100 Ideas

Posted by Jill Chivers in Attitudes and Habits

Today I was inspired by a post that Joanna from Work in Colour wrote.  Joanna writes about ways to approach a particularly sticky problem.  This sparked my interest, as this is often where those of us who’ve had shopping problems end up: with a sticky problem we need a solution to.

The idea is that when you have a problem, you use a strategy that other successful people have used (including Leonardi Da Vinci – the most pedalstilised of creative genius).  And that strategy is this:  come up with 100 ideas on how you could approach the problem.  Come up with 100 questions, or 100 possible solutions (however outlandish) or 100 actions you could take (however undoable some of them may be).

I love this idea!  The idea of 100 ideas is to go “blue sky” in your thinking.  To not limit yourself with unnecessary practicalities, like will this actually work?  No – that comes later.  Before you get to Will this actually work?  you need to open the parameters of your thinking, and collapse the walls of your limiting beliefs.

Now, I’m a very practical person.  I only enjoy brainstorming for short periods of time.  When forced to engage in it when I worked in corporate land, I would often find myself being one of those “yeah, cool idea, but we don’t actually live in a gravity free world yet, so that idea will never sail“.  So I understand those of you who might be balking at the idea of getting a clean sheet of paper out and trying this one out.  I’m with you on the – “yeah, but we don’t live in fantasy world so why come up with fantastical ideas?” stream of thinking.   Here’s what I’ve learned:

If you start too soon with the limiting practicalities, the creative ideas never get a chance to get off the ground.  You need to bounce around in the world of possibilities first – pretending there are no limitations.  Then once you have exhausted all those free-wheelin’ creative possibilities, you introduce the practical realities and see what can be put into action in the real world.

This is a process that really works.  When I was a corporate facilitator working with leaders and high performing teams for huge global firms, this is one of the processes we would use.  It’s often called the Disney Model.

Walt Disney may not be Leonardi Da Vinci, but there’s no denying the impact that Disney had on the world we now live in.  His creative genius may be of a more contemporary nature, but a creative genius he was.  So, if this approach worked for ole Walt, it can work for us garden variety shopaholics, right?

So, have a go at this.  Grab a clean sheet of paper and start doodling on:

  • 100 ideas for being a more conscious shopper.  Or
  • 100 ideas for living your life – not spending it. Or
  • 100 actions you can take for the remainder of the year to become the conscious shopper you want to become.  Or
  • 100 questions you can ask yourself when you are in a shopping situation, feeling compelled to buy something, that you can ask yourself to circuit-break the situation.  Or
  • 100 ways you can make your own Year Without Clothes Shopping journey easier (for those of you already doing the program), or more fun, or lighter.

You never know what you might discover!


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