1. Curiously explore your world – creative people never stop asking questions.
2. Be a well-rounded generalist – even if you have a specialized job, learn about other professions and avocations. Keep up-to-date with the world around you.
3. Spend time with someone from outside your profession – Imagine how that profession’s practices can be transferred to yours. Just like Henry Ford, borrow ideas from a completely different industry.
4. Exercise & eat a healthy diet – releasing those endorphins helps you conjure up new ideas while good nutrition keeps your brain healthy.
5. Mentally exercise – puzzles, quizzes, games and mind-mapping help you condition your brain for idea formulation.
6. Do something artistic – this is especially important if you work in a technical, analytical or highly quantitative field.
7. Fear only fear itself – consider your risks to be opportunities. Many of the world’s most successful people have failed before getting it right.
8. Appreciate ambiguity – if your life is too administered and oppressively structured, you are less likely to encounter an “aha” moment.
9. Avoid anti-creativity traps – group-think and excessive rationalization kill creativity.
10. Use props – when trying to come up with new ideas, randomly gather a handful of physical objects and imagine how they could relate to your problem or question. Write down your ideas – even the silly ones. After a while, you just might come up with the perfect solution.
The Hungarian-born, Nobel Prize-winning scientist Albert Szent-Gyorgyi once said, “Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.” Now is the time to look at YOUR business/job/life and start thinking what nobody else has thought.
Jeff Beals is a professional speaker and award-winning author, who helps companies increase their profits and associations achieve their missions through effective sales, marketing and personal branding techniques.
 Baldwin, Neal (1995). Edison: Inventing the Century. Hyperion.