Everyone loses inspiration. It could be that you’re stuck on a draining project at work, burnt out on the sports field or even losing your lust for life on the weekends. It sucks. But the good news is that if you’re in a rut, you can always DO something to change it.
A couple of months ago, I wrote a post called 40 Ways To Get Out Of A Rut. It has turned out to be one of the most popular posts of all-time here on Idea Drunk, so I’ve decided to do a follow up. Of course, this time I could only think of 30 (more) ways to get out of a rut.
1. Use an axe.
2. Buy new shoes.
3. Wear mismatched socks.
4. Break something.
5. Make out behind a 7-Eleven.
6. Go to Texas. Buy a cowboy hat.
7. Talk to your mom.
8. Hang out with your dad.
9. Go camping. In the woods.
10. Make s’mores.
11. Learn a language.
12. Write all of your bad ideas on a piece of paper. Burn it.
13. Eat lunch with the new kid.
14. Ride the front car of a roller coaster.
15. Find a mentor.
16. Mentor someone.
17. Watch an amateur sports game live.
18. Drink good scotch with friends. No ice.
19. Try a smoothie. Blend it yourself.
20. Toss a Nerf football around.
22. Work out during your lunch break.
23. Go to the highest rooftop. Scream.
24. Start your own business.
25. Talk to an old friend from the past. Use a phone, not Facebook.
26. Run a 5km race.
27. Buy a Happy Meal.
28. Jump off a cliff.
29. Ride a motorcycle.
30. And if all else fails, get drunk with some good friends.
The landscape of North American pro sports needs a shakeup. I’ve written about the problems with the lack of competition before. I’ve even proposed some solutions. But in reading a post called The Smart List: 12 Shocking Ideas That Could Change the World I came across a solution from two professors – Szymanski and Ross. It could break the monopolies and create a better competitive business environment that would benefit the whole economy in the way that only a free market can.
Major league athletes are rewarded for talent, toughness, and single-minded dedication. Major league team owners, on the other hand, are rewarded for mediocrity. Having bought their way into a league, lackadaisical owners can extort hundreds of millions of dollars from their hometowns (and charge exorbitant ticket prices) under threat of decamping for another city. They can allow wretched teams to languish year after year and pocket the league’s revenue-sharing money rather than invest it in talent, knowing that when they’re ready to sell, a scrum of millionaire suitors will materialize.
That’s because big league teams in North America and the leagues themselvesare, in effect, monopolies. Major League Baseball even has an explicit antitrust exemption. Without name recognition, fan loyalty, and access to top talent, an upstart league doesn’t stand a chance.
How to spark owners with the same competitive fire they demand of their players? Szymanski and Ross have a plan: Make teams compete for a spot in the majors.
The guys borrowed their model from European soccer. In that system, no team is assured of a place in the top national league. Instead, each league has multiple levels: England’s Premier League, Spain’s La Liga, and Italy’s Serie A are all the top rungs of their respective ladders. At the end of each season, the bottom few teams at each level are relegated to the rung below and are replaced by that level’s winners.
Applied to American pro sports, the European system would eliminate the artificial scarcity that owners exploit. Anyone with the resources could simply start their own team and play their way up into the top tier. As a result, owners looking to boost their take by threatening to skip town would find they had no leverage, since other cities big enough to support a serious contender for the top tier would already have one. And there would be no such thing as a perennial cellar dweller; teams that performed poorly would be demoted. Demotion would cut their value, driving even the most complacent owner to do what it takes to get competitive. “You’re sharpening the incentives,” Szymanski says.
Best Made makes customized axes. I found out about them from reading Hugh’s site. They’ve created a niche. A micromarket. And a successful one. They sell $350 axes.
For those not familiar with the current “market price” for an axe, you can pick one up from a hardware store for about $40. And it will work. It’ll be well balanced. It will last a 20 years. It will chop wood.
But the gentlemen at Best Made have visions for axes outside of chopping wood. What if you took an axe, which is normally just a tool, and transformed it into something more.
The perfect gift.
And that’s exactly what they’ve done. As it says on their site:
Every high-rise condo, luxury office, executive suite, ranch house, and farmstead must have an axe in it. We know that axes shouldn’t only be in the hands of lumberjacks: anyone and everyone should have an axe in their name.
Put it in your cubicle, give it to your niece as a graduation present, or your dad for father’s day (or better yet mom for mother’s day), bring it to the company picnic, carry it to the door next time Jehovah’s Witness come knocking, or just lean it up against your living room wall and admire.
An axe is indispensable and sublime, the epitome of self-reliance and independence, a perfect design object, a timeless instrument.
So, now they sell customized axes for $350 a pop. For a couple of c-notes, they can provide you with a sense of outdoors manliness in the trappings of the your daily life. Simple. Smart. Brilliant.
I’ve posted about this before, but One Laptop per Child is dedicated to providing educational opportunities for the word’s poorest children. The concept is simple. The results are going to be extraordinary in about 10 to 15 years. Check out the video here:
Starting in September of 2005, Scott Schuman became The Sartorialist, a fashion blogger with a lot more up his tailored coat sleeves than street shots of pretty people. He has created a thriving street style blog, not only accrediting himself as a guy with a great eye for fashion, but as a world-recognized photographer, and as a brand.
Here’s three tips from him on ideas, creativity and going for it:
1. IDEAS COME FROM A NEED
“A lot of times they say great ideas come from not trying to create a marketing group, but by just acting on what you want that’s not there. I was inspired by guys wearing this old-school Italian style not being covered by GQ or Esquire, and went out to shoot them.”
2. DON’T REPORT IT, CAPTURE IT
“I take pictures of people that I find inspiring in whatever, and am totally open to what that inspiration could be. Clothes, sense of dignity–could be hairstyle, or it could be more abstract. What separates me is that I work very hard not to report what I’m seeing, but try to capture it in the way that I’m feeling it. I don’t care what they’re wearing–Marni, Prada, et cetera–I just want to shoot it in the romantic way I see it.”
3. IDEA FIRST, FINANCES LATER
“Don’t focus on the money. When you create something that people truly have a passion for, things just happen. I’m going to Australia, because they’ve invited me to tour Australia. They’re not paying me, but I’m not paying for the trip, so financially, it’s ambiguous… I did this as a hobby when I was a stay-at-home dad, and I’m proud of the fact that I went ahead and did this. Money grew based on the fact that it generated while I was doing it. Passion was there before cash.”
An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all. OSCAR WILDE
Books won’t stay banned.
They won’t burn.
Ideas won’t go to jail.
In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost.
The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas. ALFRED WHITNEY GRISWOLD