Where Do Great New Ideas Really Come From?


Speaking of insights and creativity, we often think of these as “lightbulb” or “ah ha!” moments. We say we’ve had a stroke of genius or a flash of insight. What these words really signify is that we’ve formed new connections. Some experts believe that every idea is actually a network of connected ideas. New ideas come from a web of connections, made in a new way and for the first time.

So the question on how to become more creative becomes, “how do you make sure your brain makes more connections and has these insights more often?”

Innovation means taking old ideas and making them new. This might be a different concept than what you’re used to. Many view creativity as coming up with something that is totally new-- something that has never been thought of before. But when you realize that every idea is spawned from things that already exist in the world, it suddenly becomes clear that anyone can become creative, because we all have access to these things.

Being with Other People

When scientists look at where the best ideas and innovations come from, many people self-report that they get inspired in the shower or alone in their car. I definitely think that’s true—and we’ll cover this concept at a later point.

Often, though, people really get their best ideas when they are in a group or mastermind. The best new concepts come when people are able to bounce ideas around and come up with something that looks totally new. You can’t be alone with lonely ideas if you want to be creative.

How Long Does It Take For a Great Idea to Come to Fruition?

The concept of creativity can be tricky. Some people expect to have these eureka moments and be able to generate a life changing idea right away. In some cases, that works out just fine–especially in light of how business on the Internet works today. In other cases, you have to look to history.

Some of the most important and best ideas have only come after they’ve had a chance to incubate for a while. Some of those great ideas fade away because they were not given enough power. Still others persist because of the persistence of their creator. Allow your ideas to incubate and allow them to be great.

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