Ideas, ideas, ideas
Today I’m writing about a big idea. It’s stupidly simple.
To solve problems, create ideas!
Lots of them. Here’s how I got this one.
I wrote about James Altucher here . He said:
“Every day I write down ideas; I write down so many ideas that it hurts my head to come up with one more. Then I try to write down five more.”
I decided that was a great idea.
I found that his wife, Cynthia, had written a book based on James’ idea: “Become An Idea Machine: Because Ideas Are The Currency Of The 21st Century”.
I bought it. I read it. It’s great. I’m going to follow it.
Also, it doesn’t go far enough.
I’m going to the ten-ideas-a-day exercises in Cynthia’s book to build my “ideas muscle.”
Meanwhile, I’m going to work the hell out of the muscle I’ve got. Every time I’ve got a problem, I’m going to create lots of ideas.
That’s it. That’s the great idea.
Also, the idea is to stop doing what I do today.
Ten crappy ways I deal with problems today
I’m not always this crappy. I have gotten some things done. But I get thrown off the trail too easily. These are some of the crappy things that I do:
Gut it out and grind my way to a solution. (That’s not totally crappy, but pretty crappy.)
Wait for the problem to solve itself.
Wait for something that I did earlier to solve the problem.
Think about the problem. (Most common)
Try the first thing that comes to mind that isn’t too hard.
Stare at my computer.
Do something that’s low effort and that might, once in a million years, solve the problem
Do some internet research, related to the problem
Do some internet research unrelated to the problem
Writing this was harder than I thought.
What I do instead
When I have a problem, I create at least ten ideas. If one of them looks really promising then I execute; otherwise, I do another ten.
When I start executing and run into a problem, same thing: I create at least ten ideas to solve it—possibly changing the plan so that the problem no longer exists. I pick the best one.
I keep moving forward. Any time I get stuck, I create ideas that get me unstuck. At least ten.
Suppose I need specialized knowledge. I create ten ideas for getting that knowledge. Sometimes it’s ten people who have the knowledge. Sometimes ten places to find the people.
When I’ve found someone who has the knowledge but don’t know how to contact them? Oooh! A problem! I create ten ideas for getting to them or ten ideas for finding people with better ideas for reaching people.
There’s more to it than that. This idea is not flight tested or stress tested. It’s not been thought through thoroughly. Maybe there are situations where I don’t go all the way to ten. I don’t know.
But I know that it’s the idea that I need right now.
And I know I needed to share it.
And if I discover a problem making it stick I know what to do: ten ideas for that problem.
It’s part of a much bigger story that I’m writing about later.
Right now, I’ve got work to do.
Written with the help of StackEdit, Grammarly, Markdown Here, Blogger, and Google voice typing on Android and Chromebook, plus other stuff.