ournaling may seem like another recommendation from your therapist that is just another chore to complete in the long list of chores. Actually, it can be an excellent creative outlet, providing insight into your life that you cannot find anywhere else. Coming up with ten ideas every morning provides you that extra umph to start to actually write more detail on one idea, or to continue to come up with even more ideas. In this article, you can find:

  • Ways to come up with ten ideas every morning
  • How to put these ideas into writing
  • Benefits of journaling
Overhead shot of someone journaling with other various items on the table such as a pile of books, cup of coffee, glasses, laptop, and tablet
Coming up with ideas every morning can get you into a good routine.

There are a variety of ways to come up with ten ideas every morning 

These can range from making a list to simply thinking them up

It is often getting over the hump of trying to think of a few ideas to get the juices flowing that is the most difficult part of coming up with new ideas. At the same time, it may be that you can think of a solid few ideas and then you get stuck. Either way, you are well on the way to coming up with ideas, and that means you will be able to continue writing and coming up with ideas that inspire you throughout your day.

As James Altucher, hedge-fund manager, author, podcaster and entrepreneur who has founded or cofounded over 20 companies, coins it, it is the “idea machine” that can help you out in any situation, and if you exercise the idea muscle, it makes it all the easier to come up with more ideas and prosper from those ideas. It is best to write all your ideas in a waiter’s pad because it is the perfect size to fit in your pocket. You don’t want to write paragraphs of ideas, just a quick list. To get started, you can read an inspirational book for 10 to 20 minutes. This can get your creative juices flowing, as well as inspire you to come up with some good ideas.

One thing to avoid while working the idea muscle and coming up with 10 ideas a day is perfectionism. This can be your enemy while you are trying to work this muscle that will only get stronger when you really sweat and think a lot about ideas. While it seems like the brain is the central part of the idea muscle, it is actually the brain that needs to be shut off while coming up with ideas. The way to shut off the brain is to come up with bad ideas. Then, you can overcome the struggle of having trouble coming up with ideas at all and go forth with the good ideas you have.

In this case, practice doesn’t make perfect. Rather, it is the practice that perpetuates you making more ideas that can turn into real, concrete good journal entries or just plain good ideas in the future. These are the ideas that you may act on, if they are worthy. In this way, you can take the steps while writing down all your ideas to make a column on the other side of your list that says “first steps.” Then, you will be able to make more ideas or even just miniature steps on how you will act upon these ideas. That is the benefit of journaling. Not only will you be able to rid yourself of the challenges you are facing in your day to day life, but additionally, you will come up with many ideas that are perfectly good to act upon in the future.

There may be some ideas you come up with that seem too hard to act on, or just plain impossible. That’s ok! Remember, each idea is just practice to come up with better, more possible ideas to act on. Also, many of these ideas can be for the sole purpose of journaling them and then never actually acting upon them. This can be to clear your mind or to continue the cycle of getting used to writing 10 ideas a day.

Two journals stacked on top of each other with two colored pencils on top
While it is recommended to use a waiter’s pad, using a journal you find pretty along with colored pencils can help you come up with more creative ideas.

How to successfully put the ideas into writing

It may seem like a challenge, but it will start to come naturally!

Some of these ideas may be business related. You may be wondering how to come up with “good” ideas for businesses. The same goes for coming up with 10 ideas a day. Repetition and practice are key. Get all those ideas down on paper and keep trying and trying again and again.

Once you have written down so many ideas, they can be overwhelming to look at all at once. That is when you should scrap some of the not-so-good ideas and toss them out. This will give you room to flourish the better ideas and act on the ones that have legs.

There are many ways to come up with ideas. Here are some of Altucher’s ways to come up with lists of great ideas:

  • Idea sex is when you combine two ideas to come up with a better idea.
  • Similar to idea sex is “old to new” which is having 10 old ideas and making them new.
  • The invention of 10 ridiculous things
  • 10 books to write
  • 10 business ideas for Google/Amazon/Twitter
  • 10 things you learned yesterday

The possibilities are really endless for lists you can come with. Then the ideas will flow from there. If you don’t think you can get all these ideas on paper right in the morning, try and you will see it is more manageable than you first thought. The ideas will flow and when you get stuck, keep going!

Altucher emphasizes that it is important to have equal parts of daily practice (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual) all aligned to make sure you can come up with ideas somewhat effortlessly. That is to say, it is not just the idea muscle that is important to focus on when coming up with ideas. It is the culmination of making sure you are physically sound, mentally stable (that is where the idea muscle comes into play), emotionally settled, and spiritually content.

Another way to get through if you are having trouble getting 10 ideas on paper a day is to do something different, but still work your brain in the same way. Altucher says to draw 10 eyes, for example, or to make a collage, or take 10 photographs of something that interests you. This can continue to keep you in the mindset of journaling without actually doing so. But make sure you get back to it! 

A stack of newspapers with a pair of glasses on top
Reading before writing is a good practice to get into.

The many benefits of journaling

Writing down all these ideas benefits your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well being

Altucher says it takes six months before you are an idea machine. This may seem like a long time, but you have to not only get into the hang of things, but also keep the routine and notice the changes in your life. Six months is a good amount of time to have your life change drastically, for example, and keeping a steady list of ideas can be a constant in your life.

Coming up with so many ideas may have you wondering whether you should be sharing these ideas with anyone. Well, the answer may vary, but overall, it is best to give your ideas away for free for the sole purpose of then being able to create more and more ideas. If you hoard your ideas or give only half of your ideas away, then you will start to only come up with bad ideas. Altucher calls this a scarcity complex.

If you feel as though you are constantly failing with the ideas you are coming up with, think of this-- Altucher says, “Everything we do in life is a success. We breathe, we love, we practice kindness, we deal with other human beings. We improve. We have experiences. This is magnificent and abundant success. Just even being able to try new things is something to celebrate every day. To smile at another person. To play.” In his eyes, you must take the word failure out of your vocabulary, and then you will see the true purpose.

Journaling in this way, coming up with 10 ideas a day, is unique and something different that you might find is not for you, or maybe you will love it and continue to do so to come up with the ultimate goal of 3,650 ideas in a year. Who knows, this may be the start of something great!

May 13, 2020