When the right idea comes along, your emotional brain sends a signal to the rest of your body. It’s a tingle, a flash, or a jolt that tells you something remarkable has happened. Suddenly the world reels, a thousand gears snap into place, and the long-hidden answer appears, shimmering, before your disbelieving eyes. Developing a sensitivity to these signals is an integral part of being creative.

But what if your idea is only new to you, and not to the rest of the world?

And how do you know if it’s any good in the first place? Here’s where it helps to apply the six tests of originality:

1. Is it disorienting? A great ...

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