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Become An Idea Machine: Because Ideas Are The Currency Of The 21st Century Paperback – December 27, 2014
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It's a neat little book to read when you need more creativity in your life and need a simple practice to ground you.
The biggest issue I had were many of the exercises were clearly designed around the life of the author which worked much of the time but often felt very much like she was really stretching to find ideas to work with to thicken up the book. Exercises like "pick one historical figure and create ten questions you would ask them" are great but "ten new yoga poses created using animal names,and describe alignment, purpose and effects" are completely useless (and a little snobby) to someone like me who doesn't know the first thing about yoga.
Occasionally, you run into a string of dud exercises which you don't want to let discourage you and cause you to stop working. I just skipped past them and continue on until you find the next interesting one. There are nearly 100 two page exercises, most are good but they can't all be perfect.
Still, more good stuff than bad, so definitely worth a couple bucks. The absolute best thing about the book is when you have finished working through it, you have a significant amount of material which is all usable content.
I would also suggest you grab the Audible version as it has extra comments and conversations between Claudia and James not found in the print book that are both entertaining and also helpful to understanding the process.
What are 10 things I want to do before I am 40?
Who are the 10 most influential people in my life; and what is one contribution they made in my life?
Ask 10 people to give me their best time management principles?
etc, etc, etc.
It is the daily task of thinking that begins to turn you into an Idea Machine. Now, perhaps this is more important to me because one of my StrengthFinder Top Five is "IDEATION." But Altucher makes the point that mental health depends on mental exercise. We all want to have active, alert, highly functioning brains as we age. So, every day - exercise your mind. Think about great ideas that matter. Practically, do top ten lists as one methodology. For leaders, this is even more vital, since ideas are the currency of success.
I was a little disappointed when I saw the bulk of the book was 180 exercises. I've gotten over that feeling. Even when I don't care for the topic in question, it stretches my idea muscle to apply it that way. In fact, it's probably better. My brain is doing double-duty coming up with ideas for yoga poses rather than any of the concepts I would have come up with.
Becoming an idea machine is a journey. I'm not there yet, but I am to the point where if I need an idea for something, I'm confident I can come up with something quickly. That's invaluable. I can't wait to see what I become after doing the next 140 exercises.