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What is blue sky doing?

  • Personal
Ben Nevis fell race climb up

A brief post today to explain the meaning behind blue sky doing. Through working in various sectors across digital and marketing I have heard a lot of requests for “blue sky thinking” or “thinking outside the box”. The request is often delivered with authority and with a real need for original thought without the context of what sparks an original and effective idea, it’s often a lazy request. It displaces responsibility and sets an expectation for a lightbulb moment.

I’m a fan of blue sky doing, thinking of a desired approach or utopian view and breaking down the steps to achieve that thought. The complex can seem unattainable, the extreme can seem unachievable. The way to raise standards, realize ambitions and push beyond your own capabilities is to understand the elements of the unattainable to see how they become attainable and then do.

How do I apply this ethos in my life? As people are asking “think outside the box”, I’m thinking about collecting boxes. I collect experiences, skills, interests and ideas. I stick with the things I love and try to master them and I challenge the ideas I have and try to improve on them.

Running is an example of this. I’ve read about running, watched athletes and extraordinary human achievements and I’ll expand on this further in my ‘Why I run’ series. One of my proudest moments so far was competing in the Ben Nevis fell race, something I wouldn’t have expected to have accomplished with such confidence a few years ago.

It was the late actor and humanitarian, Paul Newman’s birthday yesterday and I caught this quote that sums up my sense of blue sky doing…

“Dreams without movement are delusions, escapes, kid’s play. You have to put your feet into your dreams if they’re ever going to be reality. The dreamers we know and love today are the ones who worked the hardest.”

Paul Newman

1 thought on “What is blue sky doing?”

  1. Love the Paul Newman quote. ‘Action creates more action’ and ‘Work without fear- just start’ are two similar, if simpler maxims. It doesn’t mean do any of these things without thought but to do something to the best of our ability in the hope it produces a (perhaps) unexpected result

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