remember 70 ideas, cause actually ideas are surprisingly fleeting, It’s not really an option to rely on memory. I find that my memory highly depends on associations, the context in which they were forged — such as my mental and emotional state, or the surroundings. If I don’t write it down, I might find myself in another room or state, and my amazing idea is gone.
Your idea is now stored and out of your head. That frees up your mind. Your head is best used for thinking, not for storage. Now one idea can lead to a new one, or two ideas can be combined (James Altucher calls this idea sex). A good idea should be validated, acted upon and turned into a mini-project or business. Your ideas can be shared or given away to other people as gifts. The latter is a great way to form connections with other people and potentially be a seed for collaborations to form. It’s all about making your ideas come alive. It’s helpful to use tools to assist the process of generating ideas and making them grow. For this I have created my free 5-day IDEAS e-mail min-course.
3. Ideas > Execution
Ideas are a dime a dozen, it’s all about the execution — that’s the conventional view. However due to AI’s growing part in our society, in the future questions will be more valuable than answers. That’s the view of writer and founder of Wired magazine, Kevin Kelly. In my interpretation of this statement ideas will soon be more valuable than execution.
This may seem far fetched, but when you think of the acceleration in the recent years of the application of AI and various digital tools for idea execution, it’s actually quite reasonable to think of ideas as a commodity. As entrepreneur and angel investor Naval Ravikant puts it, we are all increasingly leveraged through code.
This is made possible by the abundance of digital AI-powered tools such as the iPhone, templated graphic design apps, semi-automatic website designers like Squarespace, step-by-step online courses, or even done-for-you online business model templates, and many more. These automation-based give you the desired outcome with less and less effort. In most cases all you have to is follow a series of predefined steps — job done.
That’s why we now see a narrowing gap between idea and execution, for which author and entrepreneur Eben Pagan coined the term the creativerse - as he explains:
The gap between imagining something in our mind and then creating it in the ‘real world’ is shrinking every day. We have all been moving more and more quickly toward an “imagine it and create it” reality.
Eben Pagan, Opportunity
Take home message
Ideas are becoming more valuable than execution. Future-proof yourself , introduce idea abundance into your life. By writing down 10 ideas per day, you tap into the power of your ideas. You’ll be surprised how much fun it can be. Just try it for a week and see what happens!