Exploration and Innovation: You need both for life
I read a recent blog post by David Seah, a writer on productivity and inspiration, and he shared his self diagnosis of having “Type 2 Procrastination, a horrifying condition in which inspiration does not lead to action.”
As he explored and reflected on the reasons for this condition in his life there was an element that he hit on that felt particularly relevant to me.
“I’ve gotten used to the idea of exploring and have tended to think in terms of search rather than build when it comes to my own interests. In search mode, I’m looking for people and good ideas that I can draw strength from, exchanging what I know as completely as possible. This is itself a nomadic mindset. Build mode, however, is when you hunker down and write that book. Or build that city. Or paint that masterpiece. Or design that race car. You get the idea.”
What’s key to this suggestion from David is that we all go through cycles of search or of build, and life, in fact, requires both from us. I know that I have personally experienced this and can map it directly to how much I have been either reading or socializing during a particular period of time. When my visits to Barnes and Nobel become eagerly awaited, almost compulsory explorations, that is search mode. When I hunker-down in a cafe for days at a time to the exclusion of all else, that is build mode.
What’s important about recognizing these two different modes is to make sure you don’t stay universally in one or the other. Life requires both: exploration, searching, questing for insight along with innovation, contribution, and personal legacy.
So, my question to you all: what mode are you in now and is it time to flip your switch?