Reading has always been regarded as the key source of knowledge and imagination, but let it be truly efficient! Inite has prepared for you some tips on conscious reading and some recommendations on deliberate texts about idea generation.
Good reading a day keeps apathy away. Though most texts are classified as functional or hedonic, they all train our logical and imaginative thinking. The efficiency of the process resides in the way we perceive the printed information. To let you dive into authors’ ideas without drowning in the ocean of thoughts, Inite offers you a small guide on how to read consciously.
Find the Reason
Before starting a book, ask yourself several questions: What is the main purpose of this text? Is it useful for me? For what will I read it? Find reviews on the book, explore its summary, and spend a few minutes investigating its contents.
Remember the Content
Not to forget what some books are about, keep in mind three concepts: impression, association, and repetition. Whenever something in the text impresses you, stop at this moment and visualize it and personalize it. If the author illustrates a technique with a real-life example, take on the role of the character. How would you act were you in his shoes?
Next, be sure to make associations. All the new is the overlooked old. Make the most of this concept and remind yourself about the texts that resemble the one you are reading now. Then, don’t be afraid to waste your time rereading important passages or chapters. Don’t hesitate to make notes you can use later. You are not here to read quickly, your target is to read intelligently.
Choose the Right Level
According to Mortimer Adler’s work, How to Read a Book, there are four levels of reading: elementary, inspectional, analytical, and syntopical. Elementary reading is a hedonistic form, inspectional is a quick skimming, they both are not efficient. Contrary to them, analytical and syntopical reading help to make the most of the process.
Analytical involves a thoughtful perception of the information with figuring out key topics and listing the major parts of the work in order and relation.
Syntopical is an advanced analytical reading: you are supposed to read several books on the same topic to go deep into the matter and to observe the problem from different angles. This is what we recommend you to do with our list of recommendations.
Food for Thought
Whenever we come across the matter of inspiration, Google offers us Austin Kleon’s Steal Like an Artist book. This work is worth spending your time on but is not the only guide to creative thinking development. Let’s dig for more structured methods of idea generation and read about them syntopically.
Creativity: The Psychology of Discovery and Invention, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, 2013
The psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi studies the flow of the creative process, reveals its core, and shows that the “tortured genius” myth has nothing to do with the reality of idea development. The author analyzes the personalities of creative people from different spheres, from biologists to artists. He figures out their habits and tactics of problem-solving, with complexity being their main common feature.
After 30 years of constant research, Csikszentmihalyi develops the idea that creativity is a socially determined process. He defines it as the result of interactions between the thoughts of an individual and a socio-cultural context. Next, he offers readers some advice on boosting ideas generation. The first one is the cultivation of curiosity that can be achieved via such simple tasks as surprising at least one person a day, trying a new peculiar dish, and keeping a journal of impressions.
The second piece of advice is the creation of the flow in life. This can be implemented by waking up with an exact goal in mind daily. The third recommendation is the development of personal strength with the help of scheduling chores, relaxing, and forming some creative space.
The fourth method is the integration in personality traits via sifting between openness and closure and choosing complexity. The fifth piece of advice is the application of creative energy by finding and solving a problem. The final method is the stimulation of divergent thinking. For this, ideas should be born in an impressive quantity and high originality.
A Technique for Producing Ideas, James Webb Young, 1940
According to Young, an idea is a new combination of old elements. The more general knowledge people have, the more opportunities they can use to connect their subconscious intentions with realistic goals, and the more links between concepts they see to generate some new material. Next, Young emphasizes that the best way to be creative is to live curiously and to keep on wondering as a child.
Apart from the abstract attitude to creativity formation, Young figures out a five-step technique of ideas generation. They are: gathering material, working it over, stepping away from the problem, letting the flood of ideas come in, and testing them in the real world. The author claims that the formation of ideas comes only after the ground for them was prepared, and the strains were pushed aside.
Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques, Michael Michalko, 2006
Michael Michalko explores the importance of creativity breeding and offers solutions for its developments. All his techniques are illustrated with living proofs and explained from psychological and cognitive perspectives. The author makes recommendations on what methods to apply in different fields, from business ideas to storytelling.
Michalko’s exercises are divided into linear and intuitive categories. For example, he proposes the Cherry Split six-step method to take a challenge apart and then reassemble the parts of the problem into new ideas. The first step is to describe a challenge in two words, the second is to split the concept into two separate units. The third step is to divide each attribute into two more attributes. Next, these attributes should be divided into smaller concepts till you feel the division is complete. Then, all the tiny parts of the problem should be explored for ideas. The last step is to reassemble the attributes and to make a new picture out of this puzzle.
Another method of his is called the Stone Soup. It derives from fantasy questions the author offers you to think about. These are the examples: “What if you had eyes in the back of your head as well as the front?”, “What if you could eat clouds for breakfast?” Next, Michalko gives some recommendations on finding answers: to stipulate the challenge, to list as many “what if” scenarios as possible, and to answer questions posed by these scenarios.
Disciplined Dreaming, Josh Linker, 2011
The book is based on the author’s research and nearly 200 interviews with creative people, musicians, founders, and artists. According to Josh Linker, creativity is the core of our joy, fulfillment, and progress. He divides this mental engine into three categories: everyday creativity, high-value changes, and breakthrough innovations. To make the most of each type, the writer shapes a five-step strategy of ideas generation: ask, prepare, discover, ignite, and launch.
Linker points out the key blocks to creativity: self-doubt, resistance, bureaucracy, aversion to risk, and fear of failure. To fight them, the author recommends readers to compare the creative flood with jazz, so that they could stay in the moment, and keep on developing their skills. Next, he points out that the quality of idea generation depends on the state of the so-called creative muscle that consists of awareness, curiosity, imagination, synthesis, and memory.
Borrowing Brilliance, David Kord Murray, 2009
The key idea of Murray’s work is “first copy, then create”. He emphasizes that: “People are made out of other people just as ideas are made out of other ideas. This is why ideas give birth to one another and why I can say that brilliance is borrowed and always has been.” The whole text is illustrated with real-life examples of borrowers, including Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, George Lucas, and Albert Einstein. With the analysis made, the author divides the idea generation process into six steps.
The first three steps are defined as the origin of a creative idea. The author recommends defining the problem you’re seeking to solve, borrowing ideas from places with similar problems, and combining the borrowed ideas. Murray claims that every new idea requires a process of trial and error, so the analysis of others’ experiences forms the efficiency.
The second three steps are described as the evolution of a creative idea. First, the found combinations should be incubated into a solution. Next, the strengths and weaknesses of this solution should be identified. Finally, weak points of the strategy should be eliminated for the strong ones to be enhanced.
To boost your ideas generation and to find more informative sources, be sure to stay motivated with Inite. With this app, you will daily receive thought-provoking tasks to make your brains work. You will communicate with other members of the community and exchange your ideas. The more ideas you generate, the more upgraded your creative and analytical skills become. You can even turn idea generation into your new career and earn tokens for the catchiest concepts. With a scientific approach and AI applied, Inite knows how to move you in a playful form!
Ideas never come out of nothing: to breed and develop them, you should know what methods of their formation to use and where to get them. That’s why Inite recommends you to examine our list of literature in a syntopical way, to try the techniques you like, and to increase their efficiency with our app.