I Am All Out Of Ideas


In recent months I have found myself struggling, from time to time, to come up with a topic for my blog.  It feels like I am all out of ideas.  As though I have a finite number and they are all used up.  And then I get some inspiration and a host of new ideas emerge.

I’ve started re-reading Ray Dalio’s excellent book Principles and one them is especially relevant to this post.  ‘To give out, you have to take in’.  What Ray is saying is we need to take time to learn as well as give out advice, etc to others.  In our busy world’s it is very easy to get caught up in putting out and not taking in.  It’s the urge to do more that I’ve talked about many times.

How to take in more ideas?

If this feels familiar, what can we do about it?  The simple answer is find more time to take in, but how to do that?  Fortunately, we have no shortage of opportunities to learn, each requiring differing levels of time and attention.  Here are some suggestions:

  1. Create a selection of blogs you find interesting and stimulating.  I like the following ones:
    • Seth Godin – Akimbo:  It is focused on modern marketing and contains a larger breadth of knowledge.
    • Brendon Burchard – The Brendon Show:  His ‘High Performance Habits’ contain some good reminders and insights.
    • HBR Ideacast:  Brief episodes with authors of Harvard Business Review articles and papers explaining and expanding on their ideas.
    • NPR’s How I Built This with Guy Raz:  Fabulous stories from the founders of many amazing companies.
  2. Network.  Create a circle of friends with whom you share common interests and meet with each periodically to simply chat about what is going on.  At first this felt like I was loafing, and then I realized it was opening me to some fabulous new ideas and insights.
  3. Read.  I find reading books hard work.  They have to be very engaging to catch my attention, but when they are it is a source of terrific inspiration.  I have written about some of my favorite leadership books in another blog.
  4. Learn from our everyday experiences.  This is the most fun for me.  By asking questions and being generally curious, we can learn so much from our everyday conversations.

Are you setting aside enough time to take in as well as give out?  What do you do to take in?