I have an idea. Take a moment to think about the ideas you’ve conjured up today. How many did you think up? And how did they manifest? I’m willing to bet that the majority of them didn’t come from you sitting down and saying, “Think! Think! Think!” More likely to have happened is you lived your life as normal, but had an experience that caused you to change your perspective and ideate. If that’s the case, then maximizing these perspective-changing-induced-ideation-phases should be your priority if thinking of new ideas is your goal – and why wouldn’t it be?

You’re always just one idea away from greatness – from coming up with a new way to take college level classes online (Coursera), from inventing a method to track your pet’s activity (Whistle), or from thinking of a way to help you be a better driver (Automatic). Every successful (and unsuccessful) business starts with an idea, and if that’s not tantalizing enough, the fact is that ideas can be executed in the real world so much easier these days thanks to sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, shows like Shark Tank and American Inventor, and idea incubators like Ycombinator and Excelerate Labs. We’re a world awaiting new ideas and we reward those who come up with ideas from Silly Bandz to Solar Panels with money and recognition.

The question then is how do you come up with ideas? And how do you know whether or not an idea is a winner? I’ll leave the second question up to you to answer, but as for how to come up with ideas, there are articles upon articles written all about techniques to get your mind buzzing with thought. I tend to believe that ideas can come in surprising packages, created out of thin air when you may least expect it.

So if you find yourself wanting more ideas to pick a winner from, here are 3 surprisingly nonsensical, absurd ways to get you thinking:

1. Shower, Drive, and Get Bored More Often

It may not be empirically provable, but showers might be the best idea generating machines. Showers can transport you to an entirely different dimension just by spinning in circles as warm water hits you. You can come up with an idea for an App, write a letter to your crush, and find a way to achieve world peace, all as you shampoo your hair. The goal here isn’t to increase the amount of time you shower (got to stay environmentally friendly), but to be conscious of the shower’s propensity for ideation.

The same can be said for driving, as this is an “auto-pilot” moment for the body, but an idea-explosion moment for the brain. The trick is to let your mind wander far enough away so that you can enter what I call “idea land”, where ideas grow on trees and taste oh-so-sweet, while simultaneously staying grounded in the moment. This will give you the perfect balance for finding a realistically, yet interesting idea.

As English author Neil Gaiman eloquently puts it, “You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we’re doing it.” (Where do you get your ideas?) There are two interesting takeaways from that quote. The first being that you get ideas from being bored, which inevitably occurs at some point throughout everyone’s day. That may be why showering and driving are such idea-inspiring moments – it’s because the task is automated and doesn’t require much thought to perform. The second, and most critical takeaway, is that you have to be conscious of your moment of inspiration, or you won’t be able to take your idea to the next phase in the slow hunch (Check out Steven Johnson’s video on ideas and the slow-hunch)

2. Get Weird. Really Weird.

Sometimes, you just have to let your mind get weird. Not drop-acid-and-invent-the-Apple-computer weird. I’m talking about allowing yourself to follow a thought you may have, however bizarre it may be, down the yellow brick road toward idea-land. As Bob Sutton, author of “Weird Ideas That Work” says, creativity can be spurred when you “Think of some ridiculous or impractical things to do, and then plan to do them.” Getting weird allows you to break through mental walls that have been constructed by your moral, realistic, and sensible self. This tactic allows you to see things differently, which can have big returns, both personally and financially.

You don’t have to look far to see that plenty of successful ideas were constructed because of a weird experience. Take the Snuggie for example, which is actually an idea based off of another idea called the Slanket. It was an idea that came to Gary Clegg in 1998, when he was a freshman living in a cold dorm at the University of Maine. He was wrapped up in a sleeping bag and couldn’t get the TV remote to work from under the bags fabric. So he got weird by cutting out a hole to free his arm from the perils of being stuck on one channel. From there, he had his mother sew on a sleeve, cut another hole and added a sleeve and violà, an idea formed by getting weird manifested into a multi-million dollar product. Snuggie, which took the Slanket idea and improved upon it, has now made over $500 million, which seems to say more about our lack of creativity when it comes to gift giving rather than our inherent need for a sleeved blanket. But I could be wrong.

3. Evolutionize, Don’t Revolutionize

Coming up with ideas doesn’t always have to be about reinventing the wheel. That pressure to come up with something entirely new can be overwhelming and deter good thinking. One of Sutton’s very own laws is that “If you think that you have a new idea, you are wrong. Someone else probably already had it. This idea isn’t original either; I stole it from someone else.” It’s hard, if not nearly impossible to have a 100% original idea. However, it is far easier to see something idea-inspiring in real life and say “I have an idea to make that better.” So many real life examples show that not pushing for the one-in-a-million, revolutionary idea and instead focusing on evolving an idea that already exists in some form is often a more prosperous road to take. Nest is a better thermostat. Redbox is a better dvd service (remember Blockbuster?). The Snuggie is a better Slanket. This SPG App is a better hotel room key. The calculator is a better abacus. Just remember there’s no shame in thinking small rather than limiting yourself to thinking only big. Often, those small ideas snowball into something much greater.

What To Do With A New Idea

You took a shower, got weird, and evolutionized. With your new idea in hand (or rather in mind), it’s time for the vetting process to begin. Tell your family, your closest friends, anyone and everyone who is willing to listen. Don’t be tied down to your original idea – allow it to organically morph into something great. Someone you talk to may have their own idea that matches up with yours, which means a super idea, the mythical creatures from idea land, may be born.

And who knows, you may have the greatest idea since sliced bread. Which, I should note, was an excellent idea.