Willy Dufresne @Willdeboof: James, after spending a certain amount of time listing ideas daily, did you begin to start feeling ideas came to you more easily?
If you get hurt and have to go to a hospital and lie in bed for 2 weeks, what happens? Your leg muscles atrophy so much you won’t be able to get up and walk. That’s all it takes. Two weeks.
Imagine if you are 12 years behind a desk (doesn’t’ matter if it’s school or a job or whatever). Your idea muscle has atrophied so much it might not even exist anymore. Or it’s only a tiny fiber running through your virtual brain. The tiniest of muscles, barely connecting with the rest of your being.
The idea muscle needs to be rebuilt. It doesn’t matter if you start off with bad ideas, good ideas, nonsense ideas. You need to light up the neurons and synapses in the brain that support the idea muscle. It’s hard. Let’s say you try to walk after those two weeks. It will hurt. You will sweat. A therapist will yell at you and say, “C’MON! Keep going!” And you will cry with actual tears and say, “I can’t. I just can’t anymore” And the physical therapist will push you until you walk just a few steps before you collapse.
Now you need to sweat again. Do two things. Have an idea of what you want to make a list about and have, in advance, the number of items you want to put in that list. For instance, “20 chapter titles you can write in a book about parenting”. 20 is a lot! Your head will begin to hurt/sweat around 5-8 titles. But you have 12 more to go! Push yourself. PUSH! Sweat that idea muscle.
Do it every day. The ideas will flow. You will go from the hospital to being an Olympic Marathon runner. You won’t be just a guy with good ideas, you will become an IDEA MACHINE! And this helps in every aspect of your life. It doesn’t just help you come up with ideas for a business. It will help you come up with good ideas to surprise your wife. Or ideas of what to do at a moment’s notice in a traffic jam. Life will become easier for you. Life is hard. Life is your competition, trying to keep your from succeeding. Being an idea machine will make you the winner.