Word One + Word Two = Idea!

If the plus and equal signs in the title alarms you, don’t worry this post won’t be a math lesson. Instead, it will be about words and ideas.

As I was thinking about a topic to post, my eyes wandered to my blog’s tag cloud. The tag cloud is the collection of words with different font-sizes you can find in most blogs. The basic idea is, the more you use a word as a tag, the bigger it gets.

Then I thought, “What if I combine two of these words? Will they give me an idea for a post?” And yes it did, but not the way I intended to. Rather, I’m writing about the idea of combining words to produce ideas.

Here’s how it goes…

Let’s combine: (1) Inspirational and (2) Internet, what idea does it produce?

My answer: “You can get inspiration from the internet by watching youtube videos that motivate you, or if you’re short in time, reading inspirational quotes.”

It’s nice to know, but it’s somewhat common. Let’s try combining words that seem unrelated. Like: (1) Reading and (2) Change, let’s see….

The idea created: “If you read books — or at least blogs and quotes — then sooner or later the way you look at the world will change.”

Let’s try one last pair: (1) Writing and (2) Gym. Thinking… Got it!

Ideas produced:

  • Going to the gym will make you a better writer. Because: (1) Exercise releases endorphins, which make you feel better; if you feel better, then you’ll write better. And, (2) Through exercise you will tend to look better over time, which raises your confidence; having more confidence leads to better writing.
  • Record your gym workouts by writing them on paper or on a computer (or tablet). By looking at what you’ve written, you’ll be reminded of the amount of work you have invested on getting fit, and because of that you’ll be more likely to continue with your fitness journey.
  • Write about any unusual experiences you have at the gym, like the guy who ran on the treadmill the other day — while wearing a walkman.

I have come-up with three ideas, probably because I’m quite familiar with those two words.

I can go and on and on, exhausting every possible combination in my tag cloud. Some of the ideas produced may look like normal everyday stuff to you, but a few can give you a “Eureka” moment.

Also, notice that the words that led to the idea does not need to be exact (e.g.,  inspirational becomes inspiration, writing becomes write, etc.).

You don’t need a blog’s tag cloud to try out this idea though. You can just get a dictionary, whether it’s a physical one, or an online one. Then, let the fun begin…

If you combine two random words, you can produce an idea. Some ideas created by those words might seem common or even useless, but you will, at a few times, stumble upon that piece of gold in the goldmine of words.

Learning Through Writing

It has been said that one of the best ways to learn something is to teach what you have learned to someone else.

That said, writing is also a form of teaching, that is, you write what you want your student to learn.

Through that, we can say that one way to learn something better is to write about it.

But if you’re uncomfortable other people seeing what you’ve written then you can make your writing private instead. When you write, you write for your imaginary student. Go on. No need to worry since no one else will be judging you.

As long as you can comprehend what you’ve written. When the time comes you read it again, then it has served its purpose, not only have you learned better by writing about it — you also provided yourself with a handy reviewer.

So what are you waiting for? Want to learn something effectively? Then, read something about a topic which interests you; afterwards, write what you learned as if you’re teaching it to someone else.

After a few days, weeks, or even months, read again what you have written to refresh your mind and congratulate yourself, for you are both a learner and a writer.