In 2015, I began a daily creative practice that transformed my life. It was by reading James Altucher’s wonderful book, Choose Yourself, that I learned of this practice. But, it wouldn’t be until July of 2015 — several months after I had read Choose Yourself — that I would begin this creative practice.
If you are familiar with James Altucher’s work, then you, most likely, already know that I am referring to the Daily Idea List. The Daily Idea List is a fantastic creative practice that has transformed my life time and time again, in a myriad of wonderful ways.
What Is The Daily Idea List?
The Daily Idea List is a practice that involves writing a list of ten ideas — at the very least — every single day. Each Idea List can be about anything; ten ideas for businesses that you can start, ten short stories that you can write, ten ways you can manage your time, ten new habits you can begin implementing, ten people that you want to meet — the possibilities are infinite.
While writing the Daily Idea List, you make the conscious choice to focus on a particular question or theme, and then you simply write out the ideas that come to you.
If the ideas are good, write them down. If the ideas are bad, write them down. It doesn’t matter if the ideas you’re writing down are good or bad — it’s all a matter of perception, anyway — because the entire point of this creative practice is to simply write down ten ideas every single day.
How Can You Make A Daily Idea List?
In James Altucher’s book, Choose Yourself, he writes about how he uses waiter pads — those little pads that waiters use to write down people’s orders — for his Idea Lists. Since there isn’t much space on those pads, you can only write down the essence of an idea, and then move on.
When I first began the Daily Idea List, I did something similar, but on the computer. In a word document, I would write out a question or a theme — for example, “Ten Ways I Can Improve My Writing Abilities” — and then I would write out ten ideas that were no longer than ten words.
While that process worked very well for the first year or so, give or take, I found that the short format was a little too constraining for me. So, as time passed, I transformed the “Idea List” into the “Idea Journal”.
From then on, the Idea Journal contained more than ten ideas, per entry, and each idea was often quite elaborate and well-described. In doing this, I find that I’ve had a lot more freedom when it comes to exploring certain themes and concepts in a more in-depth manner. But, I still use the short format every now and then, because it’s very useful.
For you, though, that may not be the case. Instead, you might find that the short and quick format of the Idea List is extremely useful. It prevents you from spending too much time trying to think of a “good idea”, while also making it easier for you to integrate the practice into your daily schedule.
Regardless of the specifics of the practice, the essence is the same; writing out ten ideas, on any particular theme or subject, every single day. All you need to do is think of a subject, topic, or question, and then write out ten ideas that pertain to the subject, topic, or question that you have chosen.
What Is The Purpose Of Making A Daily Idea List?
When I began the Daily Idea List practice, I was already operating under the assumption that I was a fairly creative individual. While that assumption hasn’t changed, I have found that my own creative abilities have developed and expanded in a multitude of different directions.
Through the various Idea Lists that I’ve made, over the years, I’ve explored so many different themes, topics, and questions. Many of these themes, topics, and questions were territories that I was, previously, completely unfamiliar with. But, through the act of writing out ideas, I was able to develop my own creative abilities and, now, I find the act of coming up with ideas — ideas for anything — is both very easy, and extremely joyous.
While the process of writing down ideas, every single day, transformed my own creative abilities, it was the act of taking those ideas and thinking/acting from the ones that I resonated with that has created some of the most significant changes I’ve experienced.
Through the Daily Idea List, I organized the various processes and methodologies that I have come to rely on — process and methodologies such as Inner Conversations and Feel It Real — and I took action on them, which has lead to innumerable revelations and transformations.
Through the Daily Idea List, I outlined what I needed to do to be a successful freelance writer. From that information, I took action on it and, with that intention in mind, I found myself succeeding beyond my initial expectations.
Through the Daily Idea List, I was able to discover that a move to Cambodia, right after high school, was the right choice for me. Then, from that revelation, I used the Daily Idea List to organize how I was going to get there, what I was going to do there, what I was hoping to find; along with a plethora of other things.
In making a Daily Idea List, you step into the creative abilities that you already possess, and you allow yourself to make use of those creative abilities. In doing so, you allow the infinite wisdom and knowledge that is found within yourself to come to the forefront. Through this wisdom and knowledge, you are given the power to create what you desire and to learn, explore, and become who you wish to be.
Perhaps, more specifically, in making a Daily Idea List you pave new roads of thoughts. With these new roads of thought, you understand, and recognize, the endless creativity that permeates your being and you see the world through the lens of your endless creativity. And, the reason you do this is because, every single day, you are applying your creativity and reaching into the infinite depths of that creativity.
Thank you so much for reading this essay, I hope that you enjoyed reading it and that it inspired you to think, at the very least, a little differently! If you have any questions, concerns, or would just like to chat, please email me at “firstname.lastname@example.org”.
Best Wishes & Lots Of Love!