No two people experience “reality” in quite the same way. Where one person sees a catastrophe, another sees an opportunity. Most people believe that they have no control over the way they view the world. However, this isn’t the case. We, as human beings, possess the ability to change our “realities” simply by changing our attitudes. Would you be better off if you viewed things in a different way? Do you often choose to be bored instead of inspired? Are you missing out on valuable ideas because of your mental patterns? If so, read on! Actually, if not, read on too. I need the views. But I digress.
The secret of creativity is this: If you are seeking creative inspiration, you have to become obsessed by it.
But Gary, how do I get creative if I don’t even have a project to start with?
Good question. Coming up with new ideas out of the blue, without any specific goals in mind, can be difficult. That is, unless you’re assisted by certain types of “chemical enhancement.” However, this method can backfire, as it could just as easily lead to you nude and crying in the back of a police car as it could to a great idea. Don’t ask me how I know this. I just do. By the way, if you need some, call T-Bone at (646) 79T-BONE. Tell him G-bone sent you. Not kidding: give T-Bone a call.
If you just wait around for ideas to come to you while staring at your computer screen, you’re wasting your time. It’s not going to happen.
But when you actually train yourself to stay attuned to new ideas and creative inspiration, life WILL reward you.
The ideas are out there — you just need to apply the right filter to your reality.
That’s great, Gary. But HOW DO I DO IT?
Ok, you’ve waited long enough. Here we go.
Ladies and gentleman, please allow me to introduce to you…the D.I.M. S.U.M. Method, created and trademarked by yours truly. Every time you even think about it, you owe me a pancake. Seriously. With syrup. And chocolate chips.
- Define the concept — What exactly are you looking for? Prime your mind to understand what you’re seeking. If you don’t know what you’re after, nothing good will come to you. “Luck” favors prepared minds. DEFINE what you want, or you’ll never get it.
- Receive Input from all the things you can — Input is everywhere. The internet, on the street, in conversations, in books. With your goal in mind, you should be primed to look for specific types of information. Seek adventure in your life, and don’t be afraid to shake up your daily routine.
- Let the Magic happen — Allow ideas to come to you. This doesn’t happen due to luck; it’s a product of your new outlook.
- Allow time for Sketching. Sketch/write down everything that comes to you. Everything. Don’t judge your ideas at this point. Simply write down everything you think is worth remembering.
- Kill the Useless ideas — At this point, you tighten everything up. Filter out what doesn’t further your goal. Discard poor ideas, and keep the winners.
- Magnify everything. Repeat the above process, and make adjustments to your goal. The slightest tweak in the way you prime your mind impacts the entire flow of ideas that come to you.
“Kill your darlings.” — Stephen King
That’s it. Gary’s acronym for success. Time to write an NYT bestseller now. I can just see the reviews now:
“Even though I haven’t read it, this is the best book ever written” — Gary’s Jewish mother.
Creativity is a never-ending process. But remember, without a reality check, ideas are worthless. Keep the good ideas and discard the poor ones. Trust me, our minds are capable of the brightest ideas and the dumbest ones.
“Art is never finished, only abandoned.” — Leonardo da Vinci.
And how do we separate the good ideas from the poor ones? If your idea matches these 3 criteria, then you just hit a mental home run:
- Unique — Does it have a distinct flavor? Can it be immediately recognized?
- Simple — Can you explain it in one sentence?
- Amplifiable — Can you develop an infinite range of variations?
… or the USA Principle if you will. Oh my Zeus, I’m on a roll. Get me an agent now!
Any idea that follows this principle can live forever. Here’s an example.
I’ll wrap this up by stating that all ideas alone are worthless. They aren’t even worth two cents. What matters is acting on your ideas. Don’t live life in an imaginary world (but if you do, be sure to say hello to my imaginary friend, Tom). TAKE ACTION.
Act. Agis. Akt. Age. Actuas. Siz harakat qilasiz. That’s Uzbek, and it’s beautiful. You should learn it.
Remember this: If your idea sticks, then you just earned a golden ticket to immortality.
Originally published at Gary Scetbon.