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8 Habits of People Who Always Have Great Ideas

Stashed in: #lifehacks, Steve Jobs, Interconnectedness!, Creativity, Practice, Ideas, Magic!, Connections

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Great ideas are often the result of connecting two seemingly unrelated items. People who consistently have great ideas have become good at finding connections. In 1996—long before he thought of the iPhone or iPod—the late Steve Jobs told Wiredmagazine:

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences, or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.


Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, says ideas are out there waiting to find the right person who can bring them to life.

"Ideas are these disembodied life forms, they don’t have a form, but they have a will. All they want is to be made manifest," she told Robin Young on NPR’s Here and Now. "If you can manage to open up your consciousness to an idea of living in a world of abundance, then you can believe that, constantly, ideas are trying to find human collaborators."

Connections + Magic = Magic Connections?

My favorite:


As you progress in your field, it can be easy to stick with what works, says Choi. "The trouble is that when you get older, you have many routines that come from memory of past successes," he says. "The past may not work in the future."

Instead of becoming set in your ways, Choi says people who have great ideas have formed the habit of trying something different.

"If you always order the same thing at your favorite restaurant, you are an old person," he says. "Try something new—maybe something you didn’t like when you were younger. Or do something you aren’t familiar with. You’ll feel young and you’ll experience new things and ideas."

Also good:


Instead of improving on an existing item, people with great ideas pretend the product doesn’t exist and they design it from scratch, says Choi.

"If you improve something, then you only make it better," he says. "If you want to make something different, you have to behave as if there is no such thing."

Don’t ask yourself, ‘How could I design a smartphone?’ says Choi. Ask yourself, ‘What is communication?’ "If you start there, you may be able to discover new possibilities," he says.

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