Ideas Are New Combinations

Ideas Are New Combinations

An idea is nothing more or less than a new combination of old elements.

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Problem Solving

A Technique for Producing Ideas

by James Young

MORE IDEAS FROM THE BOOK

Producing Ideas: Leading Principles
  • An idea is nothing more nor less than a new combination of old elements.
  • The capacity to bring old elements into new combinations depends largely on the ability to see relationships. The habit of mind which leads to a search for relationships between facts becomes of the highest importance in the production of ideas. And this habit of mind It's something that we ca cultivate.
James Webb Young

"You will find that a good idea has, as it were, self-expanding qualities. It stimulates those who see it to add to it. Thus possibilities in it which you have overlooked will come to light."

It is such a terrible chore that we are constantly trying to dodge it. Instead of working systematically at the job of gathering raw material we sit around hoping for inspiration to strike us.

The materials which must be gathered are of two kinds: they are specific and they are general.

All ideas follow a five-step process:

  1. The gathering of raw materials—both the materials of your immediate problem and the materials which come from a constant enrichment of your store of general knowledge.
  2. The working over of these materials in your mind.
  3. The incubating stage, where you let something beside the conscious mind do the work of synthesis.
  4. The actual birth of the Idea—the “Eureka! I have it!” stage.
  5. The final shaping and development of the idea to practical usefulness.

What is most valuable to know is not where to look for a particular idea, but how to train the mind in the method by which all ideas are produced and how to grasp the principles which are at the source of all ideas.

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RELATED IDEAS

Uncovering your creative genius

Innovative solutions, lateral thinking, and creative ideas - some of the most useful skills anyone can posses that come handy in every walk of life.

It's about the ingenuity of connecting ideas in a way that's unusual yet perfectly coherent at the same time.

jamesclear.com

It is important to gather a rich pool of raw material. This can only be done by reading extensively and constantly feeding your brain with new ideas. 

Are you someone who constantly runs out of ideas? Ask yourself how often you are filling yourself with new knowledge.

Be Creative


Anyone can learn to be creative by using these five steps. That's not to say being creative is easy.

Uncovering your creative genius requires courage and tons of practices.

However, this five-step approach should help demystify the creative process and illuminate the path to more innovative thinking.

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