The best thing for ideas is to be lazy, I always say.
The only direction you push an idea is "away."
If sleep were an Olympic Sport, I'd have gone gold several games in a row. Sleep is better than sex for me (there I said it). And from my sleep a lot of ideas pop up. (My shower is also the place theories of mine get built, but that is for another, wetter blog post.)
And this morning a shape popped into my head: a circle. Then another circle. Then some arrows. Eventually, the little diagram you see int he photo above was floating through my brain. (Of course, it was far more heavily labeled at the time.) Believe it or not, it diagrams out the fundamentals of a HUGE idea. it might take over the world. Well, maybe.
People often ask "How do you come up with these solutions? Where do these theories come from? What is it that you do to make these things come about?" All I can really reply is that I don't do anything. And I mean that specifically: I truly try my hardest to not push solutions any faster than they need to be pushed. Instead, I take a nap. (Like, a four hour one if possible.)
This is how theories get built: in the play space of your brain. All I do is keep watching, listening, and absorbing. Then I let the stuff all sort of mingle and mix in my head. Then I say stupid shit. Often, REALLY stupid shit. But I listen to the reactions, and take that in as more data.
Information in. Information out. Like breathing. But just like you don't do anything to keep breathing, so too do I not do anything to the information. Just take it in, spit it out, and repeat. Whether it is a diet suggestion, a training plan, a business angle or a major lifestyle philosophy, I just absorb it in, then repeat it. (Usually in some ridiculous and disastrous version.)
Then, at some point, things glue together. The jell-o sets and the legos click together. And spontaneously two bits of information fuse together in the mind. (Or three; or seventeen.) And then I spit that out again, and the fused idea looks WAY cooler than the miss-mash I took in.
But it relies on letting your brain be. Don't groom it or force it; let it work itself through. Ideas come on their own – if you push you'll only likely be pushing it away. Which is why my coaching theories so often come to me at the darnedest times – like in my sleep – at times when I am not so aggressive towards my brain.
I also am a firm believer in the mighty pencil. Writing, modeling and erasing the mistakes (and there should be many mistakes if it is truly a good idea – that doodle took me three times to get right) come easier with a pencil and a piece of paper. In fact, those who try to draft ideas using a pen seem, to me, arrogant at best. The pen may be the sword, but the eraser is definitely the shield. I know which I'd rather have with me going into battle.
Sorry I can't tell you what the theory is behind that design. I guess you'll just have to enroll in one of our programs to find out that cliffhanger. (Hey – I can't give away the store, here!) But I bet you could figure it out on your own anyway, with a little sleep.
Gonna go take a nap now.