Ever wonder where ideas come from?

Alright, this may disappoint you — I don’t know where ideas come from. Neither do you. Or the person next to you. Or your boss. Or even that guy everyone calls “creative” does. No, they are not a special snowflake.

And if someone believes in a thing called an “original idea” is basically disillusioned. Trust me, they didn’t fall off an encyclopaedia truck. Heck, even an encyclopaedia isn’t original. It’s a carefully curated, complied and organised (alphabetically) resource of knowledge and wisdom (I really don’t know about the latter to be honest).

One question that I often get asked is where do I get my ideas from to write a post everyday. I can only empathise. It’s the same question I used to ask when I was struggling to write at least something some day, if not everyday.

Now, you and I already know. It’s all about habits. Some people write everyday, others have made it a point to show up thrice a week and then there are some who’re committed to put something meaningful once a week. I respect those approaches since it takes a long time to develop and stick to a positive habit. Blogging is one such habit.

And it’s hard to develop and once you do, it can get harder to keep up. If you look at it as a job, that is. For me, this is simply journaling in public. Of course, I had to cut down on my time to journal personally — from 30 to 45 minutes, I’ve come down to a mere 10-15 minutes. But again, I do make it a point to journal something every single day. Even if it’s for just 5 minutes. Someone very wise once said, “if you don’t have the time to document your journey. You’re not fit to live.”

But, I digress. Going back to the genesis of these fantastic ideas. In my opinion, ideas are nothing but our own set of observations about our environment, culture, politics, management, leadership, workplace, our personal journey to achieve excellence (or anything else that ignites the fire in your belly) and of course the stresses of our own lives. These are all ideas to talk about and share.

If you still think this is hard, just reflect on your activities on the social networks. Isn’t a chunk of what you share is a perspective on something that’s on your mind? That, my friend, is unique content that’s your own. Something you can consider for your blog or perhaps other socials that you aren’t active on but think you should be.

The challenge is that we have idolised the idea of content creation. There are no specifics. Every individual or entity is unique and should create their own benchmarks that’s both sustainable and reflects their true self. The sooner we accept it the better.

The marketplace and your audience behaves in the same way. If they feel there’s abundant supply, the choice always boils down to the lowest price. Likewise, in the sea of content you can’t afford to be a “me too” content creator. The only way to stand out is to be uniquely you and keep treading. Of course, you can’t captivate everyone’s attention. That’s a given but the ones with whom you will connect is what matters because they will be able to bond with the authentic you.

Stop worrying about ideas. They’re everywhere. Literally. I bet you can come up with a great idea with your own perspective in the next 10 minutes if you do just the following:

  1. Scour your Facebook feeds and see what’s been posted online. Does anything catches your attention. If no, keep looking.
  2. If yes, great! Search for something related on Google and review the content.
  3. What have you learned now? What are your thoughts on this? How would you convey this to a bunch of friends?

That’s it! You now have content. All you need to do is have the audacity to simply jot down your content and expand on it so that it makes sense. That’s all there is to when it comes to ideas or creating content. The approach, of course, differs in scale and frequency. But then, any comparison at this juncture is futile. You need to stay focused on building a habit first. Ideas are literally a dime-a-dozen. You just need to look and then execute.

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