By: Chuck Frey
Random word stimulation is a powerful technique that provides a flexible, easy-to-use, self-guided method of generating new ideas by directly stimulating the brain
Random word stimulation is a powerful technique that provides a flexible, easy-to-use, self-guided method of generating new ideas by directly stimulating the brain’s natural capacity to think laterally. Everyone in search of new ideas can use this very simple and incredibly effective technique. Results are immediate, even to a beginner, and will improve in both quantity and quality with regular practice. It can be used in many different applications, including generating innovative ideas for any purpose, creating new inventions, improving existing products or services, solving personal or business problems, or simply to gain deeper insights into any subject.
What is random word stimulation?
Random word stimulation, as its name implies, invokes words at random. You can find them by picking a book, opening it to a random page, closing your eyes and pointing to a spot on the page. The word your finger rests upon is your random stimulus. You can also use magazines, signs or anything in your environment as a random word stimulus.
Individual words will always trigger their associated memories; the reaction is automatic and inevitable. Once you define a subject to generate new ideas about, exposure to the stimulus of random words will incite your mind to associate subject and word together. Usually there is no obvious logical connection but the force that drives the mind to associate thoughts is so strong that the search is performed anyway, and in the subsequent chaos new ideas begin to emerge.
Your subconscious mind is a powerful ally with a vast storehouse of information to draw from, and together with your imagination, can be utilized in a deliberate manner to achieve outstanding results in situations were logic alone is hopelessly inadequate.
Avoiding the conditioned response of logic
Many of the associations triggered by random word stimulation, and the ideas they are sure to generate, will not make immediate sense in relation to your subject. New ideas often at first seem illogical, absurd, or completely irrelevant. Our minds have been trained to make sense of things. Thoughts that do not make sense trigger a conditioned response to discard these ideas as frivolous fantasy, unworthy of further contemplation. Once discarded the potential value they are sure to contain is lost forever.
Learning to recognize this conditioned response as it happens, and bring it under control, is essential. Always remember: Something that initially seems like nonsense can actually make a new and wondrous perfect sense when viewed in light of a new context. Catch the moment when you judge, “This does not make sense,” and simply change it to a question of, “How COULD this make sense?”
Successfully generating new innovative and original ideas is achieved in direct proportion to your willingness to temporarily suspend the urge to discard new ideas and allow your mind the freedom to explore for new contexts that lead somewhere useful.
Cultivating the proper attitude
Looking for ways to make sense from random thoughts that seem illogical may offend your established sensibilities. You may feel embarrassed or otherwise uncomfortable thinking in ways outside the realm of normal social acceptability.
There is a very simple and enjoyable way bypass these unproductive negative feelings and acquire the proper attitude for practicing random word stimulation. Humor is an art that achieves its success as a measure of how extreme it departs from conventional norms. A skilled practitioner can deploy humor not merely to entertain, but also to reveal greater meaning to a familiar subject by altering the context from which the subject is normally viewed.
Random word stimulation favors and encourages a humored, care-free attitude. Humor effectively neutralizes negative emotions that restrict your freedom of thought. Humor is not bound by the rules of logic and so inspires the mind to release from any long-held fears or inhibitions and boldly engage in unfettered exploration. Brainstorming sessions using this technique should be relaxing, enjoyable and entertaining.
Random word stimulation is extremely effective at generating new ideas about any subject, but there is a more significant benefit. Given time and regular practice, the brain adapts to this exciting new way of thinking and gradually restores its natural organic balance – a synergistic blend of creativity and critical thinking working together in perfect harmony.