How To Grow As A Person, Idea Machine Edition


If you have read James Altucher’s Choose Yourself, you will be familiar with the Daily Practise. It serves as a foundation for any change you want to apply to your life. It essentially covers:
1. your physical health, by working out or even just taking a walk for 20 minutes outside;
2. your spiritual health, for example through expressing gratitude;
3. your emotional health, by connecting to a person every day, or even connecting two people with each other;
4. and your mental health, through the idea challenge.

What is special about “Become An Idea Machine” is that it provides 180 different topics or ideas. For example, “10 Meetups you could run in your area”. Or “Locate one character in history you admire and write 10 questions you would ask of him or her”. “10 Things I have at home that I don’t need and could either donate or throw out”. “How could I monetize my website or podcast?”. “Alternatives to Getting an Expensive College Education” and so forth. Some days are easy, some will truly challenge you.

Idea Challenge: Coming up with 10 ideas every day.

Coming up with 10 ideas per day will exercise your “idea muscle”. And because people come to a point in their life where they have to think of new ideas – their car breaks down, they get sick, they lose a friend, they are getting a divorce, they are leaving their job, and so forth – it’s a good idea (pun intended) to exercise this idea muscle every day. Through continuous practise, we can become an idea machine.

It sounded great to me, and while I more or less easily integrated the emotional, spiritual and physical part of the Daily Practise into my life, the “Idea Challenge” remained difficult. I could come up with 10 ideas to a given topic, but struggled to chose said topic. This is because most of the time I felt pretty content and happy in life. I somehow lacked the urgency to develop a new concept or theme in my life. A purpose.

And if you don’t really have a purpose, you don’t have a clear goal. You are not really moving forward, and there is no personal growth.

How do you find your purpose? It’s not like the big goal magically falls from the sky and one day you now know your purpose. You have to work on your life vision with small steps every day. Rarely do we know where we want to be in 10 years, but we can decide if a small goal that is maybe three months away is a good thing to work towards. Over time, a clear purpose emerges.

What is special “Becoming an Idea Machine” provides enough ideas to get there. It has 180 different topics for which you can develop your ten ideas.

That is 6 months of daily idea practise.

My personal challenge over the next 6 months

In my last article to NoNothingNovember, I pledged to work every day on this blog. But I don’t just want to make a pretty promise. To hold myself accountable, I decided to follow the topics from “Becoming an Idea Machine” for the next 180 days and publish a blog post and/or at least one YouTube video every day. This serves several purposes:

1. If you are working towards a goal, consistent small steps are more effective than sporadic large steps. The videos I’ll be doing on YouTube don’t have to be long. But they have to be a regular occurrence. Consistently!

2. It will help me become better in making videos. Hopefully.

2. It will inspire and hopefully help you. Daily!

It is important to note that “10 ideas a day” is not a mere tally or “to-do list”. It needs to be a challenge to come up with the ideas. To not only list my ten favorite places, but to explain what experience or event led me to specifically chose them. It needs to be focussed.

But what about execution?

Some people say that ideas don’t count. Sitting around the campfire and being inspired is not going to make you rich. Instead, you have to execute. Or maybe it’s a mix of passion and action?

Ideas are an important first step, and they need to be followed by doing something. That’s why I am adding a little twist to the challenge:

Every week, I will take action on at least one of the ideas I have come up with. It does not need to be overwhelmingly big. I may add it to my morning routine, or I may write the first paragraph of an exciting idea for a book. What counts is that I take the first step towards fulfilling one of the ideas per week.

Therefore, here is my challenge for the next 6 months:

I will have a short YouTube video per day where I will talk about the daily ten ideas I had, and at the end of the week, I will decide on doing one of these ideas, and I will review progress on that idea a week later. After 6 months, I should have tried around 25 new ideas. I am fairly certain that’s a good way to improve my life, and maybe I can inspire you as well. Even if nothing comes of it after six months, it will have been a worthwhile experience trying it out!

I wish a great journey to actually all of us!

If you want to check out “Become an Idea Machine”, you can do so here.

This link will bring you to an overview of the other books I have reviewed.

And to get back to the main page, you can click here.