Drawing outside the lines is fun for a reason. Drawing inside the lines is effective for a completely different reason.
In any period of ideation, it’s important to stay inside the lines while comfortably questioning them at the same time. This balance can lead to structured, yet innovative ideas.
I’ve made the mistake of beginning with tight boundaries, then looping inside of them to no avail. I’ve also made the mistake of walking down the tired path of the generalist.
Here’s what works best for me:
- Begin with zero boundaries to find your idea
- Create boundaries designed to nurture the idea towards it’s fullest potential
- If you find an opportunity to expand your idea’s potential that lies outside of your boundaries, question these boundaries to see if they can be expanded
The most challenging part of this framework isn’t what happens step-by-step, it’s ignoring the self doubt that rises in between. As such, this shouldn’t be viewed as a one-and-done process, either.
Once you get into the swing of things, condition yourself to repeat steps 2-3 in an effort to achieve consistent improvement, iteration, and creativity.
The rest will sort itself out.
Explore –> Define –> Question –> Improve –> Fulfill yourself & others