Move around. Whenever I see Rodin’s statue of The Thinker, I’m certain that whatever he’s thinking about is not causing a creative rush. Sitting and thinking while hoping ideas will land in your lap is both grueling and ineffective. While our minds need to rest, daydreaming seldom spawns a new idea, although a new idea may erupt after a daydreaming session. Although different people find different experiences creatively stimulating, people in motion seem to generate ideas more easily.

A woman who had left her corporate job and started a small service business called to share her excitement about her new life. As she talked about her venture, she said, “I have so many ideas now. I never had ideas when I worked at my old job.”

“I have a theory about that,” I told her. “I think ideas are out there floating around in the air, but they can’t get through to corporate cubicles.”

I was only partly joking. In order to attract ideas, we need to engage in activities that stimulate our thinking. Sitting and trying hard, doesn’t seem to help at all. Next time we’ll look at a surefire way to generate a steady stream of good ideas.

$100 Hour: Eliminate an expense that doesn’t bring you joy. Every so often, find a way to save $100. Quit smoking. Or find a credit card company with a lower interest rate. Find a tax deduction you overlooked. Cancel the movie channel you never watch. Sometimes our spending becomes automatic and habitual. It’s healthy to reevaluate and change old spending habits from time to time.

Explore More: I’m not sure I’ve ever come up with a good idea while reading about creativity. However, following the suggestions for exercises and activities in such books often gets things rolling. A perennial favorite is How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci by Michael Gelb.

Innovation is what you get when you get up from behind your desk and go and see where ideas and people lead you. ~ Richard Branson

No Responses to “Idea Starter #1 Get Moving”

  1. Gretchen Wegner

    Barbara, I love this post, and I wholeheartedly agree about the importance of moving to thinking. I love the image that moving helps give us more access to all the great ideas that are hovering, zipping, zooming around us. Your comments also make me happy because I have JUST invented and started selling a new product based on exactly this idea…the MuseCubes. I’d love your feedback (and the feedback of your readers) on this product, as I’m just starting to develop it. Have fun “catching” ideas in 2009, everyone!

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