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Managing ideation

It's a wonderful thing when you hit a creative spell, and ideas keep popping into your head. One problem about them is they all tend to be about a single concept, or are all in the same line of thought, so in essence you're just building on the original 'eureka' moment. Sometimes an idea will feel so good, that it will keep you awake at night, for several hours, while you contemplate it and have visions of the success it will bring. The way I see it, is that these visions of glory are a symptom, not of a disease, but of the state of mind you're currently in.

One should beware that the daydreams he or she experiences while in the state of ideation aren't going to overtake the planning and strategy formulation of how they will put the idea into practice. There are two options available to a person during this phase; either you can record every one of your thoughts so that you can go ahead with whatever it is that is on your mind, or you can mentally jot down the key points, and distance yourself from the idea for a short time.

Majority consensus would probably disagree with me on the latter point. Why would you want to lose this vital creative line of thought? Why not strike while the iron is hot? For a very simple reason; if your mind is running away from you, towards a fantasy land of riches and fame, then you have obviously lost your objectivity about your newfound notion, you've dropped the weights and now your feet are slowly rising off from the ground beneath you. Sure at the moment you might think your idea is brilliant and infallible, but if you go fullspeed ahead with it, you might later realise it was only a mediocre idea, and you may regret investing so much of your time and resources into a white elephant.

As with everything in life, there's an exception to every rule. Of course if you've discovered a way to turn water to wine, then there shouldn't be a single reason why you can't be dreaming about palaces and private jets. On the other hand, if your idea is a result of you becoming aware of your creative spell and using it to force an idea out of your head, it might be wise to lay off for a while. I'm not saying that you must forget about it completely, or not keep in mind any major additions or alterations that can better your idea. That would be foolish, because even if it turns out that you don't use it, thinking doesn't cost you anything, and the opportunity cost of giving up a golden egg, is a potentially better lifestyle compared to the one you have now.

The human mind solves all of its biggest problems in life while a person is asleep. Basically your own mind doesn't trust you to let you make big decisions on your own. It's been proven scientifically, and your conscious state is only a small percentage of your brain activity. Waiting a short while will not only give you a more objective perspective on your idea, because the link it has to your ego, and therefore your lack of objectivity towards it decreases, but perhaps your brain will even solve a problem or two regarding your idea for you.

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