Here at the #DisasterFarm we inherited a water tank. It wasn’t functional, the previous owner lived here for 19 years without running water, I don’t know how! The water tank holds exactly the same volume as the water delivery truck. Which means when we are getting close to running out of water we have to play an amusing (!) game of who blinks (drinks) first…
If we have too much water we might end up wasting it when the delivery arrives. We have to move fast to get it into the right places. When we need to empty the tank in preparation for a delivery all our trees get an extra dose, the huerta (vegetable patch) gets a drowning, buckets and vessels get filled, the pool gets a top up.
We almost always need a water delivery at the weekend or on a fiesta day – when they won’t deliver. So frequently we need to save water for a few days too.
When we need to save water I don’t do any washing or washing up (oh no!), the plants are on rations, the trees have to wait. We go into pause mode – surviving, rationing, waiting.
Before I lived in the countryside in Spain (over 15 years ago) I was oblivious to the flow of water. I turned on the tap, out it came. Now, I am attuned to our environment, the way we manage our resources and the consequences of lack of oversight.
It’s the same with ideas:
- Too many ideas and they might get wasted. You might have an overflow (waste) of ideas.
- When you give a little extra attention to your ideas they blossom.
- We can’t fill the ideas water tank ourselves, we need external input.
- We need to use the ideas, not just conserve them.
- Using the ideas creates something new, outside of ourselves, that others can consume.
- It’s better to have extra idea space, rather than continually running on empty/full with the associated stress!
I could, of course, really overwork this metaphor – in fact that’s one of my super powers (along with getting overexcited by client’s ideas and making naan bread) – so I’ll stop now!
Idea Hysteresis Loop
This is my hysteresis loop* for ideas (not to be confused with my hysterical loop when I don’t have any ideas!) – not too full, not too empty.
Here are 3 things to do to keep the ideas (energy) flowing:
- Trust that more ideas will come – your brain is magic!
- Use your current ideas, don’t save them – make space for new thoughts.
- Accept that you need external input sometimes – go to conferences, read from outside of your own sphere, get a coach.
Remember, when you turn on that tap to brush your teeth, don’t underestimate the flow of your ideas, the almost magical way that they come to you, how by sharing them they grow and become something new, that sometimes you might not have ideas… but that’s ok. You just need to call the water tank guy for a delivery!
PS: I can be your water tank girl! Just let me know…
* I told you you couldn’t take engineering out of the girl – I first came across hysteresis loops during my engineering degree (induced magnetic flux density and the magnetising force, to be precise!)