how to come up with an idea
Start writing a post

The Best Ideas Are Unexpected, But You Can Expect Them In These 5 Ways

Here's an idea: have an idea.

Riccardo Annandale

Ideas do not always come to us when we expect them to. Sometimes ideas slip our grasp, while others do not come stepping on the welcome mats of our minds. Ideas are unexpected and there is no telling when they will present themselves.

Though there are five ways you can expect the unexpected.

1. Don't think.

Thinking is the most unavoidable part of your day. You are always with your thoughts, especially when it comes to the next thing you have to be doing. How can you bring yourself to stop thinking?

You don't "stop" thinking, you just "don't" think as much as you usually do. Thinking too much can lead to unnecessary hesitation, which can get in the way of your imagination. Substitute thinking with feeling. Get to know your emotions, then you can think about them more.

2. Clock in.

You sat down, have come back to your work, and off in the distance you see the same thing you saw yesterday and the day before that. A page hungry for new words. Nothing good is ever immediate.

Better said, the unexpected idea takes time to come to you. When the clock on the wall looks to have frozen hands, thaw them out by sticking to your routine. Sit this work session through, even if you aren't getting new results. You can wear out your muse with an exercise in patience and earn that new idea.

3. Cool off.

Stepping away from your work can be the hardest part of your job. You want to deliver sooner than later and you are confident you can beat the deadline. You must also know that you have time.

You too can make time for you. You don't have to be idle either. Do something less intensive, like going for a walk or taking a nap. Sometimes unexpected ideas find you before you find them.

4. Listen, talk, and listen again.

We all have two ears for a reason: to listen twice as much as we speak. The people you know, and even people you don't know, might say something interesting or related to what you're looking for.

After listening long enough, ask questions, keep the conversation going. You don't have to tell others why you're so curious; people will be flattered to hear that you are interested in what they have to say and share. Outside sources are not only great inspiration but they often carry unexpected ideas.

5. Daydream.

Daydreams are an alternative kind of thinking. You are not thinking about the task at hand but at the same time, you are without knowing it. It helps to look ahead at what you want things to be.

You daydream about where you see yourself in the future. You daydream about the story you want to tell and how to tell it. Daydreaming is the best way to remain present in these fast moving times.

Focusing on something else, even if it seems silly or unrelated, can be a new way to gain perspective and new, unexpected ideas.

The unexpected idea is not trying to lead you astray. It only leads the way it knows you best.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
New Year Resolutions

It's 2024! You drank champagne, you wore funny glasses, and you watched the ball drop as you sang the night away with your best friends and family. What comes next you may ask? Sadly you will have to return to the real world full of work and school and paying bills. "Ah! But I have my New Year's Resolutions!"- you may say. But most of them are 100% complete cliches that you won't hold on to. Here is a list of those things you hear all around the world.

Keep Reading...Show less

The Ultimate Birthday: Unveiling the Perfect Day to Celebrate!

Let's be real, the day your birthday falls on could really make or break it.

​different color birthday candles on a cake
Blacksburg Children's Museum

You heard it here first: birthdays in college are some of the best days of your four years. For one day annually, you get to forget about your identity as a stressed, broke, and overworked student, and take the time to celebrate. You can throw your responsibilities for a day, use your one skip in that class you hate, receive kind cards and gifts from loved ones and just enjoy yourself.

Keep Reading...Show less

Unleash Inspiration: 15 Relatable Disney Lyrics!

Leave it to Disney to write lyrics that kids of all ages can relate to.

The 15 most inspiring Disney songs

Disney songs are some of the most relatable and inspiring songs not only because of the lovable characters who sing them, but also because of their well-written song lyrics. While some lyrics make more sense with knowledge of the movie's story line that they were written for, other Disney lyrics are very relatable and inspiring for any listener.

Keep Reading...Show less

The Six Most Iconic Pitbull Lyrics Of All Time

Mr. Worldwide just wants to see you succeed.

a photo of artist Pitbull

It is no secret that Pitbull is a gifted artist, but many fail to remember that he can be a source of great inspiration as well. The following is a list of iconic Pitbull lyrics that we know and love. Read on to feel empowered — if you think you can handle it.

Keep Reading...Show less

11 Essential Expectations for Becoming the Ultimate Cheermeister

Mastering Festive Expectations: Tips to Shine as Your Holiday Cheermeister

Crazy for Christmas

So you’ve elected yourself as this year's Holiday Cheermeister, there’s no shame in that. The holidays are your pride and joy, and you've taken on the responsibility to get everyone in the spirit. With only one week until Christmas, here are some things we expect from you, Cheermeister.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments