Ideas come in different ways, sometimes they come as a flash in a pan and sometimes they come in slow long-drawn-out periods of days, almost as if the idea is trying to refine itself before being fully birthed.
For example, our mentorship idea came like a bang (inserts Big Bang Theory soundtrack), but the concept of mentorship had been wading in our minds on and off, incubating for a long period of time, we didn’t know how to go about it. The idea for it being an online 2-month program etc came in a bathtub.
So, ideas are funny like that.
Chibundo Onuzo talks about how she got the idea for her book, Welcome To Lagos, through a dream she had while sleeping. And she’s not the only one, a lot of people talk about how they have dreams that end up being directions to a big idea that they explore. Pemi Aguda and Desola Falomo have a podcast series, Voice Notes Episodes, dedicated to discussing interesting subject matters which started on the premise of dreams.
Sometimes ideas come through conversations with friends, partners and significant other. Recently, I had a very long intense conversation that was at first baffling but then ended up being the key solution to a problem that had been running loose in my mind. After the conversation, I sat down and realized that a sense of fulfillment had descended upon me and all the loose puzzles somehow fit into one interesting board/big picture.
Tina Roth Eisenberg has frequently discussed how and why she started Tattly, because her kids kept coming home with really ugly tattoos and she kept complaining/ getting angry at the ugliness – then she remembered her philosophy “if I keep complaining about something, I have to either do something about it or let it go” – so she did something about it.
Ideas can, therefore, come from a place of dissatisfaction with a recurrent issue. Or through your own philosophies.
Getting together/taking walks with people has an interesting/intense way of opening up new thoughts. Ideas are a smorgasbord of different parts of different things, experiences – getting together with friends, strangers and embracing different phenomenon gives birth to new forms of expression and ideas.
How can we be more open to being a host for new ideas?
1. Acknowledging that you have no control over how they come or why is a good start. Don’t force it. When you open your mind, you free yourself from having to be in complete control of everything. You allow yourself to experience new ideas and thoughts and you challenge the beliefs you currently have.
2. Being open to having uncomfortable discussions can lead to open doors. A lot of times we are scared of having conversations if we don’t already have answers to the question that started the conversation. This keeps us in a state of darkness and stagnancy. Allow yourself have conversations, explore subject matters that were strange to you.
3. Being open and allowing vulnerability often leads us to a place of confidence that is soft and peaceful, yet strengthening. So, allow yourself to build confidence even in the face of the unknown. This confidence is not pride. It is boldness in the fact that you are free to explore new things.
4. Be a sponge. Soak in new experiences and memories.