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7 Tips to Finding Your Breakthrough Idea

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To study intuition is to study the nature of brilliance.

Looking to find your breakthrough idea?

looking for your breakthrough idea?Have you ever wondered how visionaries like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates came up with their breakthrough ideas?

You might have wished that you could come up with ideas like that too.

I know I have. Don’t we all look at successful innovators and think, “If only I had come up with that.”

You probably thought that it was part of their nature as “geniuses” to come up with breakthrough ideas and, not in the realm of  “thinking’ for a regular person like you. Right?

If you said, “yes,” you would be dead wrong.

You can think like a genius and you can create the environment to incubate breakthrough ideas like a genius, if you desire it and if you dedicate yourself to it.

It is “teachable.”

To begin popping out breakthrough ideas like a visionary you need a process.You need to understand the nature of breakthroughs, where those brilliant ideas come from, and a system to program your mind to gift you with your own breakthrough ideas.

I have always been fascinated by the process of creativity; how we come up with breakthrough ideas and the source of flashes of genius. I have made a life-long study of these topics. What I have learned is that all of them fall under the umbrella of “intuition.” Yes, that’s right, intuition.

Intuitive thinking is the thinking process by which great innovators come up with their ideas

The normal everyday sequential process of thinking one thought after another does not lead to creativity, brilliance, breakthroughs nor genius. It never has and it never will. Creative, brilliant breakthrough ideas arise on their own, on their own schedule.

You cannot “schedule” a breakthrough idea

If you’ve ever been “struck” by a breakthrough idea you’ll know that it arose on its own, probably when you were doing something else like taking a shower or taking a walk. It did not occur while you “thinking” or “brainstorming” about the subject you’d been studying or field you’d been working in. You might also recall that it caused you to veer off in some new direction that you hadn’t been contemplating at all.

To be an innovator is to tap into the intuitive thinking process

This is the nature of breakthrough ideas associated with visionaries and genius. These “strokes of genius” are a fusion of previous ideas your mind has stored. When you set your mind to solving a problem, these previous ideas come together beneath the level of your conscious awareness where they are grafted together in a new combination and then “downloaded” as a whole and complete idea into your mind. This sudden and unanticipated “download” is the “flash” of inspiration that most visionaries attribute their greatest achievements to.

Do you have a desire to be an innovator?

A Steve Jobs or Thomas Edison? A person who comes up with brilliant ideas that solve problems and change the world?

To “incubate” brilliant ideas like a genius follow these steps.

1. Develop a deep interest in particular subject. You must find your passion. This is the subject you return to again and again that you never tire of learning about. If you don’t have any idea what yours is pre-order: The Intuition Principle. The book is a step by step guide to finding your passion and purpose and full potential living.

2. Study this topic thoroughly. Learn all there is to know about the topic that you’re interested in. Get really, really knowledgeable about this one thing. Go to seminars, conferences and and take courses in this subject.

3. Work in this field. Actually do the thing you’ve been studying. There is no substitute for doing. We learn the most when we get hands on experience. Immerse yourself in this environment. Develop relationships with experts in this field. Ask them lots of questions. See if one of these experts will mentor you. Surround yourself with people who have this expertise and get experience doing it.

3. Educate yourself broadly. Be keenly interested in the world around you. Read voraciously on a variety of topics. Expand your mind by visiting museums and taking in great works of art. Read the biographies of inspiring people. Be open to inspiration from many sources.

4. Set a goal or direction you’re moving toward. This goal can be as specific as coming up with solution to a specific problem. The direction can be an intent such as moving toward becoming self employed.

6. Take time out for reflection each day. Meditate. It is no good to incubate great ideas if you miss them when they materialize.You must create the empty space in the mind where they will land with a big splash and get your attention.

7. Be flexible. Be willing to change direction when the you are “struck” with the brilliant, genius level inspiration that alters the course of your life. Often these ideas move you off in an entirely new direction, that hadn’t occurred to you previously. These “never before thought of ideas” become the innovations which change the world.

When we become really, really good at doing things inspiration and illumination or what I refer to as “business intuition,” will strike us. To truly innovate you need to have hands on experience and broad studies across many disciplines. Only after gaining in-depth experience, studying and actually “doing” will your mind take what you’ve learned and recombine it in a new innovative way that is the hallmark of “visionaries.”

Do you have any questions about this process? Have you ever been struck with a breakthrough idea? How did it affect your life?

If you enjoyed this article please share it on social media. This is the highest compliment you can give me.

P.S.While you’re here sign up for PbI updates and the newsletter and get a free chapter of “The Intuition Principle.”

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22 Comments

  1. Hey Angela,

    This is such a helpful post! I’ve bookmarked it for a regular read. We do get frustrated when we don’t get that “click moment” for a long time; but we fail to see that we need to work towards it.

    Being flexible is a huge help; it opens you up to loads of experiences and thoughts. We just need to give it a shot!
    Hajra recently posted..Will they call you over for a bloggers party?

    Reply
    • Hi Hajra,
      What a pleasure it is meeting you. Welcome to Powered by Intuition.
      I’m so glad you found the post helpful too. We all want to have those stroked of genius, don’t we?
      I know exactly what you’re saying about being frustrated when we don’t have them too.
      But, it is exactly as you have said it: we need to work towards it.
      When we understand how to build the right environment to foster a “click moment” we are more likely to have one.

      Reply
  2. Hi Angela,
    Great post! I love the idea that we “empty our brain” out and also allow ourselves to let the creativity flow in a different direction that we may had not thought about before.
    What a great and valuable list. It makes me want to go create…right now:)

    And you are right about some of those great ideas. They seem to have come out “aha” moments rather than stiff rote thinking.
    In Harmony,
    Jen (find your harmony)
    Jen recently posted..Finding Harmony when life is rough.

    Reply
    • Hi Jen,
      I’m so glad you enjoyed this post. My passion is to teach everyone “how to speak intuition!”
      We miss so much guidance and brilliance if are not attuned to our intuition.
      I’m glad this post makes you want to create too!
      We will never experience new and innovative ideas while thinking.
      All new and innovate ideas emerge from the storehouse of our memory banks in a flash of “intuitive thinking” in what we recall as the “aha” moment.
      This has been scientifically documented by many scientific studies.
      I’m so glad you came to visit. It’s such a pleasure having you comment.

      Reply
  3. “To study intuition is to study the nature of brilliance” Love that! Are those your words or a quote from someone else?

    I’ve found that being flexible is a huge key. Too often we can fixate or try to hard and not let spirit do it’s thing. Many moments of genius breakthrough happen when the mind opens up a bit more.

    :)

    Reply
    • Aileen,
      That’s my quote!
      You are soo right too. Being flexible is the key.
      I just finished reading a book and it covered many of the greatest breakthroughs by famous innovators and the thing they all had in common was that their breakthrough always took them in an unexpected direction!

      Reply
  4. Really loved, loved, loved this post Angela. Hope its okay with you if I share it in my upcoming Round up post. I think this is such great advice that we all need to hear:)
    Sibyl recently posted..How You Can Create the Perfect Mindset And Succeed At What You Really Want

    Reply
    • OMG! Of course you can share it!
      Anytime.
      I’m so glad you found it worthwhile too.
      xo,
      Angela

      Reply
  5. Bryan,
    I’m so glad you found the article worthwhile.
    I don’t think we can be “brilliant” every day. It’s just not possible. But, as long as we know how to contribute and coax this process along we will have our own “shining” moments of breakthrough ideas.
    Thanks so much for visiting.
    Welcome to Powered by Intuition.

    Reply
  6. Angela, I love this article! It was EXACTLY what I needed today. We all have those days where we don’t feel extremely resourceful in our own goals. Sure, it’s easy to do what your routine demands of you, but those don’t feel very “intuitive.” And that was me today. I have had moments where I was surrounded by it (and the audiobook of the new Steve Jobs bio was inspiration for that, too). But this was a good source for me!
    Bryan Thompson recently posted..Have You Kept Your Resolution? Here are 4 Ways to Create Lasting Change

    Reply
  7. Angela,
    I like what you wrote about “be willing to change direction” when an idea struck us.

    THis is so true. I have been unwilling to change course many times in my life, but I have ended up taking the same path I wasn’t willing to take earlier on.

    I guess the keen-ness to lean into uncertainty and take on something new, is something we develop incrementally.

    I’d also like to share something I learned from Vishen Lakhiani in a speech he gave. (You may find it on youtube called “Why Happiness is the New Productivity”)

    Vishen said that when we are happy in the now, we love our work, and we have a vision of where we are going, then we are able to enter a state of Flow. I am sure all creators, artists and bloggers are familiar with Flow. For me, that’s when all my ideas come, and get materialized in the way I want them to be.
    Joseph Ch’ng recently posted..I got to confess, I was afraid

    Reply
    • Vishen,
      Is a very wise man. I met him last year at a Meet Up her in NY.
      I enjoyed speaking to him.
      Definitely, our culture is finally embracing happiness as the objective not “acquiring lot of material possessions” in order to be happy. Great point Joseph!

      Reply
  8. Rosemarie

    I am off to meditate right now after reading this. Need a refresher. :o) Thanks!

    Reply
  9. Hi Angela,

    I agree with you, breakthrough ideas are teachable. It certainly does not belong to the realm geniuses. Indeed some of my best ideas came about when I was not really thinking about it. Some times it happened in the shower. At other times it happened in the gym. This does not happen out of the blue although it seems that way. As you rightly point out with your 7 tips, there is a deeper process at work. Here are my thoughts on some of them.

    1. Develop a deep interest in a particular subject.

    Passion is vital to creativity. Unless you live and breathe what you love, it is difficult to have breakthrough ideas and insights. As you rightly point out, we have to study this subject thoroughly and then apply it. Some of my best ideas or insights into complex situations came about because of my deep interest in divination. Without this need to know, I would not have thought of how to frame my questions to get to the heart of the matter.

    3. Educate yourself broadly.

    Being open to inspiration from various sources is vital. The more you know, the more you can blend different fields to come up with unique ideas and perspectives. While I rely on divination for insights, this is merely one of the tools at my disposal. My approach to problems comes from my love for history and strategy. This forces me to take a very pragmatic and logical view of things. And in the process, the blend of intuition and logic is just right.

    As you say, true innovation comes from experience and broad studies across many disciplines. This is certainly true in my experience. Were it not for all that I know today, I would never have been able to turn a potentially messy divorce into an amicable affair for a recent client of mine.

    Thank you for sharing this lovely article!

    Irving the Vizier
    The Vizier recently posted..Sharing Your Inner World to Enrich Memories and Experiences

    Reply
    • Irving,
      You are a wealth of information. The study of strategy is a fascinating one. I’m not an expert in it like you and only know a small amount about it but is lends itself beautifully to the intuitive process!

      Reply
  10. Okay seriously? This post has my name written all over it, LOL! And what timing! My husband and I are like the ultimate entrepreneurs, hahaha. We’ve got a couple small businesses between us and just decided the the other day to open a resale shop! So reading this was like BANG!… meant to be!

    :)
    sheila recently posted..Slow Down and Absorb The World.

    Reply
    • Hi Sheila,
      Wow. I had no idea you were involved in so many businesses. I think resale shops are an idea whose time has come. Brilliant. Go for it. People are beginning to wake up to reusing and recycling of things just like our parents did back in the 1940s.
      Keep those brilliant ideas coming!!

      Reply
  11. Hi Angela, what a great post and I can vouch from personal experience the benefits of walking away from a problem, even if only for a minute. During that time I am able to consider the issue from all perspectives and far too often I have a ‘Doh!’ moment where I realise the obvious and simple solution had been staring me in the face all the time.

    Of course like you mention you can never tell if the life you desire is going to be as good as you imagine until you fully immerse yourself in a path to that life.

    igor Griffiths
    igor Griffiths recently posted..Buying Your Ticket for the Pity Train

    Reply
    • Hello Angela,
      Can I have an “intuitive breakthrough idea” in an area in which I am not currently immersed? e.g, No’s 1 & 7 while vital in their own rights, seem to be at odds in this overall context…..or am I missing something here?
      be good to yourself
      David
      David Stevens recently posted..21 more Self Discovery Questions for the 40+’s……enriching your Mid Life Journey in 2012

      Reply
    • Hi Igor,
      It’s so nice to hear that you found this post helpful. I love when I get hit “upside” the head with an inspiring idea. When you move forward on one of these ideas is usually has a powerful impact on you life.
      Thank you so much for coming by and commenting.

      Reply
    • David,
      The thing with flashes of intuitive brilliance is that they are new combinations of ideas that fuse together in a completely innovative way. This is is why we are often taken in a new direction by these brilliant ideas. So, when I said to be flexible what I meant is that we should be open to following these brilliant ideas in a new direction. That’s what innovation is – going off in a new direction and it is what makes us all so fascinated by visionaries. But, we can do it too!

      Reply

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