Both of the books talk about writing down 10 different ideas every day and “stretching” your brain.
While James and Claudia Altucher both say they don’t know why it works, I think I found an answer.
Or, let’s put it this way, I read a book that had a great explanation for why their strategy works for:
- Improving your life
- Making your brain more efficient
- And becoming more successful
I’ve been writing down 10 different ideas every day before going to bed, and while I’m not an “idea machine” yet, I can already see the benefits from this practice.
The Science Behind It
Okay, you’re probably here because you want to know what scientific proof I have, right?
All of my evidence will come from the book Make Your Brain Smarter by Sandra Bond Chapman, Ph. D. but she also has a list of scientific papers as sources at the end of her book.
According to her “well-formed innovative ideas are more typically the by-product of long-standing, effortful, dynamic thinking habits and content processing patterns.” (83)
That is a mouthful, but what she means to say is creative ideas don’t just randomly pop-out of nowhere. They’re a result of a consistent every-day practice of thinking creatively and differently.
She also says that “integrated reasoning will energize your thinking as well as increase the biological well-being of your brain” and that you’re improving your integrated reasoning when you are “form[ing] uncommon ideas, identify[ing] new problems, generat[ing] and revis[ing] workable solutions” (85).
Does that remind you of anything?
Oh that’s right!
Writing down 10 ideas per day covers all the above!
While at the beginning those ideas might not be incredibly creative and different, as you keep practicing, you will improve your integrative reasoning and thus your life.
Chapman also compares a 65 year old businessman named Mark and a 55 year old executive name Wesley.