I’m a sex addict, but not in the way you think.
Not the kind of sex that gets you hot and sticky, but the kind that expands your mind and makes it better, sharper and stronger every day. Or maybe it makes your mind hot and sticky. We’ll see. Regardless, I’m addicted to idea sex.
It was lust at first sight. It was on a flight from Charlotte to Cincinnati in the dead of winter. I’d been following the work of James Altucher for nearly a year, and had been practicing the “10 ideas a day” routine on and off, and was in the middle of a 28-day streak. I got out my trusty 3×4 pad and started kicking around thoughts for the day’s ideas and finally decided to take the plunge and have idea sex. “Idea Sex” is James’ way to describe the cross-pollination of two or more ideas from your daily idea list in order to create new and unexpected (and potentially brilliant and life-changing) ideas.
My thought was this:
What if you could have group idea sex? That is, combining 2-3 lists of 3-10 ideas, and then taking the next step of brainstorming 3-10 ideas on each of the 9-100 themes? That would result in up to 1000 IDEAS!!! (That is, if your hands could take it and you had enough time.)
Here’s the process:
- Choose 3-10 adjectives.
Simple adjectives are fine (“hot”, “cold”, “extreme”, “surprising”, etc.).
- Choose 3-10 activities.
These could be business functions (i.e. “shipping”, “accounting”, “consulting”) or styles of music (“jazz”, “zydeco”, “Gregorian chant”), or whatever kind of activity/verb you feel like using.
- Combine each adjective with each activity, resulting in 9-100 themes.
You’ll end up with some winners (“hot accounting” – sounds fun!) and some duds (“surprising shipping” – I don’t think I want to experience that) but regardless, you’ll get some serious volume.
- Brainstorm at 10 ideas on at least one of the themes.
Take “hot accounting” for example, and ask a few basic questions about it. What would that look like? Sound like? Feel like? That should get you going.(To me, the phrase “hot accounting” immediately brings up a vision of people dressed in thongs, lingerie, and other wild and crazy getups, all reconciling bank statements, doing tax filings, and preparing P&L statements. HILARIOUS!)
Now go have some great idea sex! I can guarantee you’ll be surprised.
Thanks to James Altucher. Read his blog at http://www.jamesaltucher.com/.
For more on James’ daily practice – look at this post on James’ blog.