You may have been around, or have read online about, those people who seem to be “idea factories,” churning out great new idea after great new idea. And then actually following through with those ideas. What propels these people forward? How do they come up with these great ideas? What do they do to keep themselves unaffected by harsh critics — both external and internal?
It can seem like it takes no effort, but while there may be times where the ideas just seem to “come” to those people, it most often takes focus, determination, and commitment. There is not some magic formula, and “poof,” a great idea is just “born.” Ideas start from a spark, and that spark is recognized, acknowledged, and developed. A spark is not the idea, but is the kernel of truth from which the great idea springs forth.
How does one “grow’ an idea then? Here are 10 habits of people who develop ideas and run with them. They
Some of the best inspiration comes from experience and relating to the world. Going within is great, but human interaction and relations creates a foundation for inquiry. Without contrary opinions, how can your thought process start? If it is just you and your perfect bubble of thought, how can you form an idea?
Do the Work
They research. They read. They interact. Ideas are not born in a vacuum, and daily reading from multiple sources can help create the next big idea.
They embrace new experiences, and say “yes” to requests to try new foods, experience new places, and live a life beyond what they can imagine on their own.
They know no one is going to do it for them. They are less motivated by pleasing people, or external circumstances, and have the drive and determination to go it alone to create. Doing it without being told to creates the most authentic and inspired ideas.
Feel the Fear . . . and Proceed in Spite of It
Idea people are not without fear. They often have greater fears because the stakes are higher for them – they take greater risks. Instead of letting fear – of what other people might think; of the outcome; of the embarrassment – stop them, they take that fear, give it a great big hug, and do it anyway. That, is the definition of courage.
Try New Things
Some of the greatest idea generators, such as Chris Guillabeau, even ask their readers what new things they should try, and then they actually try them! What is something new you have been wanting to try? Great things may be on the other side of the experience. Sometimes the idea is generated not in the result, but in the process of trying itself.
Let Go of Being a Know-it-All
If you think you know it all, you close yourself off to the possibilities of fresh concepts and information you never even thought you would discover about something you thought you already knew. Try on a little “beginners’ mind,” and see where it can lead you.
Read and Watch for Inspiration
If you find yourself in an idea slump, try watching a few of the most viewed Ted Talks, and see what occurs. Just go with what inspires you, and see where it lets your mind wander. Sometimes, focusing on something else inspiring can spark the fire within your own idea factory.
Staring at a blank page too long can only frustrate you. Change your perspective by getting up, stepping away from what you are doing and either going outside, or focusing on something entirely different. You may find that an idea will just appear when you stop willing it into existence so hard.
Enlist the Help of Your Community
Be it your friends, your Professional community, or a Facebook group you are a member of, sometimes you need some brainstorming to get that idea churning to fruition. You may have a thought that is not a fully informed idea, and by asking a poll, or putting an inquiry out to people you know and respect you can find the next big idea.
There are those successful people out there who have it made. They catch break after break and seem to just have all the four leaf clovers of the world in their pockets. But we know that it’s more than just luck on their side. We’ve found six consistent traits of phenomenally successful people and know that if you strive to match yourself to these that you too can become successful.
1. They Are Passionate
This might be a no-brainer trait but it might also be the foundation to a successful individual. Those who succeed love deeply what they do. Take a look at almost any athlete out there, they are passionate about what they do and almost always do it for the love of the gam. People like Tiger Woods knew at a young age what they loved and then made a life out of it. If you don’t know if you’re truly passionate about something just ask yourself if you would do it for free. If you would, then you’ve found your passion.
2. They Are Resilient
To be resilient is to face challenges, learn from them, and push through to success. Some of the most successful people in the world have faced the uncanniest struggles and have managed to come out on top. J.K. Rowling was rejected by 12 different publishers before selling the first Harry Potter novel. Successful people recognize each failure in life as a chance to learn something and to grow from it.
3. They Push Themselves Out of Their Comfort Zones
Phenomenally successful people know that they can’t just sit on their hands and hope that the ideas in their heads will some day become a real thing. They have to get up out of their house and begin to get their ideas out there. It’s a matter of getting out of your comfort zone, setting challenges, deadlines, and goals all to push yourself to continue to strive harder, work better, and succeed.
4. They Continually Create
Entrepreneurs like Time Ferris and Evan Williams are successful because they are continually creating. Rather than finish a project and end their careers there, successful people continue to study and create and form new ideas. Evan Williams didn’t just finish when he founded one company. If he had, we wouldn’t have Twitter, Blogger, or Medium. The daily routines of CEOs will show you how dedicated entrepreneurs and successful people are and how even CEOs continue to create and work hard to succeed until the end.
5. They Are Focused
A huge trait for successful people is focus. Not just that they can sit in a room and get the work done, but that they have a specific goal in mind. Successful people can narrow down and focus on the one thing that they know is important. Just look at someone like Walt Disney. His focus was on quality and innovation. For him it wasn’t about making money, it was about lifting the hearts of children and not with chintzy products. Disney even said that “quality will out.” He focused on quality and what did that result in? A phenomenal empire that spans the globe with him being a household name throughout the world.
6. They Continue to Learn and Better Themselves
Current president of Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Animation Studios, Ed Catmull wrote in his book Creativity, Inc. that the best thing to do “when faced with a challenge [is to] get smarter.” Successful people don’t assume that they know everything or that they are the smartest people out there. They continue to learn and better themselves and their craft. Some of the most successful people pick up new hobbies consistently throughout their lives and careers to keep their brains active and to help with creativity.
Assertiveness has become a bit of a buzzword. We constantly hear about the benefits of being more assertive. Assertiveness enables us to take care of ourselves without being overbearing.
There is research being done on the delicate balance between being passive and aggressive. Ultimately the “assertive you” will boil down to knowing your self worth and practicing the behaviors of being more assertive.
There are many strategies for being more assertive. In this post I would like to share some of the small, specific things you can start doing today to be more assertive without turning into an aggressive butthole.
Start with “I” statements
Rather than being with a “You” when talking to someone, start with “I.” This shows that you are being accountable for yourself and sharing what you think and need.
Example: Instead of saying, “You keep interrupting me” you can change it to “I would like to finish what I was going to say without being interrupted”
Make your requests more intentional
Instead of asking people if they wanna do something (“you wanna go over that presentation?”), show your intention and make the request clear.
Example: “please review the presentation before the meeting”
Share the facts that you notice
When you see your colleague acting lazy or disengaged from work, it is a good idea to give feedback on what you notice. The impulse may be to say “hey, why are you being so lazy!”
Don’t give in. Keep things factual and share what you notice.
Example: “I noticed that you’ve come in half an hour late 3 times this week.”
Take a breath and assertively ask to think
Being assertive doesn’t always mean you have to have an immediate answer. There will be times where you need to process what is being said and it is okay to say, “let me think for a second.” This response shows that you acknowledged the request and gives you a few moments to gather your thoughts.
Politely say no without explanation
This is not a time for maybes. Be direct when you say no when you mean it. Make sure you body language is congruent with your words. Don’t feel like you need to give a reason if you don’t want to.
This doesn’t mean that you agree or disagree with it. It does show that you have listened to the other person and can take it into consideration before sharing your opinion.
Cut out hedge statements
Saying things like “this is only my opinion” or “I’m not sure if I’m right here” discredits your opinion. You can cut these out and just go straight to what you think. This will come off as being more confident in what you are saying.
Offer an alternative
There will be times when you want to help someone out, but not at that moment. Use this as an opportunity to be assertive and suggest something that works for you.
Example: “I’d love to help out, unfortunately that deadline won’t work for me. Is it flexible?”
Another example: “It sounds interesting. I’m not comfortable with ABC. Can we discuss other ways I might contribute?”
Study effective communication strategies
Communication is the heart of assertiveness. Making the study of communication a daily habit is good practice you can implement. You’ll learn many effective ways to express what you want and gain agreements.
Stand like superman
Amy Cuddy gave a powerful ted talk on how body language impacts how others see us and also how we feel within ourselves. Standing in confident postures can actually change how you feel. So the next time you are preparing to be assertive in a meeting, strike a pose first.