When a space seems empty, the ideas aren’t coming, the words won’t flow, the problem won’t solve, sometimes the best thing we can do is hang around a while longer – when the temptation is to move on.
What happens next might surprise us.
By hanging around, I don’t mean twiddling thumbs and whistling. Maybe the best thing we can do is some hacking – I like this definition from Mitch Joel:
‘Someone messing about with something in a positive sense, that is using playful cleverness to achieve a goal.’
I find myself inviting others into the empty space to play, people who see things differently to me, people who help me to see what is invisible to me: books I’ve read, conversations I’m involved in somewhere or other, videos I’ve seen – mix them all up and see what happens. (I journal as I go, keeping a light trail of thoughts.)
Not always, but sometimes, the best thing we can do is hang around for a little while longer and play. If nothing else happens, you’ve learned how to hang around a little longer with playful purpose and that in itself can be huge.