Episode 107: Ideation, Creation, Transformation

Do you ever wonder some people come up with great ideas that overcome challenges you face? You can too! In this episode Jimmy shares a three-step philosophy and tool he uses to help him create solutions that overcome his biggest challenges in life and business.

Episode Keys

  • The importance of purposely planning your days and weeks with time to ideate or develop concepts and ideas to your challenges.
  • How to implement the three-step philosophy to solve any problems that arise in your life.
  • When is the best time to implement a solution-based process that empowers you to reach heights of success you only dreamed about!
  • Who originated the problem-solving process that catapulted Elon Musk to become the greatest inventor of our time?
  • Where would life be without some of the inventions we take for granted today?

Podcast Transcript

Good morning! I’ve got to tell you, this is the best time of year for me. I’ve got to tell you, I just love springtime. Now, I could do without the allergies and so forth. Hey, but you got to take the good with the bad, and there’s so much more overwhelmingly good in your life that sometimes we get so hyper-focused on the challenges that we face. Today I want to share just a few minutes with you about something that will exponentially empower you to solve any challenge you face in life.

Hey, this is Jimmy Williams with Live a Life By Design, your Monday morning moments of motivation to help you achieve a bigger, better, and bolder you. I am just looking at the world a little bit through some eyes that have seen a great disruption. We’ve seen all of this destruction, and now I’m looking at a chance for renewal. Springtime is that chance in our life that we can start anew. You hear the birds sing and you see that sunshine. The grass begins to grow, and the reason I know is because the gentleman that takes care of our yard and flower beds starts early in the morning like I do. You can hear the roar of the lawnmower and the weed eaters whizzing by the flower beds. But the one thing I do love about this time of year is the opportunity to renew.

This is the time of year I often sit down, look at my goals for the remaining part of the year. I pick out two of the most challenging of those goals, and I only set about 10 or 11 goals per year. The goals I set, though, are pretty high goals. So I take two of the most challenging of those, and I sit down in private in my home office and I just spend time in total silence doing this particular philosophy tactic I’m going to give you today. That’s how powerful this process is to me. I can tell you this same process has been used by some of the greatest minds on the planet and those people that came before us. Now, I’m not saying I’m one of the greatest minds on the planet, but I hope I’m in the top 10. That may be a little bit braggadocious.

But anyway, my point to that is I’ve got a question for you, all of our great listeners. We continue to add listeners every week to this podcast, and we are just honored and very humbled that we can share a few minutes with you every Monday morning without fail so that you can have an opportunity to grow during the week. Think about this. If you only grow 1% better, bigger, bolder in terms of your self-esteem, your belief in yourself, if you could do that 1% a week, you have gained over 52% growth in your own thinking in a given year. We wish to be a part of that. So share the podcast with your friends and family. There are people I meet all the time that are just looking for some kindness in the world, and they’re having a hard time finding it.

I espouse several things that I tell people, and they look at me with great shock in their eyes. For example, I was at one of my favorite stores this last week, and I don’t want to use a brand name, but let me just say I refer to it as B and N, and it is stocked with something I truly love, books. You can take it from there. But I was sitting in the section of business books, looking over the various topics, and a young professional came up to me and asked if I could recommend something that would help her in her career reach her potential. It did not take two minutes for me to leave her with a look of, “Oh my gosh. What did I unleash from this gentleman?”

So I referred her to our livealifeby.design website. There you will find what’s called Jimmy’s Top Reads. These are the books that have transformed my life, empowered me to reach new heights of success, has allowed me to maintain a very high self-esteem, and also allowed me by giving me the tools to overcome challenges that I face. I am no different than any of you. I am simply approaching some of the challenges in a more methodical way than many do. I don’t simply get mad and upset, because that solves no problems and I dare say may add more to your list. If the person around you is your wife or a significant other or just your friends or office coworkers and you’re throwing a tantrum in the hallway, they may cause you to have more problems when you’re through.

But anyway, let’s take just a few minutes today, and let me share with you, and I hope you take this to heart, this process that I use literally daily. I can do this one with my eyes closed, but I have to set the right environment. So how are you doing on your 2021 goals? The first quarter’s in the rear view mirror. Did you reach your goals for that quarter? Did you even make progress on your goals? You must find a strategy that works for you, and if you’re not happy with your progress to this point in 2021, why not change your approach? Today we will share with you a philosophy we call ideation, creation, transformation that will give you an advantage over everybody else in reaching your BHAGs. That’s those big, hairy, audacious goals.

Hey, the first stop is this process that we need to talk about called ideation. I say the first stop because I want you to stop doing whatever it is you’re doing now and focus on this one step in the process, ideation. So this ideation step will help us create a pathway to goal achievement and give you ideas that will help you make the process much easier. So this ideation step of our philosophy is simply the act of developing an idea about anything you wish to achieve. Why is this so important? It is through the ideation process that life has become more fluid, easy, and rewarding for many of us. Take a piece of paper if you’re not driving, and I hope if you’re listening to this while driving, wait, go back, and listen to this part… Well, just listen to the whole episode again when you get to a point you can sit down and it’s quiet somewhere where you can really think. But take a piece of paper and write at the very top the biggest challenge you are currently facing in life. Now draw a line down the middle of the page so that you have two equal halves on the page. At the top of the left half of that page, write the word ideas, I-D-E-A-S. At the top right half of the page, write the word how, H-O-W. The secret to this exercise working for you is to complete all of the left side of the page before you ever even think about writing anything on the right side of the page. To truly allow your creative juices to flow, do not edit, limit, or critique anything you place on the left side of the page during your initial process of writing. Some may make this akin to brainstorming. It is simply this, listing everything out of your mind that may even remotely an idea to a solution.

You see, the idea, pardon the pun, is to create as many ideas as possible on the left side of this page as if you had no limitations. Be weird, be wacky, and be wild. Some of my best tools for success originated using this same process. Challenge yourself by writing a number at the top of the left side of the page to serve as a target of the number of ideas you wish to create. Before you judge this act of writing these ideas, some of the greatest minds in the world came up with magnificent products that we take for granted in our lives using this same process. I told you before some of the most magnificent minds of the world came up with these products we now use today. Take a simple device that I know you and I use every day, the telephone. This device is the result of Alexander Graham Bell, and truthfully, several others before him had the idea, but Bell got it done and patented it, ideating about sending a voice through a current in a telegraph transmitter system.

Now, what would have happened had Bell not chosen to be creative and come up with this idea? I gave this some thought, and I looked at everything we attribute now to the telephone. So let’s take just a few of those benefits from the telephone into play in our thinking here. First and foremost, there would be no Internet, no economic progress or growth that relates to communication, no hotel reservation bookings unless you wrote a letter or walked in to talk with someone, no Amazon Prime delivery in two days. I had to throw that one. We’re all hooked on the Amazon Prime. Household bills would have to be paid in person or mailed in a letter. Families living miles apart would certainly not be as close. No emergency services to answer in your time of need. Get the picture? Worse, there would be no Live a Life By Design podcast to encourage you each week. I had to throw that out there, of course.

All of these activities resulted from the invention of the telephone, which came about because of the curiosity of a man. Ideation is critical to your success. Spend time each week, if not each day, creating ideas and concepts that will change the way you function, and you just might change the world. So if you find you have a great idea that you believe in, the next step is to create the idea into reality. One of the greatest minds of our generation that I admire for his ideation, his, if you will, creative mind, not so much his work ethic, I’ll be truthful with you, but this gentleman is Elon Musk from South Africa. This great inventor and entrepreneur learned his three-step process for problem-solving from someone that is ancient in our history.

Now, when I say ancient, this goes back to the ancient Grecian times, talking about Greece. He learned this from Aristotle, the philosopher. By using this method consistently, Musk is breaking new ground on space travel, battery power, sustainment, and other innovative ideas that are so unique that he is now recognized as the world leader in electric vehicles. His first step is to identify the problem he wants to solve. Now, remember, our piece of paper you used in the beginning of this episode, what is your biggest challenge -well, I hate the word negative, but – problem that you wish to solve? Step two is to break down the problem into its fundamental principles and list major constraints to solving it. Okay, so now you are ideating have to solve the problem. Lastly, create new solutions using the blank slate approach. Sounds like what you would do on the right half of your page, right? The one we started. Other great inventors or creators of life-changing products that used this approach were Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, Benjamin Franklin. Those sound like some pretty high-quality names, in my opinion. Without time for ideating and creating, the final phase of this philosophy could not be addressed.

So ideation, creation, but now the real empowerment is transformation. The final and most important phase of this philosophy is transformation. How many times today have you looked at your cell phone? Now, be honest. If you’re like me, you’ve probably already looked at it four or five times before breakfast, right? We have our lives wrapped into these little devices that tell us when to awake, maybe a ring tone that tells who’s calling. It tells us when to eat. We track what we eat. It even might tell us when to exercise. You get the picture. These are often devices that run us so that we may run our day.

The cell phone has transformed the way we communicate in the world. Now, when I say communicate, I don’t necessarily mean talk, right? There’s many ways to communicate. We use the cell phones as a means of texting, for those of us in our twenties and thirties. Not to brag, and it’s not bragging if it’s a fact, but my 84-year-young mother uses text on her phone all the time. The first time she sent me a text message, don’t laugh, I thought someone had hacked her number. It just seemed so out of my expectation range. As a matter of fact, on top of that, my mother-in-law, a young 74 years of age, uses her iPad and iPhone more efficiently than most young people. These two have adapted to this technology that was so pervasive in our lives – and shall I now use the word “invasive” in our economy – by transforming the way we order food, pay our bills, speak with our family, or simply create topics for a podcast. Okay, well, now you guys know my secret. Technology has become a necessity, not a luxury.

One of the early types of cell phones was called the flip phone. Now, I was so proud to get my first flip phone. Man, it fit conveniently in your front pocket. It was a cool device, and it brought back memories of one show as a child when I started watching it that I watched continuously through my adulthood. Now it’s actually in syndication and can be watched anytime by anyone. Of course, I’m talking about a show that gave us such forward-thinking and creative ideas from props used in the show that many of those props became actual products in our lives. The flip phone was one of those such props.

The show I’m speaking traces back the origins of this flip phone to the late sixties, early seventies. Now, don’t laugh. I’m talking about flip phones that came in the nineties, 20, 25 years later actually started with a show in the late sixties. You’ll find this device was the creation of the producers and technicians of the space exploration show that has enamored millions of us across the world. It was called Star Trek. The challenge was to develop a compact, effective device to allow the members of the crew to speak to one another and the ship when they were out on excursions or exploring. By brainstorming and ideating, the film crew then created a device, and voila! They transformed the world a few decades later.

I want to suggest to you there was a great man by the name of Neil Armstrong. Neil Armstrong was one of the first people to walk on the moon. Now, Neil Armstrong didn’t get up one day and say, “You know, I think this week, I’ll just get on a rocket and sit in that rocket and go to the moon, walk on the moon, and come back and be a hero.” No, Neil Armstrong spent years and years and years, decades, training for this one mission. When Neil Armstrong was asked by a reporter once, “How does a man determine and solve the problem from getting from Earth to the moon? How in the world could you ever determine that?” I love Neil Armstrong’s answer. He said, “You only have to solve two problems when going to the moon. First, how do you get there? Second, how do you get back? The key is don’t leave until you have solved both problems.” I love that advice. Not only was he a great scientist, an outstanding explorer, but he had a great sense of humor. He understood what we’re talking about today. You must spend time dreaming, creating ideas to allow you to forge your future and make it what you wish it to be in the manner you wish it to be.

So this week, I have a really extraordinary challenge for each of you. Our Live a Life By Design listeners are wonderful people that are incredibly talented. So this week, I know each of you have challenges in your daily life. We all do. From the most simple of tasks you must perform to the most difficult to decisions you need to make, we all experience situations that require us to be creative in finding the solutions. This week, try this simple, yet effective method of solving your challenges in life by ideation, creation, and transformation. You will find the answers you seek, and you will be living life by your own design. Join us here next week, and I hope you have a wonderful, wonderful week.

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