where do ideas come from

On my walk around the lake this morning, I started thinking about the time-tested theory that we only have two things to leverage in our life: We can leverage our time, and our dollars.

However, I think that there’s a third point. We can also leverage our ideas. Whether you call it ideas, or knowledge, or direction, you need this to make almost anything happen. If you have all the time and the money in the world, but you don’t have any direction, you’re simply going to fall flat and spin your wheels. The key to success is a clear usage of the three: time, money, and ideas. You need all three for something to work.

When it comes to coming up with good ideas, part of the trick in coming up with them is training your brain to think differently. This concept is similar to the psychological theory of Confirmation Bias: When we believe something, our brain tries to justify or validate that belief any way that it can. In the same way, when you become aware of something, it becomes top-of-mind and your brain will begin to see that thing in places you wouldn’t have otherwise noticed. So, if I’m interested in red cowboy boots, or if I’m looking for a certain motorcycle that happens to be rare, I will begin to see those boots and motorcycles everywhere. There aren’t suddenly more red cowboy boots in the world, but I’m just more open to seeing the ones that exist.

It is my belief that ideas and opportunities work in the same way. When you begin looking for ideas, or ways to solve problems, you will be turning on a part of your brain that helps you see things you wouldn’t have otherwise noticed.

In other words, you will begin living in the land of “What if?” “What if we tried this? “How would we do that?”

This type of thinking is how people get promotions, how people start new businesses, how people increase profitability. The main goal in shifting your thinking isn’t to find a home run, although you might. The main goal is to find a way to flip the switch in your head, start to ask “what if” and see where it can take you.

My challenge to you is this. In the next week, take the time to find three things each day that you could do to save money or make things run more efficiently in your work environment. Purposefully write these down. They can be silly; they can be stupid. There are no rules.

If, at the end of the week, you decide that all of these ideas don’t work, that’s okay. You have now turned on the part of your brain where you know you could fix a problem or solve something in some way. Thinking, instead of just seeing, is where greatness lies.

Next week, we’ll address another drastic shift in thinking when it comes  to social media, and how disconnecting can change the course of your life. As always, feel free to reach out with any questions or comments: I’m here to help first. Comment in the section below if you’re going to take me up on this challenge, and let me know how it goes!

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