How to Have Infinite Creative Ideas.

This process trains your mind to produce endless ideas on any topic. I don’t mean unfaltering. The flow waxes and wanes like all natural things (thankfully!) but if you keep returning to these principles, you’ll keep strengthening the flow for your whole life. You can use it for almost anything.

You may know and practice some or all of these steps already. You may know some but not practice them consistently. There’s huge voltage in getting them just right, and consistently bringing them into creative alignment.

Ever had a job that almost put your soul in a coma? I used to work 12 hour shifts in a medical clean-room. It was full of odd objects. For flanging widgets probably. We’d spend hours inventing hypothetical uses for them. The first 10–20 ideas were easy. Getting up to 40 your brain might stretch gently. But after that we’d pass so many seemingly impossible milestones — 75, 100, 150.

After a few days playing the game, I often couldn’t stop coming up with more ideas. Once that tap was turned on, it was hard to turn off. My mind had realised I wanted them, and it just kept giving me more.

Over the years I’ve trained my mind to produce endless: complex rhyme schemes; surreal jokes; story ideas; business ideas; creative exercises and teaching insights. In each case, after an initial effort, the new ideas started coming all day with almost no conscious effort. In each case I ended up with far more ideas than I needed.

Some were garbage, some were gold. To have endless ideas, you have to welcome both.

Right now I’m struggling to write a fraction of the blog post ideas that are coming to me.

(Blogging is new to me, btw, and I appreciate all feedback.)

You can have overflowing ideas for: getting out of debt; cute nicknames; reasons your boss is an asshole; ways to transform your relationship; ways to make your creative dreams true today; money-making schemes. So far, so obvious.

But it’s also easy to shut down the flow. This is natural. It’d be unbearable to have ceaseless creativity. Sometime it’s driven me semi-lunatic. Lots of artists never learn to handle it. We want to take charge of turning the taps on and off. Not controlling them exactly, but working with them consciously. In each of the above cases, when I stopped seeking and using those results, they soon dried up.

We want to consciously decide when and what ideas our brain produces the most of.

And we also want to consistently make the most of our great ideas.

Here’s how it all works.

1) Actively focus on what you want more of. Set a dedicated burst of time where you have no other purpose than that. Write your topic at the top of a page, then sit with it. Write down everything that comes to you. Don’t judge or censor the ideas — write them all down.

So far so obvious too. But you need to do this every day for at least a week, more if it’s something very important. You need to get used to generating a ridiculous amount of ideas. To do this, you have to sit with boredom without reaching for distraction, sit with uncertainty and blankness without giving up, sit with self-criticism without being blinded by it.

No matter what, set the time aside, and capture what comes. You have to write down all of them.

2) You also need to capture all the ideas that start coming throughout the day. It’s easy to say “Oh, I’ll remember that later” or “It’s not really worth writing down.” Do not succumb to either of these traps!

The more devotedly you capture all the ideas, the more ideas will come. Welcome the garbage in order to get the gold. It’s often hard to tell which is which until later anyway.

Every single time an idea comes, not only take it down, but take a moment to feel good about it, and thank your creativity for sending it. Learn to value the flow, more than individual results.

3) Consistently practicing 1) and 2) together sends an irresistible message to your unconscious that you value all the ideas it sends you, and you want more. Over time, this will turn on the tap with startling intensity.

4) Regularly sift the ideas and select some, which you then make the most of. If it’s song lyrics, finish the song. If it’s personal growth insights, put them into practice. If it’s blog ideas, create a folder with titles and notes, and start consistently finishing and posting the ideas.

Do this, no matter how ‘good’ or ‘bad’ you think the idea is. Treat your ideas as if they are amazing, do everything you can to make them as great as they can be. Over time not only will you get more and more ideas, you’ll also get better and better ones.

To be clear, even if you think your stuff is lame, put it to great use! Finish stuff and put it out there. Yes, spend enough time crafting. Yes take detail seriously. Never wait for it to be ‘perfect.’ It never will be.

5) Review the work, and feed that back into the next wave of creation. If you notice your work needs to be more practical, more vibrant, more specifically focused etc, go back to step 1) and this time turn on the taps with these new qualities or needs in mind. By feeding this refined question or request into the process, you retrain your mind to give you more appropriate results.
That’s all it takes. Of course, we’re incredibly gifted at producing endless excuses, hiccups, and acts of sabotage too. We’ve trained ourselves devoutly in that regard. Keep going regardless. If you get stuck, try out a few of these ideas. If you’re still stuck, let me know, tell me what comes up for you. Try this for a few weeks, you won’t regret it.

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