Ideation as meditation
Ideation as meditation

THIS ALREADY feels like I’m selling a new-age corporate retreat, and perhaps I am… depending on numbers.

As someone whose business depends on the ability to think of new ideas, on cue, daily, you’d think I’d find it stressful, but the opposite is true. It’s actually the part of the day I find most relaxing and energising. And treating ideation as meditation is, in fact, how you generate great ideas.

Fall in love with this time, relax, and you’ll think of great ideas that are good for your client’s business, and, yes, yourself. Now, let’s gets started with this completely free introductory lesson.

Give yourself permission to just sit.

Or even lay down. In a hammock. In dappled light. Far from the office. It takes courage, but don’t be afraid to look like you’re doing nothing. As da Vinci replied when confronted by a benefactor who believed he just sat around all day, “when it looks like I’m doing the least, I’m doing the most.” I’m paraphrasing, but that was the gist.

More people can often mean less ideas.

Try to enjoy some time thinking alone. Think of it as less of a brainstorm and more of a brainbreeze.

Get reductive to be productive.

A pen. A pad. That’s all you’ll need. Maybe a cup of tea if you really feel like cutting loose.

Great ideas come from good conversation… with yourself.

And all good conversation comes from interesting questions. So, ask big, small and seemingly stupid questions, and don’t worry, yet, where it’s leading.

Go wild and wide.

Creativity relies on the ebb and flow of divergent and convergent thinking. Allow yourself to go wide before you let logic bash it into shape.

You don’t achieve enlightenment first go.

That lightbulb moment may not occur immediately, and that’s ok. Don’t get frustrated. At least you have tea.

Be wary of first thoughts.

They’re quick to say hello because you’ve most likely met them before. Usually they’re based on ideas you’ve seen or heard. So, question easy answers, and drift on.

Enjoy the rush, but don’t rush it.

So, you’ve transcended this earthly realm and been enlightened by an idea that feels wholly new. It’s bliss. And this bliss is very real. When we see or think of something new our brains are rewarded by a hit of dopamine. This is the real science behind the imagined state of what I will call, Newvana. And in this euphoric state you want to rush to tell someone and spread the joy. Don’t. Don’t spread the joy. Stay in the moment. When you’ve struck gold there’s usually more in the area. This is the time to shape it, take out all impurities, and, really stretching the metaphor, give it a shine.

And repeat.

Ideas can always be better, and you can always have more ideas. So, this is the job that is never done. It’s just lucky that it’s so good for you, and business.

Published 01 May 2021

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Matt Lawson

APAC Chief Creative Officer, Creative, Brand and Advertising

Matt Lawson is the Chief Creative Officer for Deloitte Digital APAC. His work includes creative innovation ideas that have changed the fortunes for people and brands alike. Some of his most famous work includes Brewtroleum, K9FM, Mobile Medic, Made Possible by Melbourne, Telstra Big Pond “Great Wall of China”, and the Playnasium.

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