Become an Idea Machine is a best-seller, mostly referred to as a workbook or guide to 180 daily prompts that can help boost the idea muscle of individuals. It is prudent to realize that that many physical endeavors require training for good performance with extra-ordinary effort such as diet restructuring and training.
The author notes that generation of ideas is a similar process, which requires exercising of the idea muscles that helps expand the limits of mental capabilities. The author gives a list of activities that are done daily within the period giving both professional and practical exercises meant to intrigue the mind to thinking. The lists are given numbers rather than dates, implying that individuals can begin at any time.
The activities begin with a challenge to provide solutions to ten gratitude problems. This mainly emanates from the fact that complaining is too rife, making minds of individuals unruly. The succeeding activities prompt the reader to provide a list of things or moments that could be done, thereby intriguing the mind to think beyond the ordinary things. The author further delves in to the prevailing technologies that the readers wish to have in activity nine as well as developing the lists movies and books that left a great impression or travelling experiences.
In some of the activities, Altucher provides her own experiences as an explication of the way readers should generate the activities. In activity twelve, she notes that she would meet Buddha and challenges the readers to identify ten questions to ask people they would want to meet. The same explication is given in activity sixteen of her personal experience with Noah Kagan. The author further provides insights on spiritual practice in activity twenty, with a personal contemplation of the spiritual practice. An insightful piece is given by activity twenty-nine on aromatherapy which provides a challenge to the readers to identify pros and cons associated with the practice.
Claudia Altucher likens the generation of ideas to work-outs in the gym, because the activities must be repeatedly undertaken. The idea of push-ups is given and it is vital to note that few push-ups cannot create a bicep, and that is the reason that the daily prompts are given counts from one to ten. Although most of the prompts require that readers provide ten ideas, several ask readers to stretch their minds beyond that limit. For instance, activity 46 requires that readers generate 100 things that they should be thankful for.
The book further focuses on personal gifting and talents on activity fifty, with a special allusion to the achievements of Michael Jordan, challenging the readers to identify activities that could be possible when talents are utilized. Altucher further draws on common weaknesses of individuals such as excuses in activity fifty nine and lack of resilience which impedes most people to achieve their ambitions. There are imaginative insights provided in the book that draws on the creativity of the readers such as those that the readers wished they knew before turning twenty-five in activity sixty-four.
Halfway in the book, the author provides a business perspective of the ideas and the reasons that may lead to the success or collapse of entities in the future in activity ninety-one, with such business insights extended in the succeeding activities. Altucher also gives a relationship perspective in activity ninety-eight, with explication of personal insights on various things that would make his husband angry such as complaints or crankiness.
There is a further emphasis on the global perspective of the world problems and the countless opportunities that lie ahead for the readers in activity one hundred and one. This activity helps the readers to come up with ideas that incorporate technology and develop various solutions to human problems.
A historical perspective is also given in activity one hundred and five, with a challenge provided on various past events that could turn to soap operas like in the case of Downton Abbey. Further, she challenges individuals to find emails in previous years and reply to them, acknowledging the great role played by friends and other people in generating ideas.
Various instances of joining ideas (idea sex)are also highlighted in the example of activity one hundred and fourteen, challenging the readers to develop articles on things that they are interested and telling them to people. Altucher advises the readers to evade credit in activity one hundred and twenty three and provide ten ways to evade it. The author provides management and financial tips from activity one hundred and forty one and the succeeding activities which challenge the readers to think and develop their businesses using ideas.
The book asserts that the gist is not in just collection of those ideas that are considered good, rather, all ideas that are conceivable. This is because the lists are not meant to discriminate bad or good ideas and whether such ideas are original or feasible. Individuals can only become idea machines when they are capable to push beyond such limits. The book also emphasizes on the concept of combining ideas that leads to the realization of a concept called ‘the next big thing’.
The author provides insights from a previous workshop, where she prompted the participants to combine previous ideas to come up with new ones. Some activities within the book require that readers combine lists from pervious activities and generate new ones. For instance, activity 158 requires that readers provide ten trends that will be evident in the next century. Activity 159 on the other hand requires them to provide ten inventions that will provide solutions to such trends.
Altucher highlights that individuals who become idea machines have uncountable ideas that cannot all be feasibly executed. Maybe the individual will lack the time, resources or motivation to pursue all of them. However, they are available for sharing with others. This is noted by the author as being the gist of becoming an idea machine, where one can produce and provide multiple ideas without feeling the need to protect a single ‘multi-million’ idea. Altucher further acknowledges that individuals may use the idea sex criterion to combine two ideas that may yield changes to the world at large.