The last time I heard about brainstorming was probably elementary school; perhaps you’re in the same boat. I remember having to use “spider-webs” and other ways of brainstorming ideas for a creative story. When I was a kid, it was somewhat fun–but then I grew up and everything became real…and harder. As such, I haven’t had much on my mind in regards to “brainstorming” until recently. And, guess what? It absolutely worked! Here is what I learned during my brainstorming session.
1) It Takes Time
For my purposes, I was trying to come up with a new name for a ministry in a church (branding it, so to speak). I didn’t come up with it right away; but eventually it worked and I found one I was happy with. In total, I probably brainstormed for a collective 2 hours. Depending on what you’re doing, though, it could be much longer. In fact, I think I was pretty lucky to have done it within 2 hours.
2) People are Helpful
In order for me to brainstorm, I went to a friend and he helped me. At first, all the things we were coming up to were comical, non-serious things–but then came the gold! Brainstorming with a friend helps because it offers fresh eyes and a new perspective. Everyone has a different way of thinking and approaching issues; as such, they might see things that you don’t. My friend and I became a powerful thinking force when we came together; I probably would not have come up with the name had it not been for his help, and vice versa.
3) Smart People do it, Too
Brainstorming is not for people who are dumb; do not feel bad if you need to brainstorm! Because, you know what, very smart people do it all the time. One of my favorite television shows of all time is Lost. When I watched the bonus features I realized something–all of the writers brainstormed with one another. They shared ideas, struggled with things together, and came up with an incredible show. If you believe you’re above brainstorming, then I suggest you seek to change your perspective. If J.J Abrams does it, you should too.
4) Be Intentional
Being intentional about things is always important, and the same holds true for brainstorming. Set aside a good amount of time to do it, even if it’s over the course of multiple, days, weeks, or even months. Stay committed and focused during your brainstorming time; it forces your brain to keep thinking and you will quickly see that Ideas start coming!
The fact is, every moment you spend brainstorming gets you closer to an answer, whether you know it or not. So put your thinking caps on and get to it!