The more you try, the less you get.
Many people get stuck in the quiet-before-the-storm when it comes to ideas, just like when it comes to girls. So here I am, trying to help you kill two birds with one stone:
1) Find something else to do.
Newton wasn’t thinking of gravity when he discovered it. Think of gravity as true love (aka the girl you need to woo) or that one idea that will change the world. Until your apple falls, read a book.
2) Research, research, research.
Google has everything you need to know. Learn from the mistakes of other people, incrementally innovate on innovations, and let your mind dissolve the boundaries of thoughts, possibilities, imagination and benchmarks. The best ideas are inspired by some creative company, and Google is not something she’ll ever be jealous of.
3) Help technology help you.
The whole the-best-ideas-come-while-in-the-shower idea is great to inspire the daily ritual, but it’s also true. And it’s not just the shower; ideas come when you’re trying to shut out your thoughts for the day, when you’re waiting at the traffic light to cross the road, when you’re waiting in the cashier queue – basically at all times when you’re not inclined to think hard.
Reach out for the phone in your pocket. Make notes. If you happen to be near a laptop, scribble it down on a Google document so it doesn’t get lost on a hard disk. If you are still thinking girls, replace “best ideas” with remembering the little things she says. Use them when you need to score brownie points – a trick that will never fail you.
4) Get coffee in a cafe.
Anyone can down a couple of drinks at a noisy bar and muster up the strength to hold a conversation. Only real men can hold one over a sober cup of coffee. Caffeine is the kind of simulant that a well-oiled brain needs, and most cafes have the ambiance to allow free flow of thoughts. You can watch the world pass by and still feel comfortable at your pace of thoughts. That’s why they call it thinking out of the box.
Disclaimer: Brainstorming is an art you can acquire with some practice, but as you probably know from experience, girls are a complicated species!