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How to Use Creative Visualization

You can use visualization to invent new products or processes, or to solve specific problems. You can also use it to do such inventing as simply as mental exercise, a way to develop your brainpower. I do the latter quite often, because my experience and skills do not include building prototypes, preparing patent applications or marketing products. I prefer to simply invent things in my mind. Of course I do get to write about my ideas on 999ideas.com and this site, so I do get to make some money from these exercises in creative visualization.

By the way, despite having what I think is a decent brain and mind, I have trouble with visualization. It just isn't something which comes naturally to me. It is worth the effort though. Let's look at an example or two of how you can use the process. But first, a video:

Here's the basic idea: Sit in your favorite chair, on the roof of your apartment building, or on the top of a grassy hill--whichever works best for you. Close your eyes (optional, but it seems to help), and visualize all sorts of crazy images and scenes. A small voice recorder makes it easier to take notes, but otherwise have pen and paper ready to write down a few ideas that occur to you as you do this. Afterward you can try to work with them and develop them into something practical.

Just before I wrote this I spent ten minutes laying in bed visualizing crazy scenes. I saw houses floating in lakes, giant turtles climbing Mount Everest, and restaurants floating among the clouds. Upon working with these images for a few minutes, I had the following ideas.

Sky Restaurants

The view is often limited in flat areas, but what if restaurant patrons could float above it all and take in the view while eating in the sky? My idea was enclosed dining areas which are carried into the sky using tethered balloons filled with hot air or helium. The food would be prepared in a building on the ground and sent up with customers, who would get an hour of air time before being reeled back in.

Crazy? Perhaps. But my wife and I recently went to a restaurant in Denver which has cliff divers and gunfights to entertain diners, and it has been a success for 36 years so far. You can see my interview with the diver on another website here: Restaurant Cliff Diver

Lake Homes

Houses floating on lakes made me think of the houseboats which are used in southern states, in part to avoid property taxes--and for the view and lake access of course. The idea I got from this was for floating platforms which allow any normal modular home to become a house on a lake. Modifications of water and sewer systems would be required, but I think there is some potential in this concept. Buying a modular home and setting it on a lake using one of these platforms might be cheaper than even the price of just a lakefront lot, let alone a home on that lot.

I had a few other ideas that didn't seem as viable. That happens. Perhaps only one in a hundred ideas resulting from this process will be of any value, but creative ideas are easy enough with techniques like this, so just have more until you find a gem or two.

A Quick Review of the Process:

Allow your isualization to get wild, and imagine the details if you can. Most things you visualize won't suggest many ideas (the turtles climbing Everest did nothing for me), but again, that's just not a problem. Visualize many things and you'll have many ideas, and one or two may be good. In the process you at least get a good mental workout.


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