7 Powerful Questions That Spark Fresh Ideas

Written on 5/15/2008 by Alex Shalman, creator of the Practical Personal Development blog.

“Whatever your mind can conceive and believe it can achieve.” ~Napoleon Hill

The world is designed in such a way that whatever our minds can conceive, and believe, we really can achieve. Just think about it, before the first light bulb was created, it must have seemed ludicrous to think that something could glow so bright without being set on fire. Back when people were riding around on horse and carriage, it was inconceivable that one should travel to the moon in a sleek chunk of metal, let alone return to tell us about it.

Remember the days when people used to have to walk outside to get their kids in for supper instead of pressing the kid-tractor button on their biodome’s AS-translocator? Of course you don’t.

That’s because someone else’s idea, an idea which was conceived long ago and was believed in, became the comfortable reality in which you bask in today.

Our world has been forged on the heals of fresh, innovative ideas that were thought of by ordinary people with an extraordinary ability to persevere around obstacles, past setbacks, and despite criticisms. The way these people, just like you and I, came up with these amazing ideas was by asking themselves these seven powerful questions.

  1. What’s broken here? Throughout our day to day we’re bound to run into a product, service, or idea that is clearly broken in some way. We can use our mind to conceive a way of sprinkling some fairy dust here and making it better than the original inventor had intended it to be.

    It’s a matter of taking an existing idea, putting your special kung-fu chop on it, and transforming it into a sticky, scalable, and useful innovation.

  2. What’s missing in my life? Is there a big void in your life that one new idea, gadget, gizmo, or service could fill and make life a bit easier for you? If there is, then chances are that others, million of others, have this void (whether they know it or not) and are just waiting to discover and fill it.

    Be the one to use your life as the perfect example of what needs fixin’. Create the perfect idea to suit you, figure out if it will suit others, and go from there.

  3. What value can I bring here? Some things don’t need changing when looked at by the naked eye. You can however take the back door approach to innovation. Instead of saying what’s wrong, or what’s missing, just ask how you could contribute to what is.

    By using this trojan horse of an entry into the world of ideas you may find a solution that’s so poppin’ fresh it’s better than that small invention originally named arpanet.

  4. What can I learn here? Many of us go through life like drones, following a series of habits that lead us like a carrot leading a mule. Even if these habits are awesome, it’s still important to become conscious of the surroundings and appreciate the current moment in which we’re living.

    As we plop out of our dreary daydream of a life and get hit smack in the face with reality, we may realize that there is a lesson to learn. This lesson might get you thinking. Before you know it, you’ve invented trees and moved into a rain forest or a myriad of other fascinating ideas.

  5. What would enough be? The pyramids were not built by throwing down one square boulder and calling it a day. For the Egyptians enough meant having a majestic structure that ended in a point high in the sky. Are the ideas that we entertain small, safe, and comfortable?

    The general rule is that if your idea seems like it’s going to be a piece of cake to get underway it’s probably a bit too small for the type of person that you are. Thinking in terms of huge, and in terms of, this will take a lot of work but through determination, perseverance, and deliberate action it can be accomplished will open up the flood gates of ideas.

  6. How can it be simplified? Ever hear the expression that more is less and less is more? Put on your Buddhist monk hat and consider that what the world has is too much of something. Smaller, more mobile, more durable, less parts, easier, lighter, or any other word that has to do with simplicity.

    Think about how much easier your life would be if it were simplified. You would have more time to do the things you really love, just as long as you could figure out what that means to you.

  7. How can this be remarkable? Not everything that we encounter in life will be missing, broken, or contain an onslaught of extra pieces that need removing in order to discover the shiny simple possibility that lives deep inside. Some things suffer from being dull-normal and need someone to ask the right question to turn the service, product, or idea into something more.

    Perhaps what’s really needed is something that is so damn cool you’ll never have to spend a penny on advertising because every single person that hears about it is going to tell everyone they know. Perhaps this is the best question to ask ourselves when living into brilliant ideas.

“Quality questions create a quality life. Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.” ~Anthony Robbins

If you had the freshest ideas in the land and the get-it-done mentality to bring them to life, what would you discover, create, or cure?



No comments yet.

Leave a Reply