The more raw material you give your brain, the more connections it can make. It works a little like hitting "shuffle" on a playlist—the more songs you load it up with, the more surprised you’ll be by the one that comes on next, which may lead you to think differently about both. Perhaps you’ll get an idea for a totally different type of playlist, get inspired to write a song yourself, or even begin to think of music differently as a whole.
The human brain thrives on a wide range of ideas and experiences, especially those it isn't expecting to encounter. In order to hit upon something really exciting, it first needs to wander, meander, shuffle about. Here’s how to help it.