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How I Generate Creative Ideas

Updated: Apr 17

Image of Akinwale Arokodare and a light bulb. Indicating a creative Idea process

A lot of people reach out to me saying things like;

"I can’t seem to make creative ideas. When I think, everything is blank. I see a lot of creators online creating new stuff regularly, how can I do such? How do they do such?"

Basically, Its clear that a lot of people struggle to come up with creative ideas.

And that’s what I would be helping you with in this article.

By the end of this article you should have the basic understating, method, and skills required to be able to generate creative ideas.

So lets dive in.

Here are my list of methods I adopt to generate creative ideas;

Image of a man looking confused

1. Try to Create Ideas that Solve your Personal Challenges

Here I mean turning yourself into a source of inspiration for creative ideas.

Pay attention to the challenges you face daily. And try and come up with ideas or solutions to solve those problems.

A real-life example of is the invention of DROPBOX.

Dropbox founder Drew Houston conceived the Dropbox idea after repeatedly forgetting his USB flash drive while he was a student at MIT.

The creative idea of DROPBOX was created from a problem Drew Houston was facing.

a man checking his computer

2. Try to create Ideas that Solve other peoples Challenges

Similar to the first point but in this case, your attention on other peoples challenges.

An example is Khan Academy

Sal Khan had a younger relative whom needed additional tutoring in mathematics.

Sal Khan began instructing one of his relatives in mathematics over the Internet through a programme called Yahoo Doodle Images.

Eventually, this led his other relatives and friends to ask for his service.

That’s how the idea of Khan Academy developed.

a lady reading while on a park bench

3. Observe your Environment

Get used to the habit of observing your environment.

Take note of the expressions of nature. The sounds, movements, patterns, aromas, and

everything that catches your attention.

Leonardo Davinci was very prolific in observing his surroundings. He would make sketches of the human anatomy, of birds and of anything that fascinated him, such as the flow and motion of water.

These observations were a source of his many ideas.

Another example are The Wright brothers who are known for creating the first airplane.

The idea for this groundbreaking invention came from them observing the way birds flew.

a lady writing in a book

4. Develop a habit of Capturing & Writing down your Thoughts

Start writing down your thoughts. Good, Bad, Ugly thoughts.

The more you get into the process of transferring your thoughts unto a physical medium, you give yourself the opportunity to capture creative ideas.

I have a note on my Evernote mobile app which I call Observations.

Here I write down anything I notice that intrigues me.

This continuous intentional method of writing down things helps me connect the dots in generating creative ideas in the future.

a lady smiling

5. Have Fun

Whatever “fun” is to you. Do it.

And do it with all your attention. The idea here is to take your mind off “searching for a creative idea” mode.

When you are in play mode, you give your brain opportunity to explore freely.

Fun me is sometimes playing my guitar.

I pick my guitar up and just play whatever I feel like playing freely.

And while I do it. I notice it helps me relax my brain. Kinda like a therapeutic experience.

two women having a conversation

6. Have a Deep Conversation with a Stranger

I love this one. It usually opens my mind to new ways of thinking, new belief systems, new perspectives.

I think most of us are used to being focused on our own realities. Sort of like the world revolves around us kind of thinking.

Relating with another person out of your social circle provides opportunities for you to connect with fresh ideas and concepts.

So try it out.

Have a deep conversation with a stranger.

There is a lot to learn about the world from the eyes of a new perspective.

two kids playing

7. Learn from Your Kids

As a parent one thing I have learned is that stepping into the realm of parenting gives you the opportunity to evolve.

My kids taught me a lot about life. Their open mindedness, curiosity, and innocence makes you take a closer look at how you navigate life.

I recently had a discussion with my Kids. I asked them about time machine and the concept of future and past.

I realized my kids didn’t have an idea of what a time machine was, and what “future” meant.

Got me thinking about how adults spend most of their time worrying about the future or the past.

A quote by Picasso;

"I took me 4years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a Child".

8. Practice the Art of being Non-Judgmental

I learned this through relating with my therapist during therapy. I was astonished at how she would listen to me without any form of judgment.

I noticed that such a scenario made the line of communication smooth, free of any hindrances and healthy for mutual understanding.

I adopted this approach. And I noticed that I was more accommodating. More open minded.

And these qualities allowed me to have a mindset that supported creative ideas.

9. Read Literature Created by your Mentors. Dig deep into What inspired them.

I have a habit of reading about people on Wikipedia.

And when I start reading about someone, and I see some additional information about someone or something, maybe an ideology that inspired this person, I would open a new tab to read about that other person or idea.

I end up having a lot of Wikipedia Tabs opened.

It’s a habit. DO you do this? Let me know in the comments.

Anyways, this quest for consuming knowledge concerning your line of inspiration really helps you get a grasp of the foundation of your interests.

This foundational information is helpful for building on new ideas.

fiction image of tony stark

10. Have a Fictional Character you draw Inspiration from

This is one of my personal favorite.

Most people, In fact 99% of people embrace the idea of having real life people as their source of inspiration.

But do you know that you can have fictional characters as your source of inspiration?

Mine are Tony Stark, Bruce Wayne, and Frank Castle.

Sometimes when I am in a creative rut.

I ask myself; What would Tony Stark do?

So don’t be afraid to explore delving into the imaginative world to get inspiration.

Remember, the imaginative or fictional world is an extension of the physical world.

a woman lost in thought

11. Get used to being Bored

Some months ago, It dawned on me that I lacked the ability to sit still at home alone and just wallow in boredom I found myself seeking activities that fed my brain with dopamine.

But over time I developed the mental muscle to be comfortable with my thoughts while being bored.

I noticed I started to have more clarity and control over my thoughts.

And that’s a good condition for generating creative ideas.

a lady writing into her journal

12. Convert a form of Creation to another form of Creation

This is an abstract thinking exercise I usually do.

It involves taking a piece of art or creation, say maybe your favorite song. And converting it into another form of art. For example, into a sketch.

Just think about it. First you would have to really listen to the song, immerse yourself in the melodies, chords. Take note of how it makes you feel. Then try and convert it into a sketch.


So these are my major methods I use to generate creative ideas.

Its important to note that there are a lot of other methods out there. And it probably differs from person to person.

But also take note that the art of generating creative ideas is a lifestyle.

I would just leave you with a bonus number 13

And this is for the guys.


I know there is a lot of information out there but trust me.

Staying away from the act, practicing retention has huge benefits.

Mental clarity, Energy boost. Confidence.

You basically give yourself the opportunity to transfer the sexual energy from one place to your creativity.

So experiment. Keep pushing the boundaries. And keep creating.

Interested in unleashing your creativity with our online Creative Journaling Course for beginners?


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