How to Achieve an Epiphany
I'm not going to lie to you, there is no magical prescription to actually achieve an epiphany but there are certainly things that you can do to encourage one to happen. An epiphany, as defined by dictionary.com is "a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience."
Sometimes, when we are trying to be creative and are "stuck" we pray for a miracle and hope for an epiphany. You know, that lightbulb, "ah-ha" moment? From personal experience there are a few things that you can do to stimulate your brain and get your creative juices flowing:
Yes, I'm going to tell you what everyone else will: get some exercise. When you exercise your body releases endorphins. An article by Huffington post, "Regular Exercise Could Boost Creativity," talks about a study published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, which proves just that.
Huffington post explained that, "the researchers noted that regular exercise seems to be associated with improved divergent and convergent thinking, which are considered the two components of creative thinking; the former involves thinking of multiple solutions for one problem, while the latter involves thinking of one solution for a problem."
Some of my best ideas have come to me during yoga or while on a bike ride. It's those moments of clarity that pop into my head when I least expect it, while I'm releasing those endorphins. In my head, all of the fast moving ideas turn to a white noise and my "uh-huh" moment stands out. Also, it never hurts to get out of your chair and into the world.
Stimulate Your Brain
By learning something new or doing something that you don't normally do will awaken your brain. Sometimes, our lives are in such a routine that we end up living on autopilot. Change it up! When I need to find that idea that stands out I watch interesting TED videos or take a new route on a bike ride. Another way that I get inspired is by spending time at the art gallery or museum in hopes to be influenced by art, design and all things interesting. By stepping away from your work (and technology) it allows your brain to work at a different capacity.
Surround yourself with creative and inspirational people. You can do this by networking or going to interesting events. By being around these types of people, their creativity and genius ways of thinking may rub off on you. If you can, bounce some ideas around with these people and feed off of each other's energy! If I'm striving for that epiphany and I'm having trouble reaching it, I like to find a networking event to go to (especially one with a panel or keynote speaker).
Another way I extract that million dollar idea is by getting together with my entrepreneurial friends, crack open a bottle of wine and get chatting (I find that it's best to stop after 2 glasses).*
Not everything will work for everyone but if you are searching for the magical idea that will elevate your brand the 3 ideas mentioned are worth a shot. It always helps to leave an idea and take a break from thinking about it. Sometimes those "creative" epiphanies pop into my head when I least expect it and I'm certain that it will be the same for you! What methods do you think are missing from this list?
*I do not endorse drinking and it's not for everyone. However, some people do find this activity helps stimulate ideas.