Applied Absurdity

There are times we need structure, times to think outside the box, and then, every once in a while, you simply need to apply some absurdity. 

Recently, our business within the television industry was undergoing some pricing pressure.  We were on the bad side of the supply/demand curve, and it created a dilemma for the bottom line.  At one point, I heard myself say, “We need to get paid more for doing less and serve our clients better.”  I actually laughed aloud at the absurdity of the statement, but then I asked the question that is the beginning of all innovation.  “What if this were possible?”  The end result was that we developed a multi-layered service for which we get paid more money while providing an enhanced product to ouraudience. 

I just met a gentleman who had lost his job and was within a few weeks of being kicked out of his apartment.  He said, somewhat sarcastically, “I need someone to pay me to live in their apartment.”  He laughed aloud, but I didn’t join in and simply asked, “Where are some places where that might be possible?”  The bottom line is that within a few weeks, he had found a job managing a ministorage facility where they pay him a salary and provide him with a very nice apartment to live onsite. 

A big dream doesn’t cost any more than a little one.  If you think like everyone else, you will find yourself waiting at the end of a very long line that ends at the door of mediocrity.  If you will think out of the box or even absurdly, you will often find yourself standing alone atop the mountain everyone else is trying to climb. 

If you ever come to our office at the Narrative Television Network, you will see scores of autographed photos of movie stars in the lobby.  These are actresses and actors who have given me interviews or appeared in our programming.  Many industry people wonder how we got so many of the A-list celebrities to be a part of our work.  The very simple answer is “I asked them.”  

The ancient wisdom tells us that you have not because you ask not.  Sometimes when we ask for something, the answer is no, but if we don’t ask, the answer is always no. 

As you go through your day today, leave ordinary behind and think absurdly.

Today’s the day!

Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.  He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.  He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK  74145-9082; by email at; on Twitter at; or on Facebook at

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