Ideational inventory

Day 321 Week 44 Q4 Saturday, November 18, 2023

“You must have chaos within you in order to give birth to a dancing star,”  Friedrich Nietzsche.

Have you ever felt like you knew exactly what you wanted to do, and you knew exactly how you wanted to do it, and you knew what you wanted to get out of it, but there was so much swirling around within you that it felt like chaos? You are not alone. It may take order and organization to restructure things, but it also takes dissembling the prior order, and there are periods of chaos that have to be navigated.

Every time a door or window closes, there becomes a new opportunity to be explored. Actually, there becomes an entire pile of opportunities and, along with them, a pile of responsibilities. I kind of love the opportunity and hate the responsibilities. But they are intertwined. You don’t get to go to a new place without first having to do at least a little bit of packing and mobilizing what you need to bring with you.

Even if the mobilizing is just mobilizing your thoughts, they still need to be packed up and organized in some way so that you can bring them somewhere. You need to think of how to deploy your insights. If you never deploy them, you may run out of room to store them all.  Sometimes, when you have too much inventory, it is time to have a sale or at least do a promotional event to get rid of some of it. I frequently feel like I have too many thoughts. Perhaps this is an ideational inventory.

What can you do with an ideational inventory? Well, in theory, you can change the world. It all depends on the quality of the ideas and what you do with them. If they are stillborn because there is no deployment plan, then it doesn’t matter how good they are. If you have a magnificent plan for getting them out into the world, but they aren’t any good, that doesn’t matter either.

There is always a set of trade-offs in every situation. It has been said that you cannot do something excellent quickly. That you have to choose between speed and quality. This is not necessarily true. You may have to spend a lot of time learning how to do something very well and very quickly, and after making that investment, you may be able to become a faucet of ideas that can be turned on, and high-quality ideas can spew out quickly, perhaps too quickly, to be useful.

It is precisely how you manage this chaos inside, your ideational inventory that determines your efficacy in the world. But don’t expect to get away with having no chaos, for entropy is a natural outcome of life. But it can be overcome with conscious, well-managed activity. 

Manage the chaos within it and turn it into an ideational inventory that can be deployed!