Idea is a plan, suggestion or a possible course of action. Idea may seem intangible but when backed with action the result can be massive. Ideas have shaped the course of history. Look around you, what makes the world goes around smoothly are people’s good idea turned into action. Your smart devices were conceived by someone, your place of work was conceived by someone and even the shelters or buildings we use everyday were conceived by someone. Since good ideas are powerful and can be beneficial to humans, how were they conceived? How can you conceive them? Let’s look at the three easy ways to do so. These ways to conceive an idea can be done in a group setting too – it is called brainstorming.

1. Look and listen to what people are complaining about

Perhaps the easiest way to conceive (or maybe implement) an idea. We are often so quick at complaining about a product or service that seemed below our expectations. Complaining is not necessarily bad if it is deserved. The common good in any complain is the reminder that there’s always a room for improvement. As a creative, a thought of what one can improve in a complaint is a simple way to conceive an idea. Uber and several other modern day service providers were created because someone thought of improving an existing service by integrating it with other processes.

There are several ways to get complaints without “breaking the bank” or harassing people by sampling their opinions in a store. You can analyze product reviews online or create a simple Google form and send it to your selected reviews (your trusted group of friends).

2. Think, just think

The best thing to do when you are not doing anything is to think. Think about what you can do improve an existing service or think about what you can create to solve a problem. Good Ideas have changed history because they mostly solved problems. When you are in line waiting for your order, when you are waiting for someone at the coffee shop or when next you have some free time, take a moment to think. This would force you to have patience while in line and hopefully be productive if an idea is conceived.

One day I was sitting at a coffee shop and here comes a gentleman on a wheelchair coming towards me. This young man wanted to trash his empty coffee cup but the trash can was full. He couldn’t stand up to press or push the cup down in the trash can. I was looking at him (looking at his present problem) but I immediately said to myself “wait a minute, that’s a problem that needs to be solved”. Within a short period of time, I proposed series of solutions in my head which include having a hand lever or a garbage compressor that uses a button to decompress the garbage. These solutions could have helped this young man and even decrease how often the coffee shop’s employees empty the trash can. Yay!! I just conceived a million dollar idea!

3. Consume creative contents

There are several resources (audio book, physical book, video) that can be used to gain information without paying a penny. I personally listen to a lot of podcasts. I found podcast to be easy to understand and accessible. Regardless of what format you use in consuming contents, getting additional information about a topic can help you expand your thinking. Furthermore, it can widen your creative eyes.

Consuming additional contents is not only good for creative purposes. Being aware of what’s going around us helps us make better decision needed for everyday life. I didn’t know much about retirement, taxes etc until I started listening to financial podcasts. I recommend you include podcast or any convenient media source to your daily unofficial educational process. Of course don’t overwhelm yourself if you can’t find time to do so every day. However, if you really want to add one or two medias to your daily routine, check out my guide here on how to be successful at that. Remember, outputs comes from inputs. So consume all the good stuffs you can get!

Conceiving an idea cannot get simpler than described above. Every problem is surrounded by a potential solution. We are all natural problem-solvers! We just need to look, listen, think more and go to work. Please remember that you can’t go to work with all the ideas that you conceive. Some ideas are not meant for you. In my case, the idea of improving the trash can is definitely not going to be done by me because it just may not fit into my creative portfolio. So if you go for it and make millions, kindly share some 🙂 .