New ideas are great. They are the seed to possibilities. If you have 50 new thoughts or ideas this year and say, only 12 of them come together and pan out to something – that’s one amazing possibility a month!
So, begin practicing getting new ideas! Here are nine proven ways to get started:
1) Assessment of your life and the reality of the uniqueness of it. How could you use all that you have experienced in your life for good?
2) Conversations with others – Listen to the needs of others. Listen to how they are saying what they are saying. Listen to how they respond to what you say. New ideas are often formed through interaction with others.
3) Read Scripture – God’s Holy Word is a powerful, living and sharp insight into so much of life. New ideas always abound as we are reading Scripture.
4) Determine you need or want a new thought – Sometimes, all it takes is thinking that we need a new thought on an issue – then start thinking.
5) Pray for a new idea to emerge – Pray for a new idea. Pray that God will give you insight into a problem you are trying to solve or a situation that needs to be changed. God uses prayer and it’s powerful.
6) Experience something that frustrates you. Have you been frustrated by an obstacle? An organizational issue in work or life? An injustice? I once read a book called Holy Discontent and here’s one thing I learned. When you have a frustration, don’t let it go to waste, use it to make a change in your life or in the lives of others.
7) Read and Journal – Reading books on the lives of people will give you insights. I remember reading a biography of Billy Graham just as Harvest Ministry was beginning. Some of the beginning structure of Harvest was set up based on what I read in his book. Also, writing helps to clarify ideas. For one thing, it helps you remember them. For another thing, it allows you to process out your thoughts.
8) Unplug – Reading, media and engagement definitely spur on thinking, but so does solitude and quiet reflection. Turn off the radio while you are driving and just dream. Spent time away from your phone or computer. Just like plants need a balance of sun, shade and rain, new ideas need a balance of interaction, fuel and reflection.
9) Hold your new idea lightly – When you get a thought – hold onto it lightly and here’s what I mean: Write it down. Think about it more. Develop it. Act on it if needed. But don’t be stingy. Holding onto your thought too tightly will make you become rigid. Throw out ideas to your colleagues, share them, build on them.