It’s time for another WUP upside the head. I’ve written about this here before, and, of course, in The Radical Edge. Given the challenges many (most?) of us are facing today, I thought it an opportune time to fire up our natural, built in, idea-generation instincts.
The Wake Up Pad (WUP) method is a powerful re-thinking and new application of an ancient, incredibly simple, and decidedly low-tech tool: the notebook.
First, go get yourself one. You can use an electronic version if you’d like, but I prefer a good old paper-and-pen setup. Get in the habit of carrying it with you at all times, and if you use it in the way I’m going to describe in the next few posts, it’ll transform before your eyes from a “notebook” into a virtual shape-shifter for your brain, your business and your life.
The first thing you’ll do (even though there’s really no set, linear order to this, for the sake of clarity, let’s discuss it as if there were) is…
SCAN–just like you were a computer scanner. Your scanner just copies; it doesn’t comment, it doesn’t offer an opinion, it doesn’t tell you you look like an idiot in that photo from last weekend’s drunken tailgate party.
Like that, just scan your environment and record what you see. Scan the bestseller lists and notice what people are reading; scan the magazine racks and pick up publications that don’t interest you; scan the weekly TV-show rankings; scan the headlines of your on-line newsfeeds and actual print-and-ink newspapers from 20 different cities; scan the room that you’re sitting in right now; scan the crowds as you’re walking down the street during your lunch break.
Then, as often as is practical, write down what you’re seeing in your WUP. Write down your observations of subcultures that are entirely alien to you and trends in the tastes of popular culture. Capture little idea-snapshots of natural, political, and social phenomena.
Scan, scan, scan.
Look at everything going on around you and write your observations in the Pad without comment or judgement.
That’s step one, and I suggest that you give it a try right away. That’ll get you started and prepared for Step Two, which we’ll get to next week.
In the meantime, why not record some of your scanning work in the comment section below?