Whether you’re looking to solve problems, expand your horizons or start something completely new, there’s always a time for brainstorming.
There’s nothing that can’t be solved when you’re ready with arms wide open to all the possibilities!
Some ways to get your brainstorming on a big roll of brilliance:
Get yourself to a more receptive state. I can’t brainstorm- or think clearly at all– when I’m wound up, distracted or pulled in many directions.
Take a walk. Take a shower. Play with the dogs or cats. Meditate. Whatever will help you to become more calm and focused will help you to get into the energetic space to channel more genius electricity!
Fuel up! There’s a smoothie I used to drink that was named “Brainstorm” and it was full of ginkgo biloba extract, walnuts and fruit– all the sugars and brain-boosters in one big smoothie!
Eat a snack that’s really satisfying and (if you can) free of processed additives and preservatives. Drink a lot of water. Get yourself truly fueled up. I still make smoothies, but now they’re packed with greens along with dates and fruit. My brain loves fruit.
Start without any limitations. This is really important. If you’re thinking of what you can’t do when you begin, you’ll close the doors to ideas that could be prefect for you.
Bill Burnett and Dave Evans stress this step as well as the next one in their brilliant book, Designing Your Life.
It was so validating to read their process of brainstorming and see that after years of trial and error I came close to their best practices… but I learned further refinements from then that are epic.
Starting without any limitations is incredibly important. The question you ask to kick off your brainstorming is best to be wide-open-ended and the sky is the limit as to what you can answer.
For example, if you’re brainstorming how to do your day job better to make more money, that might be limited by the parameters of your job. You likely don’t have a lot of say in how much you change some of the facets of your job, even though you might come up with some great ideas. But, if you sit down and brainstorm how you can multiply your income, suddenly you have more options, and ways of doing your day job better are just one of the infinite ideas to explore.
This is what’s so exciting about brainstorming— you expand your life dramatically.
EVERY idea counts. The blog that I am now writing for the ninth year is a product of a brainstorm 15 years ago where this blog was the wildest idea on the list. It was also one of the most interesting of all the ideas on my brainstorming list of where I wanted to focus the energy in my creative life to be more fulfilled.
Organize the ideas you get right away. This was the key take-away for me from the Burnett and Evans book— you need to process the data you’ve accumulated right away so it is used!
I usually pick the big ideas that stand out and start by organizing those into key categories, and then I’ll list other ideas beneath them that are interesting to me.
When I do this, its all still in the imagination phase. It’s really free-flowing. I’m not trying to implement all of it… yet.
Now: what leaps out at you?
The great thing is you can’t make a wrong choice. Every idea you pursue will take you down a line of inspired action and that is really brilliant.
This doesn’t mean every idea will come to fruition or that it should come to fruition.
Some will sound good and fall flat when they get started. I let them go.
Some will be exciting but challenging. If I’m hooked into the idea I stick with it.
Some will be the keys to instant and expansive change-making. Those are extremely rewarding and so much fun.
And: all are incredibly valuable.
You won’t get to the treasures if you don’t explore!
There is no single book of answers to design the life of your dreams, build the business you want or anything else… no matter who is selling it.
But: you do have every single idea in the universe accessible to you if you allow them to flow into a big brainstorm.
There’s nothing to force. It’s all flow. And it can light up your life in the most profound ways!!!
I’m off to break out a giant sketchpad for a massive creative brainstorm and I can not wait!!!
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