One school of thought says that it’s easier to come up with new ideas if you generate them quickly through speed thinking. Another body of thought says that ideas come more easily when you are in a relaxed “alpha” state.
Which one is correct?
The speed thinking group believes that just by using simple tools you can quickly generate ideas and find solutions and expect immediate results. Perhaps this is taking things a bit too far. It may work for relatively easy problems or stimulating simple ideas. For example, if you want to come up with a list or cluster of ideas involving, say, the potential for new hand and body lotions, you could generate a number of ideas in about 10 minutes. But the question is: how many of these ideas would be feasible. Could you implement any of them. All they might provide is a point of departure or starting point for further exploration. This is not to say that such methods are useless but to give an indication of the limitations.
Many experienced people in the field of creativity and ideation would encourage you to go into a relaxed or even meditative state when wanting to come up with new ideas. Why is this? The reason is that if you can produce a relaxed flow state your thinking becomes more expensive and you have less pressure to produce and more to do free association. For example, you must’ve heard about people who get their best ideas in the shower, while driving, taking a walk in a leafy park or along the beach in the morning. Seemingly from nowhere, an idea might enter your conscious mind while it is relaxed and receptive. This doesn’t mean to say that a new business idea under a relaxed state will be fully formed or developed. It might also be an initial spark or trigger that begins the process of idea development.
Instead of seeing the two schools of thought as diametrically opposed to one another it might be useful to view them as simply different ways of generating ideas. The answer could perhaps be in the middle. A midpoint between so-called speed thinking and coming up with ideas in an Alpha state. That’s simply one way of looking at it. Another way might be to consider your own personal preference and the way you naturally come up with ideas and what provides the best stimulus for you. It’s best to do some experimentation and find out your preferred state for idea generation.
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