zen

The Buddhist way of making ideas brilliant

A defining difference between useless ideas and brilliant ideas is that useless ideas are just plain ideas, brilliant ideas are ones that are made into reality.

One person who really understood the difference between useless ideas and brilliant ones was the famous spiritual teacher, and the founder of Buddhism, Gautama Siddharta.

Gautama knew that the first step in making any idea into a remarkable one was to first make it a reality; he once stated that “an idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.”

Not only did Gautama believe that ideas need to be acted on, but he acted on that idea itself and created Buddhism, a series of teachings that evaluate our human existence.

Hundreds of years later, Buddhism is a major religious faith for millions of people around the globe. The ideas of Gautama have been acted upon and have become incredible. If Gautama had never acted upon his ideas of the world, Buddhism would not exist as it does today, and you wouldn’t be reading this post right now!

An idea is useless unless acted upon.

The value of an idea that resides in your head is substantially less then the value of an idea that has been acted on and made into a real thing. Plain, lone ideas are worth very little, ideas that are made into something that you can see, feel, touch, smell, or taste, however, can be worth a lot.

Even if you just write your ideas down, you are taking them from your thoughts and putting them into the real world. It is in the real world where you can really work with your ideas.

An idea cannot be experienced - and therefore judged - until it is made into reality. You can accurately judge how great an idea is only when you can experience it in the real world.

The first step to making any ordinary, useless idea into a brilliant one is taking action on that idea. As Derek Sivers - an entrepreneurial genius - once said: “The most brilliant idea, with no execution, is [only] worth $20. The most brilliant idea takes great execution to be worth $20,000,000." (source: Getting Real)



Zen and the art of creative moments

One idea comes after another, and another, and another. Simply trying is out of the question, and everything seems to be flowing naturally. The best part? Almost all of the ideas are the kind that make you say “Ah hah!”

It’s a creative Zen moment.

The moment where your thoughts and realizations, your actions and presentations, all seem to be flowing perfectly in synchronization.

A creative Zen moment typically happens unexpectedly, but there are a few things you can do to stimulate the same creative Zen-like feelings.

Here’s how to trigger your creative Zen…

When you are having a creative Zen moment your mind is completely synchronized. The creative parts of your brain are working fluidly with the processing parts of your brain (left vs right, if you will). So, what do you do to cause your brain to be in-sync?

You write, a lot.

Writing is the beginning of synchronization between both parts of your brain, and as such is the perfect way to induce creative Zen. Writing as much as possible means that the creative parts of your brain have to work to come up with interesting things to write about and interesting, creative ways to write them, while the processing and rational part of your brain has to figure out the right words to use and how to put them down onto paper (or onto your blog).

Before starting a project at work, or at school, or for any other reason, take a few minutes to write. You don’t have to write anything pertaining to your project, and you don’t have to take yourself seriously. Just write.

What you write doesn’t have to make sense. It just needs to be something that you can think about and physically write or type.

After writing for about 15 minutes, both parts of your brain will begin to work together, almost seamlessly. All that’s left to do now is get creative, and produce some great ideas while you are in creative Zen mode.

Try it out for yourself. Write for a few minutes before trying to get creative. The process will empower a creative Zen-like moment and your creativity will flow like water droplets from a leaf.