Imagine being able to come up with fantastic ideas and solutions to challenges at the drop of a hat. Are you that kind of thinker? It turns out that most ideators have cultivated daily habits that lend themselves to thinking up great ideas. Stephanie Vozza over at Fast Company has a pretty good idea about how this happens:
Eureka moments are rare. The backstory behind great ideas is often more complex and winding than having an apple fall on your head. But the best part is that creative ideas aren’t reserved for a special group of people; they can come to anyone if you change your mind-set.
“The fact is, almost all of the research in this field shows that anyone with normal intelligence is capable of doing some degree of creative work,” Teresa Amabile, professor of business administration at Harvard Business School and author of The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work, told Fast Company in 2004. “Creativity depends on a number of things: experience, including knowledge and technical skills; talent; an ability to think in new ways; and the capacity to push through uncreative dry spells.”
Whether they’re coming up with an innovative new product to launch, finding a solution to a universal problem, or picking a cool new place to grab lunch, people who consistently have great ideas have formed habits that help them think. Here are eight simple things those “creative geniuses” do that you can do, too:
1. They Look For Inspiration In Unexpected Places
Instead of staying focused within their industries, people who have great ideas look elsewhere, says Sooshin Choi, provost at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit.
“Many professionals go after information in their industry, but once you get that information, it’s too late—everyone has it,” he says. “Even if you get that information faster than others, what kind of real difference can you make?”
Instead, Choi suggests looking outside your field. “Car designers might look at furniture designers for inspiration,” he says. “There are endless examples of different areas where you can find inspiration.”