Originality and Good Questions

Albert Einstein Français : Portrait d'Albert E...

Albert Einstein Français : Portrait d'Albert Einstein (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The world has not run out of new ideas. We have stopped asking good questions. We are so inundated by the content we consume that we spend more time processing the things we’re told instead of the things we are not. Einstein and da Vinci did not watch television or facebook five hours per day; they left little-to-no time for distractions, compartmentalized research and focused all energy into exploring the world around them. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a film that asked deep questions or read a book that made me think. In a postmodern age where we are all hyper-consumers, we spend our energy living and breathing other people’s work instead of creating our own. There’s plenty of new ideas out there: the world is constantly evolving with new challenges and trends. If you ask thorough questions and wrestle with contemporary issues, you will find a goldmine of fresh ideas.

Don’t just sit back and watch. Engage. Ask questions. Then put the book or iPad down for a day to go tango with the world around you.

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The Idea Storm

We are our own worst enemies when it comes to inventing ideas. More than anyone else, we criticize and censor our own thoughts. We wave opportunities away at the first sight of obstacles – and never look back. Unacceptable. All great things come with challenges. We cannot rule out possibilities before staring them in the face long enough to determine their credibility.

Practice brainstorming. Sit down for a dedicated period of time. Challenge yourself to come up with a specific number of ideas, preferably addressing a problem you want to solve. Set a timer and feel the pressure. Write every idea down. Do not judge them. Do not cross them out. Never read the list until the brainstorming session concludes. Free your mind from the type of critical thought that restricts creativity. Dream big and ignore consequences. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. You will surprise yourself by your own creativity.

How Daydreaming Can Help You Discover True Passion

The ThinkerBelieve it or not, I do not think very hard. I am a creature of intuition. I let my mind wander all the time. And I use it to my advantage.

Like involuntary dreaming during REM sleep, daydreaming taps into your subconscious. Without focusing your mind, various images, ideas, sensations, emotions and reactions will crop up and fill the thought void.

Stare into space. Let your consciousness drift. Then sit back and listen. Track your thoughts. Where do they wander? A memory? Another project? Someone special? Something specific? An abstract concept?

Take note of your mental journey. Journal if you need to. Keep an eye out for repetition and redundancy, especially recurring themes or concepts. Pay attention to and follow patterns – they can shape your values and interests. Core values and interests will help frame your subconscious and offer macrocosmic insight into your heart’s brightest fires.

What is the common denominator? With enough practice, you should be able to identify a common thread through all of your mental wanderings. Weave this thread through the conventional world and you can chart a personal campaign to feed the fire. Relationships, careers, literature, conversations, invention, art, food and travel can all take part in bringing your true passion to life.

The first step to feeding your soul is to learn what your soul likes to eat.