Inspiration Challenge 2: When Strangers Meet

I can hear it now.  “When strangers meet,” you mumble, staring at the bottom of the last post.  “What does that mean???”

“When strangers meet” is the idea of marrying disparate ideas or fields to create a new, unexpected product.  I chose this as one of 28 inspirational challenges because many of the best new ideas come from the interface of established fields.

Yesterday as I was pondering how to take up this challenge, it occurred to me that many of my ideas come from layering ideas on top of each other.  Note:

1.    Writing + wellness + developing courage to put myself out there = creation of this blog.
2.    Photography + staying in touch with friends = beyond :: boston.
3.    Calvin and Hobbes + crafting + spending time with friends + school = Make Your Own Lucky Rocketship Underpants Party.  The idea is to make “lucky talisman” underwear to give us an edge against finals.  Admittedly I haven’t tried this one yet, but a couple people have asked me when I’m throwing this party so I’m hoping to do it later this month.

It seems I’ve been doing this unconsciously already, but I wanted to see what would happen if I formally sat down and crossed my current interests.  What new combinations might pop up?

This activity took me about 30 minutes of brainstorming.  I could’ve gone on, but I wanted to see what ideas jumped out immediately.  It turns out I already do a number of these, like crafting + environment = make reusable grocery bags and cloth napkins.  But I also circled new ideas I’d like to tackle in the near future.  There’s even a couple that pertain to this month.

Create things to remind you of your goals and dreams.
Friends: engage in self-reflective/goal setting activities together.

This is a great activity for rapidly generating new ideas.  Block out the mental critic and throw everything down on paper, no matter how small or how silly the idea seems at the time.  Keep the pen moving and the thoughts flowing.  The point is to brainstorm; there is plenty of time later to edit, but for now the more ideas the better.  Besides, that small or silly idea may plant the seed for a really inspired idea.  I will probably never make toy food (crafting + food), but if I had let the mental critic start censoring at that point I never would have come up with “play Calvin Ball” (creativity + exercise; yes, I love Calvin and Hobbes).  And who knows?  Maybe in ten years my (future, unborn) children will be dying for a plateful of felt spaghetti.

img_0071Challenge 1: Create a clear workspace.

Day 3 Challenge: Touch water.


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