Addition by Subtraction

I don’t know about you, but I go through periods where my brain simply refuses to work, refuses to generate fresh thinking. It’s during those times that I find myself wandering through Twitter or various blogs looking for “inspiration.” Out there, somewhere, is the answer. I only have to find it.

This happened recently and instead of adding noise to my brain, I did the opposite. I made a hard cut away from Twitter for over a week. I then, in the course of 15 minutes or less, eliminated over 90% of the people I “follow” on Twitter. I deleted all of my lists. As I went through this exercise I realized that I had never taken any meaningful action off of the input from all of these people I let into my head. If I’m not going to do take action, then why do I need to listen?

I then started asking myself, every single time I picked up my phone, “What are you picking up your phone for? What do you need from it?” The answer was, almost always, silence. I didn’t NEED¬†anything. I wanted to be wanted, and I wanted to see if anyone wanted me.

My best thinking comes from creating space, and from reading lots of books. The answer is rarely, if ever, “out there.”

If you find yourself stuck today, take a look around you and have the hard internal conversation¬†about what you’re letting in to your life. What can you subtract today? Right now?

You can’t be original if you spend your days listening to everyone else.

For more on unconditioning, listen to Naval Ravikant’s interview on The Knowledge Project. Naval is one of the people I will always listen to.