We can begin this article on ideas by first mentioning that there is no physical law as such governing ideas, but there are, to a certain extent, natural laws that the creation of ideas will follow closely enough to render them reliant on a structure of sorts. Ideas are the beginnings of our reality, the building blocks of everything we know as our way of life. None of it would exist without the amazing human ability to generate ideas. So how does this process happen and what can we do to enhance our own abilities in this area?
Do Ideas Just Happen?
First of all, we have to get one thing straight before any of the rest of this will make any sense. Ideas do not just happen! They are not randomly plucked from thin air and then miraculously formed into plans for bringing them into form. They are creations that came about because of a person's thought processes mixed with their own personal desires, beliefs and faith in the unseen and unknown.
In our article where we discussed the The Law of Thinking, we looked at how thought is a measurable entity that is formed in the mind from the coalition of energy vibrations that are attracted to us. Every thought is therefore a creation in its own right. There are, for the purposes of this article, two main types of thought:
- A though that is generated in response to a visual or other sensory input from the world around us is still a creation, although it is not of any consequence unless it brings about the creation of an idea.
- A though that is generated from within, in the true sense a new and unique creation born of the attractive force that put the thinker in touch with an infinite and universal intelligence that, whether you can sense it in any way or not, is still there.
The first type of thought is what most people engage in most, if not all of the time. It has little creative use apart from the occasional times when it takes what we already know and discovers a new angle or new way of doing something. The second type is a true creation that has great value as long as it can be brought forth from the stage of being just a thought into being an idea that can be taken, molded and worked into a usable form.
Can Ideas be Made to Order?
There is plenty of documented evidence that arguably the worlds greatest inventor, Thomas Edison had the ability to dream up ideas deliberately, or virtually "to order" if you like. He would take a problem that he wanted to fix to his "land of solutions" where invariably the answers that he was seeking would come to him in the form of ideas.
Edison achieved this ability through a form of meditation, where he would sit in a chair holding a rock in one hand, then relax deeply while thinking of the problem that he was seeking a solution to. He would allow his mind to descend into what spiritualists believe is a deeper plane of existence, where one may contact a higher intelligence, universal mind, the spirits or whatever you like to call this power.
Many believe this is hogwash and they are entitled so to do. But the fact remains that Edison believed it worked for him and we can see the results in the multitude of amazing creations that bore his name. To find his solutions, he would allow his mind to enter this deeper plane of mental activity, if you like, and receive his answers in a flash of inspiration, or a hunch, or intuition (give it any name that works for you). As he would invariably fall asleep in this state, hi hand would relax to the point where he would drop the rock and wake himself up before he had a chance to forget the answer to his problem.
The answer then, is yes. We can create ideas "to order" when we know how. Edison knew how and he used that knowledge to bring so many incredible inventions into the world.
There is also a stage of this subject that takes the process of generating ideas to the next stage and that is in getting together with other people to generate ideas together, or bounce ideas off each other, or "brainstorm" new ideas, especially in a corporate setting.
This aspect will be discussed in a separate article to save this one getting way too long!
How Can Ideas Be Turned into Physical Things?
Ideas are of little use unless they are transformed from the ethereal to the physical by means to taking them and working them into plans of action. Then physical action needs to be taken to transfer those plans into their physical equivalent.
This is a process that most people are familiar with. We have an idea, for instance to drink a cup of coffee. Thinking hard about that cup of coffee will no more make it appear before us than there exists magic lamps and genies! We have to take the idea and use physical action to bring the idea into form.
So we form a plan in our minds to what to do in order to bring that cup of coffee into our reality so we can drink and enjoy it. The plan would go something like:
- Go to the kitchen
- Take a cup and set it down on a suitable surface
- Take a kettle and fill it with water
- Heat the water in the kettle (either by flicking a switch or placing it on a stove)
- Decide whether you want instant or filter, or ground
- If ground, then grind up some coffee beans, put the grounds in a percolator
- If instant, put a teaspoon or so of the freeze dried powder or granules in a cup
- If filter, take a paper filter and put it in the hopper of your coffee maker and then add a few spoons of specially ground coffee
- Take the hot water from the kettle and pour it in the percolator/cup/filter machine
- Wait until fully percolated/stir with a spoon/wait for the coffee to filter through the paper
- Pour the percolated/filtered coffee into a cup
- Add milk or cream or nothing if you prefer it black
- Add sugar if you like it sweet or not if you don't
- Stir the contents of the cup with a spoon
- Take the cup and drink it
That would all happen in a flash in your mind. Then to make it all happen in reality, you would simply follow those steps according to which type of coffee you want to be drinking. And at the end of it, you will have your cup of coffee just the way you like it.
That was a very simplistic look at how an idea can be turned into a physical reality, but it serves to illustrate how this process works. Any idea can be taken from its raw state and honed or crafted into its physical equivalent by the formulation of a definite plan of action and then by following that plan stage by stage until the finished article is before you.
How Intelligent Do You Need to Be?
This is how Henry Ford came to create his production line of automobile construction. He had the idea of belting the world with four wheeled horseless carriages and then set his idea into a definite plan of action and we all know the result of that process. But the thing is that Ford didn't have much of a formal education. He didn't have any capital or any influence to bring his dream into reality. No one gave him a favorable "break" in life, as many seem to think. He achieved everything he set out to do through sheer force of determination and persistence backed by a burning desire to do it and an unmovable faith in his ability to bring it about.
Thomas Edison had little in the way of formal education. Before he ever became known as an inventor, he was a telegraph operator in a dead-end job working for low wages. He lifted himself up out of his rut by having ideas and taking action to bring those ideas into form.
In other words, anyone with any reasonable level of intelligence is capable of not only creating new and unique ideas, but of bringing those ideas into reality.
Why Doesn't Everyone Create Great Ideas?
The reason why most people don't do this is simply because most people are not using their creative thought capacity. They are not generating new ideas because they are not trying to create new ideas. They are simply using all their ability to think in response to their world around them. They are not taking the time to stop letting their thoughts be driven by external forces and start using their thoughts for their own good.
If a glowing light bulb has appeared above your head in response to that last paragraph, then well done! You've got it.
All it takes for anyone to become creative is to set aside some time away from the perpetual "noise" around them. Then practice letting their mind become quiet, still and receptive to those creative thoughts that beget ideas. Anyone can do this. All you have to do is to want to do it!
And that is basically how the Law of Ideas works.