brainstorm

Brainstorm Bad Ideas!

By Andres Pira

From esteemed professors to ingenious entrepreneurs, everyone is on the constant lookout for great and inspiring ideas that could potentially change the world as we know it. I’m about to give you a piece of advice that you may think goes against the very foundation of innovation and breakthrough: brainstorm bad ideas!

If you’re staring at your phone or laptop screen in confusion wondering how that passes for good advice, I bet you’re not the only one. So allow me to explain why brainstorming bad ideas is actually a brilliant idea.

When facing a problem, we naturally only focus on coming up with good ideas. This can limit our problem-solving abilities as there’s a chance that we may fail to consider all possibilities. 

I’ve come to learn that it’s better to focus on brainstorming bad ideas when trying to think of creative and innovative solutions. Even if the ideas we come up with might be considered stupid or ridiculous, brainstorming bad ideas removes the pressure of having to conceive good ideas and allows us to push past obvious answers. Terrible ideas can be reevaluated and turned into something unique and brilliant. 

brainstorm
Courtesy of Andres Pira

I believe author Tina Seelig would agree with me. She says one of the ways to reframe problems into positive solutions is through brainstorming bad ideas. When teaching her students at Stanford University, she asks them to turn the ludicrous idea of selling bikinis in Antarctica into a good one. Within five minutes of brainstorming, the group came up with the slogan “Bikini or Die.” They reframed a bad idea into an excellent one of taking people who want to get into shape on a trip to Antarctica and putting them through fitness training. By the end of their hard slog, the travelers would be able to fit into their bikinis. That’s a brilliant concept, isn’t it? 

The next time you face a severe problem, write down as many bad ideas as you can in the shortest possible time. As hard as it may be, stop yourself from spending time trying to perfect those ideas. Once you’ve made a list, you can then brainstorm ways to make your bad ideas good. Who knows? You might just change the world.

At the same time, the ability to solve problems comes down to our mindset, which determines the way we turn the challenges we face into positive solutions. In my book, “Homeless to Billionaire: The 18 Principles of Wealth Attraction and Creating Unlimited Opportunity,” I disclose everything you need to know about developing the right attitudes to dealing with problems successfully.

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