September 27, 2021

Running Out of Content Ideas?

In the introduction of the book Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less (affiliate link), the author Alex Pang mentioned three books: Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, John Kay’s Obliquity, and James Watson’s The Double Helix.

A famous essay arguing that a woman needs money and a room of her own to set her creativity free through writing. A book that offers a paradoxical approach to achieving goals. And a scientist’s honest account of solving one of the greatest mysteries in science.

These three unique voices, themes, and stories inspired Alex Pang to explore the role of rest in productivity.

This shows that to have a well of fresh ideas, we have to ditch our tunnel vision and taste-test some diverse interests and ideologies.

Marketers shouldn’t limit themselves to reading marketing books. They can benefit more if they also explore, say, the world of psychology and humanities. A songwriter may develop more interesting lyrics if they invest time in a good book or immerse themselves in new cultures.

I’m taking a Coursera class titled “Learning How To Learn,” and there I’ve learned that our working memory is in charge of “working with a few ideas and connecting them together to solve a problem.”

It supplements Mark Twain’s famous quote.

“There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations.”

But if we have ideas limited to our field and the familiar, we may be stuck with too few dots to connect.

So, what new subjects are you planning to explore soon?

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