If you discover a profound truth, someone will always think you’re crazy. But here’s the truth — or a truth — and it’s one of the most amazing things I’ve ever learned . . .
Writing down 10 new ideas every day is one of the most powerful ways in the entire world to deeply transform and improve your life.
I know this to be true because I’ve done it.
Yes — I’m a human guinea pig.
And after doing it for the first month, I had written down 420 ideas, including complete business plans, and felt much better too, like an entirely different person, for reasons described below . . .
I learned this practice from the writer James Altucher, and it works so well that I encourage everyone to try it.
Because of that, I’ve written a complete and beautifully illustrated guide on how to get started with your own daily idea practice, called Brainstorm Every Day. You can download a free copy by clicking on the link at the end of this article.
This guide contains everything you need to get started on your quest to become an Idea Machine, including
- What I’ve learned from my own experience
- Tips on how to get started right away
- Suggested themes for your first idea lists
- Links to James and Claudia Altucher’s best writings on idea generation, so you can read more
Back when I owned a marketing agency and was starting a series of businesses, I used to write down lists of ideas all the time. But I never realized that writing down ideas could be a powerful daily practice until I read the writings of James Altucher.
Based on my own experience and the writings of James and his wife, here are 12 Reasons to Write Down 10 Ideas Every Day:
1. It activates your creative intelligence and problem-solving abilities. If you don’t use a muscle, it will atrophy. Someone who stays in bed for two weeks needs physical therapy in order to walk again. The same is true with your “idea muscle.” If you don’t use it every day, it will grow weak or cease to function.
2. It gives you a wealth of ideas. Even if you write lists of bad ideas, over the course of each year you will have written 3,650 ideas. Some of those will be very good. As Thomas Edison said, “To get a great idea, come up with lots of them.”
3. It places you in a world where the future is open. When you lack fresh ideas, by definition you are struck in a situation where no creative change is possible. Things are likely to just remain the same and keep repeating themselves day after day.
4. It makes you feel great psychologically. When you can create a constant flow of fresh ideas, you feel much better psychologically. Not only does your future remain open, you can feel it.
5. It prepares you with the ability to respond to any situation. One function of this daily practice is to keep your idea muscle well-exercised. Then, no matter what kind of situations you face in the future, you will always be able to respond by generating ideas.
6. It gives you a daily mental practice that increases your psychological energy. Being able to generate ideas every morning gives you energy. Before I started this practice, I would often wake up uninspired, expecting — or even dreading — another day filled with lackluster tasks. Now I look forward to waking up every morning because I know that I’ll be generating ideas. I know that I’ll feel energized at the beginning of each day.
7. It allows you to help others by giving them something of value. One of the points of generating ideas is to give them away and help others.
8. In addition to inner wealth, it creates opportunities for financial wealth. Besides keeping your mind in shape, idea generation as a daily practice can be used to solve all kinds of problems. It can be used to generate entirely new businesses and business ideas on a consistent basis. Creating wealth is a natural side effect of idea generation.
9. It allows you to live your own life. When you don’t generate your own ideas, you remain a slave to the ideas of others: corporations, employers, social institutions, etc. When you are able to generate your own ideas, you can truly live your own life, perhaps for the first time.
10. You become engaged in an ongoing inquiry on a daily basis. Part of idea generation is an inquiry, because the ideas you generate are answers to questions. Another part is analytical. And another part is purely creative. Every single day, you inquire, analyze, and create, at least for a few minutes. You maintain your mental agility.
11. It helps you to overcome perfectionism. Not all of your ideas will be good ones. If you have a streak of perfectionism in your personality like I do, writing down 10 ideas will help you get over it.
12. It will change your life and your world in a profound way. Do it for six months and start to implement the best ideas you come up with. Use your ideas to create your own opportunities.
But how will you know which ideas to implement?
When you come up with really great ideas, it will be impossible not to implement them. As James Altucher’s wife Claudia notes, “Execution is a subset of ideas. When you stumble on a great idea, you have to execute. You can’t help it. Your heart is on fire.”
— D.R. Fideler
Click here to download my free guide, Brainstorm Every Day: How to Supercharge Your Life, Work, and Creativity by Writing Down 10 New Ideas Every Day.