Following are tips to help you activate your imagination and make your thinking more dynamic.

• Take a walk around your neighborhood and look for something interesting.
• Make metaphorical-analogical connections between that something interesting and your problem.
• Open a dictionary and randomly point to a noun. Use it in a sentence. Force connections between the word and your problem.
• State your challenge as a question “In what ways might I………..? Then restate it 5 different times using different verbs.
• How is an iceberg like an idea that might help you solve your problem?
• Tape record your ideas on your commute to and from work.
• Keep a log of your ideas, intuitions and dreams. At the end of the week review your log. Any new insights?
• Create a prayer asking for specific help with your problem. What is it that you still need to understand?
• Spend 1 hour daily totally immersing yourself in the subject matter.
• Read a different newspaper. If you read the Wall Street Journal, read the Washington Post.
• What else is like the problem? What other ideas does it suggest?
• What or who can you copy?
• Create the most bizarre idea you can? Try to imagineer it into a realistic solution
• List all the things that bug you about the problem.
• Take a different route to work.
• Make up and sing a song about the problem while taking a shower.
• Listen to a different radio station each day. Listen for a message.
• Ask the most creative person you know.
• Ask five people how they would improve your ideas.
• Make up new words that describe the problem. E.g., “Warm hugs” to describe a motivation problem and “Painted rain” to describe a changing customer.
• What is the essence of the problem? Can you find parallel examples of the essence in other worlds? Do they create patterns that inspire any new thoughts.
• Take up doodling as a daily practice. Brilliant ideas often start as a scribble on a cocktail napkin or envelope.
• Go for a drive with the windows open. Listen and smell as you drive. Think about what it is you still don’t understand about the problem.
• Combine your ideas?
• Learn and use the creative thinking techniques creative geniuses have used throughout history.
• Create an idea piggy bank and deposit three ideas daily.
• Give yourself an idea quota of 40 ideas when brainstorming.
• How many of the ideas can you combine with each other?
• Can you substitute something?
• Which of two objects, a salt shaker or a bottle of ketchup, best represents your problem? Why?
• What can you add?
• What one word represents the problem?
• Draw an abstract symbol that best represents the problem.
• Think of a two-word book title that best represents the problem.
• Write a table of contents for a book about the problem.
• Can you think of other uses for any of your ideas?
• What is the opposite of your idea?
• Think paradoxically. Imagine your idea and its opposite existing simultaneously.
• Look in other domains. If your problem is selling, ask how do politicians sell? How do sports networks sell? How do religions sell? How do fast-food franchises sell?
• Laugh more. Be more childlike in your work.
• Think out loud. Verbalize your thinking out loud about the problem.
• List 20 objects into two columns of 10. Randomly connect objects from column 1 to column 2 to see what new products develop.
• How would Walt Disney approach the problem?
• Write the alphabet backwards.
• How would a college professor perceive it?
• How would an artist perceive it? A risk-taking entrepreneur? A priest?
• Imagine you are at a nudist beach in Tahiti. How could talking with nudists help you with the problem?
• Can you find the ideas you need hidden in the clouds?
• Learn how to tolerate ambiguity and dwell in the grey zone.
• Make three parallel lists of ten words. The first list is nouns. The second list if verbs and the third adjectives. Then look for intriguing connections between them.
• Make the strange familiar. What would a fantasy solution look like? Does this give you any clues?
• What if you were the richest person on earth? How will the money help you solve the problem?
• If you could have three wishes to help you solve the problem, what would they be?
• Wear purple underwear for inspiration
• Write a letter to your subconscious mind about the problem. Ask your subconscious to solve the problem. Then mail the letter to yourself.
• How would Donald Trump solve the problem?
• Forget the problem. Incubate it. Come back to it in three days. Stay conscious of any new thoughts that pop up during this down time.
• Look at the problem from at least three different perspectives.
• Imagine the problem is solved. Work backwards from the solution to where you are now.
• How would the problem be solved 100 years from now.
• Think about it before you go to sleep.
• When you wake, write down everything you can remember about your dreams. Next, try to make metaphorical-analogical connections between your dreams and the problem.
• Imagine you are on national television. Explain the problem and your ideas on how to solve the problem.
• What one object or thing best symbolizes the problem? Keep the object on your desk to constantly remind you about the problem.
• List all the words that come to mind while thinking about the problem. Are there any themes? Interesting words? Connections? Surprises?
• What if ants could help you solve the problem? What are the parallels between ants and humans that can help?
• Create a silly way to walk that physically represents your problem.
• Talk to a stranger about the problem.
• Keep a written record of all your ideas. Review them weekly. Can you cross-fertilize your ideas?
• How would an Olympic gold medal winner approach the problem?
• Read a poem and relate it to the problem. What new thoughts does the poem inspire?
• What associations can you make between your problem and an oil spill?
• If your problem were a garden, what would be the weeds.
• Change your daily routines. If you drink coffee, change to tea.
• List your assumptions about the problem and then reverse them. Can you make the reversals into new ideas?
• Describe your problem metaphorically. How is your problem like a half-eaten frozen pizza?
• Draw the problem with your eyes closed.
• Create a dance that represents your problem.
• Mind map your problem.
• Become a dreamer and create fantasies that will solve the problem.
• Become a realist and imagineer your fantasies into workable ideas.
• Complete “How can I _____?” Then change the verb five different times.
• Can you intuit the solution?
• Open a magazine and free associate off the photos.
• What have you learned from your failures? What have you discovered that you didn’t set out to discover?
• Make connections between subjects in different domains. Banking + cars = drive in banking.
• Immerse yourself in the problem. Imagine you are the problem. What would you feel? What are your hopes and fears?
• What are the parallels between your problem and the Gulf war.
• Hang out with people from diverse backgrounds.
• Create a funny story out of the problem. If you can, make it into a joke.
• Make analogies between your problem and nature.
• Imagine you are a member of the opposite sex out on a date. You are having a conversation about problems. How do you describe the problem to your date seductively?
• Force yourself to constantly smile when you are brainstorming.
• Select a book that is not related to your subject. Skim through the book looking for thoughts and ideas you can cross-fertilize with your problem.
• Sit outside and count the stars. Make all the associations you can between what you see in the sky and the problem.
• Walk through a grocery store and metaphorically connect what you see with the problem. How is the way meat is displayed like an idea I can use to solve my problem.
• How would you explain the problem to a six year old child?
• Cut out interesting magazine and newspaper pictures. Then arrange and paste them on a board making a collage that represents the problem.
• Write a six word book that describes your progress on the problem. E.g. “At present all thoughts are gray,” “I am still not seeing everything.”
• What is impossible to do in your business but if it were possible would change the nature of your problem forever?
• Suppose you could have Leonardo da Vinci work with you on the problem. What would you ask him?