Ten ideas per day
Keep a note taking app handy
In 2002, life was terrible for James Altucher. He lost is home, family, friends, money and had no job. Deeply depressed, he spent all day in bed and contemplated suicide.
Then, one day, he made the decision to write down 10 ideas per day. He started with a simple list of things and progressed to article headlines. Listing people he thought might be interested in his ideas, he started contacting them. One batch of emails he sent started, I admire your work and here are ten ideas that I think can improve your business/blog. Few replied, but some did. This catalyst paved the way for James to work with the Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times, and publish over 20 books.
Benefits of exercising our idea muscle
A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on. Ideas have endurance without death. - John F. Kennedy
My goal is to come up with an impactful idea that will outlast me. David Bowie said, The only art I’ll ever study is stuff that I can steal from. In a similar vein, I hope my ideas are worth stealing.
I find the practice of noting down ten ideas per day liberating and fun. It enhances my mental agility, creativity, problem solving ability and productivity. Having a stream of new ideas helps think through problems and identify opportunities. Practical outcomes include ideas for developing apps, topics to blog about, managing personal finances and using AI tools for efficiency.
Getting to ten ideas per day
If every day you force yourself to be creative, the brain rewires itself to make creativity a priority. - Jame Altucher
Here are 10 ideas that helped me get to my 10 ideas per day habit:
Start small. I started with 5 ideas per day and gradually increased to 10. Ideas can be about anything, as long as they are new to us.
Time and space. Establish our Creative Momentum by finding time and space to think freely. I brainstorm in the evening when out walking.
Note ideas down. I use the Notes app on my phone, but any media will do, including a notepad. Our minds are for having ideas, not holding them.
Suspend judgement. Write the ideas down, regardless of how crazy they may seem.
Stay curious. As Steve Jobs suggested, Stay hungry. Stay foolish. My perspective on the world has expanded, through reading, engaging people from different backgrounds, music, enjoying nature and exploring technology.
Be contrarian. I’m not afraid to come up with ideas that are unconventional. Here is How to Find Counterintuitive Solutions, including asking a series of why questions.
Collaborate. I share ideas, online and in person, and value feedback. This helps me refine or drop them.
Experiment. I try new things. Blogging was new to me in 2021, as was podcasting last year. I have never written a book, but I will this year. Hence, I wrote How to Self Publish a Book.
Define next steps. For each idea, I try to identify the next step. I had an idea to make meetings more effective by transcribing them and automatically documenting actions. As a next step, I am learning about applicable AI tools.
Keep going. As explored in Show Me Your Bad Ideas, the more ideas generated, the better the chance of having good ones. After a year, we have 3,650 to choose from. We hone our idea muscle with practice.
Creative Live Interview with James Altucher
Help Luck Find Us post by Phil Martin
My 5 Step Idea Generating Process post by Phil Martin
Ten ideas per day transformed James Altucher’s life. Try exercising your idea muscle too and see where it takes you.