As an author and as a creative consultant, there’s a brain exercise that I’ve done for years. The exercise has proven to be so valuable to me that I believe that everyone should employ it daily. The goal of the exercise is to merely allow your brain, your thought process actually, to go wherever it wants to, with no limitations or end goals in mind.
My best ideas can all be tied to this rapid fire exercise. It keeps your mind active, creative, and refreshed. It may come as a surprise but… YOUR BRAIN WANTS TO THINK!
Here’s how my brain exercise works:
Give yourself 5-10 minutes (that’s all you need) with no distractions, no televisions, cellphones, or people around (although this exercise also works well for teams too). It is ok to have a computer for research purposes.
Now, think about a random topic, literally the first thing that comes to your head. Let’s say the first thing that came to my head was “ceiling fan” because that’s what I saw when I woke up. Now quickly, what does a ceiling fan make you think of? To me a ceiling fan represents air. What does that make you think of next? For me, it’s a hot air balloon.
You repeat the process in rapid fire succession for approximately five minutes; let your mind go wherever it wants. The trick with this exercise is to not think. The goal is to let your mind exercise. At the end of the five minutes, spend the next five minutes researching your selected (i.e., ceiling fan) for no other reason than the sake of obtaining knowledge. Your brain is a muscle and this exercise allows it to stay strong and sharp which has positive implications for your life, both personally and professionally.
You’ll start to uncover hidden thoughts you didn’t know even existed.
One day, this exercise led me to the topic of rice fields in China. Sounds random, but I was able to draw a parallel between the quick, efficient qualities of rice and a mobile cake delivery company. This company was a client and I was able to create a truly innovative, digital marketing campaign for them just simply thinking about rice. The possibilities are endless! Try it today, let me know what topic you selected!
To really get a good idea of how this process works, I’ll give you an example:
Topic: Picture Frame
Camera Lens —Concave Lens
Kermit the Frog (first lizard like thing that came to mind)
Kim Dawson Agency (A popular modeling agency)
World Cup 2014 (in Brazil)
Bicycle Kick (Pele made this popular)
Flat Tire (I saw many flat tires in my last ironman)
Discount Tire (tire store that fixes flats)
Coupons (derived from discount)
Couponers (Googled it)…
and it led me to http://thekrazycouponlady.com/ which is a thing called Extreme Couponing. I’ve never heard of it but now that I’m researching it. It’s unreal how much money you can save if you know how to coupon correctly!
There you have it.
Because of a five minute brain exercise that all started with me simply looking at a picture of my Yorkie, I now know how to save hundreds of dollars at the grocery store. Think about the limitless possibilities this exercise holds for your business, life, and relationships.
I’m looking forward to hearing about your research.