Methods for visualizing ideas

I‘ve explored some aspects on how ideas are formed within the mind, and how we can improve upon this creative process. Part of it was emphasizing the importance of visualizing your ideas to encourage their growth. This blog will focus on some methods we can use to visualize our ideas.

I hereby declare war on limitations! Our own limitations of imaginative thinking is the number one cause of death in the whole world![citation needed]
The sentence above was meant to sarcastically humiliate the American government.

Imaginational awareness
Imagination could be described as an algorithm inside your mind used for creating new ideas based on your current knowledge, expertise and experience. This is the very essence behind growing ideas into idea fractals, we should therefore encourage this process best we can.

We might limit our imagination to what we know or deem to be common sense, this would not be to encourage our mind, quite the opposite. Imaginational awareness is a term I’ve chosen to describe the concept of realizing that we can open doors within our imagination and steer it in the directions we want. This might sound a bit like trying to control our imagination, but it’s most certainly not. The very power behind imagination is it’s ability to roam freely inside our thoughts and build new thoughts based on our current thoughts. No this is about suggesting a theme for our imagination, encouraging it to work with us. Imagination is always based on your essence as a person, but it doesn’t have to be limited to your knowledge or your skills.

I’ve observed that the most common cause to why people close the door on their imagination is that they lack the skill or experience needed. It’s not relevant what you can or can’t do in this process, it should be free of such limitations because they only serve to close doors inside your imagination.

The first and most important part of visualizing something is to separate your imagination from what you may or may not think you’re able to do or achieve. That’s something you can worry about at a later stage.

Ideas generating ideas generating ideas…
This is of course the very topic that spurred this series of blogs. What is important here is to always write your ideas down so that you always have a written record of your thoughts, this act of writing things down also helps your thoughts to manifest them selves in your mind. It’s pretty basic, the grown ups used to nag at me with this very argument when I didn’t write down enough material in school.

Modeling your thoughts
The alphabetical system is the most common way to formally structure your thoughts, but a system based on modeling is far superior in some areas, especially when it comes to brainstorming. Simplify your ideas in bubbles and connect them, I’m sure you’ve created mind-maps before, use that knowledge and expand upon it. Use your imagination!

This is a rather simple mind-map, or “thought model” of this blog post.

You might think that formality isn’t needed or even just taking something too far. I’ve encountered this many times as I try to get people to be more formal about their ideas or projects. Formality is about taking the first steps towards transforming your ideas and concept to it’s own organism. This will help you and everyone involved to get a clearer picture on what the idea is about, what the goals are and how you could get there. It helps you to view things from a more objective perspective, which of course encourages the formation of new ideas.

Creating a goal analysis
This step requires some brainstorming and a nice mind-map mapping your idea fractal as well as imaginational awareness combined with formality. A goal analysis is about imagining the goals of your idea. First of you need to imagine the main goal of whatever you’re idea is, then you need to imagine what goals or activities needed to achieve the main goal and depending on the need you may want to imagine the goals needed to achieve the sub goals. It might sound like this is a sort of hierarchy of goals but it’s not, sub goals or sub sub goals may very well contribute to lot’s of other goals.

Ok, so that’s the theory of it. How do we apply this theory in a practical way? We create something called a Goal Model, it’s basically a map of goals represented in a graphical view, like this:

This is a simple goal model of how we’re going to achieve peace on earth, I’ve made some claims to which I’m sure not all people would agree with so bear in mind that it’s just an example.

It is very important to be free of limitations when creating a goal analysis, it doesn’t matter if some goals seems too hard or unachievable because solving problems isn’t important here, identifying issues is however important.

So these are some advices on how to better visualizing your ideas, I hope they are of use. Happy thinking!

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