Cofrin Park

Cofrin Park
Cofrin Nature Park

Friday, September 26, 2014

Become an Ideas Machine

"I have an idea! I have an idea! Let's build a tree fort in the woods and camp out in it! We can live there! We can have pet monkeys! Let's go over to that house they're building and get the leftover wood boards and nails and build it in this humongous tree..."

Ah, the innocence of childhood. And the beauty of it: no editing, no shame, just ideas and action. Let's get back to that way of being. Flow with life and flow with ideas and action.

Have any great ideas lately? How about crappy ideas? Do you immediately dismiss them as stupid? Or worse: somebody else must have already thought of that? I do.

My sweaty hands and feet slip and slide on the yoga mat while in the downward dog position. I hate that. I thought, "why not make some footgear that fits like a glove, with rubber toes so I do not slip?" Great idea. Many years later, the minimalist footwear came out, with rubber toes that fit the foot like a glove. Hey! That was MY idea! And off to mediocrity I went...

James Altucher, writer, former hedge fund manager, public speaker, entrepreneur, believes that we can cultivate the idea muscle just like any other. He writes down at least 10 ideas every single day. He says if  you make this effort, in 3 to 6 months you become an idea-making machine that may lead to a business that may lead to riches and the life you deserve. What a great idea. Let's do that!

CHALLENGE:  I challenge myself, and you all, to start an Ideas Journal today!  Keep it up for 3 to 6 months and see what happens. Put some of your ideas in the comment section below. Altucher says the better ideas come together when two seemingly incongruous ideas "mate," and beget a really great idea, so idea-sharing is a good thing.

 Altucher also suggests using two old ideas, mate them, and come up with a great new idea. In his book, Choose Yourself: Be Happy, Make Millions, Live the Dream he gives an example of two strange ideas that mate: the Internet and [cyber] stalking. Those two familiar ideas combine to become Facebook!

Becoming an ideas machine benefits your life even if you do not pursue an idea to start a business. When you consistently flex you ideas muscle, you have greater ability to deal with those little snags in life that just do not go away. You will tackle them more efficiently and effectively. That alone will increase your competence, confidence and joy.

Focused idea-cultivation forces you to live in the present moment, where you are meant to live. You may also become more productive at your work and more interesting at parties.

One great way to think up an idea: ask yourself what irks you in your daily life and come up with any way to fix it. Get thinking, and writing.

Here are my 10 really dumb ideas to get us all going:
1) Virtual wallet that "holds" all credit cards, scanned business cards, etc. in one card that can be used like a traditional credit card, if necessary. Otherwise, it works by using a computer chip to portray the specific card for use. The app must include a security system, in case it falls into the wrong hands. (Damn, Gene just informed me that a similar "wallet" exists called Apple Pay. See what I mean about someone else already thought it?  But my version would not require a cell phone. I guess my idea would be more akin to the Apple Watch, coming out in 2015.)

2) Organizer-gadget-belt/purse: specific pockets for personal items like eyeglasses, sun glasses, phone, wallet (see #1), knife, pen, nail file, lipstick/chapstick, gum, teeth care, etc. It must be sleek, least it take the form of an army or police belt. [I looked this up and found one already made on Amazon, but it was my idea first.]

3) This is hard. I'll sleep on it. Insomnia cure for getting back to sleep in the middle of the night: CD that replaces "stinkin' thinkin' with positive feedback loop that can be personalized for the user.

4) Idea stimulator: CD that gets you in the mood to solve problems with new ideas.

5) Yoga tape that tapes to fingers/hands/feet so you do not slip on sweaty mat. Those yoga shoes/gloves are too bulky. The towels move around too much.

6) Adaptable "Key pad."  For example, phone users should be able to reconfigure the keypad on cell phone or landline in an accounting pad configuration. Produce landline phones with different choices for the key pad configuration. [This is really Gene's idea. He's loves his accounting pad setup and often calls wrong numbers after using his accounting keypad.] It was my idea to steal his idea and add it here, because this idea stuff is hard.

7) Virtual receipt keeper for retail/grocery receipts. Includes Smartphone app for retailers without computerized cash registers. Retailors no longer give paper receipts, but keep them in the Cloud online. If you need to return something, the retailor can go to the Cloud and retrieve the virtual receipt. Never again be asked: "Do you have the receipt?"

8) The hardest part of working out is getting to the gym. "Get to the gym now!" automated calling feature app that calls you at the time you know you should be at the gym, or whatever your workout routine requires, but you made the mistake of "thinking" about it, and were about to bail. Right then, you get the call. You can tailor the call to what works best for you. For example: "Hey Ann! This is the President calling, and I need you to meet me at the gym right now! Get moving, the future of our country is at stake!"

9) I detest leaf blowers! The leaves should be sucked up, not blown around, morons! Leaf-Vacuum to the rescue. It also has a muffler, because it must be quiet! The Leaf-Vacuum not only vacuums up the leaves, but turns them into mulch, for use as fertilizer elsewhere. Its on wheels and runs on solar power. The Leaf-Vacuum works so well, that instead of weekly work, it becomes a monthly job.

10) Who doesn't love to dust? Especially those knick-knacks and electronics? "Dust-Free" leaves your dusting in the dust. It works like a mini air purifier that you set behind the dusting space and it "collects" the dust, rather than the dust collecting on your stuff.

Bonus Idea: Automatic-lap-lane tightener that tightens the lane-dividers in the swimming pool, so the group exercise instructors don't leave "drifting"  lap lane dividers for lap swimmers to jam their hands into.

Tap into what annoys you the most, and come up with a solution. You may become the next Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg. Get in the game, and become an ideas machine! I bet you'll surprise yourself!