'Ideas come from everywhere'

And if the people around you don’t support your ideas, change who you’re with.

Charlie Perkins.png
Charlie Perkins.

Evidence tells us that half to as much as 70% of new ideas are ignored.

Experts declare our marketplace of ideas favors those who already have places of power in society or organizations. I say, if the people around you don’t support your ideas, or maybe even shut them down altogether, don’t change who you are; change who you’re with. The right idea can propel you to a new level of personal/professional success. It can also take your career to the next level. Ideas can be powerful. Here are five tips to generate ideas for anything.

1. Designate a trusted place to put your ideas. For me, that place is my notebook. Additionally, physically writing things down is a proven method for memory retention. You remember better, and it helps you connect your previous ideas and experiences.

2. Read. I get my best ideas while I’m reading. I’m connecting different ideas to form new ones.

3. Personal experience. Always draw from your experiences—it’s a simple way to generate ideas. Using personal experience works best for storytelling, teaching, and inspiring and explaining things to others.


4. Walk in nature. Go for a 15–20 minute walk every morning. About 70% of the time, you’ll get a fresh idea during this walk. That’s about five out of every seven days of the week.

5. Sit still and breathe. Technically this wouldn’t classify as meditation because the point of reflection is to stop thinking, while the end of this exercise is to start thinking—of ideas. However, slow breathing, meditating, or whatever you want to call it, gets the idea juices flowing almost every time. Remember: A single idea (combined with execution) can change your life. Like many things, the more you do anything on this list, the more ideas you’ll generate. Make a habit of writing down your ideas daily, and you’ll notice your thoughts improving.

About Charlie Perkins

Charlie Perkins is an author, musician, photographer, and videographer based in Rochester. The Chicago-bred Perkins attended Northwestern University concentrating on Radio, TV Broadcasting, and Interpersonal Communications. He spent 29 years at Harris Bank in Chicago and taught “Principles of Corporate Television” Columbia College in the same city. He has also spent 17 years as Unit Manager, Media Support Services for the Mayo Clinic. In a previous life, he covered the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan’s championship run, ’96-‘98 as a freelance photographer.

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